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How to Dramatically Speed Up In-Browser Web Testing

written by Christine Shaw on Monday April 9, 2012

Cross-browser testing can be time consuming when performed manually. Selenium Grid can distribute automated UI tests across multiple platforms, reducing test time overhead and providing quick feedback independent of infrastructure.

Quick Start Guide for Selenium Grid:

1. On the grid host machine and the remote machine or VM (which the browsers will run on):

2. The host machine will distribute the requests to the remote machines. On the host, start the server with the command:

java -jar selenium-server-standalone-X.Y.Z.jar -role hub

where "X.Y.Z" is the version you downloaded.

You can view the console in your web browser by going to:


where "HOST.IP.ADDRESS" is the IP of the host machine.

3. Start the remote node on your remote machine or VM with the command:

java -jar selenium-server-standalone-X.Y.Z.jar -role node -port 5572 -hub http://HOST.IP.ADDRESS:5555/grid/register

where "X.Y.Z" is the version you downloaded, and "HOST.IP.ADDRESS" is the IP of the host machine which will distribute the requests.

4. Write your test script in the language of your choice. For example, in Python -- install the selenium package. To launch Firefox and load Google on the remote machine:

from selenium import webdriver

driver = webdriver.Remote("http://HOST.IP.ADDRESS:4444/wd/hub", webdriver.DesiredCapabilities.FIREFOX)

For more information about, check out the Selenium Grid website.

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