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Getting spooky: remote debugging with poltergeist on Mac OS X

I’ve been working on switching our project over to use poltergeist, a phantomjs backed capybara driver, for headless browser tests. I had a couple of specs fail, and started to look into what was causing the failures. I quickly realized that I was going to need more power than looking at screenshots taken with page.driver.render('/path/to/screenshot', :full => true).

I saw that remote debugging was supposed to work on Mac OS X with phantomjs version 1.6.1+, but I found I needed to jump through some hoops to get it working. Here are the steps that I went through.

Create a shell script to launch Google Chrome (or your favorite WebKit browser)

Poltergeist is configured with an executable that wil launch a browser. I had trouble running /Application/Google Chrome.app/Contents/MacOS/Google Chrome, so I had to create a shell script that invokes open /Applications/Google Chrome.app. Here’s what it looks like.

open '/Applications/Google Chrome.app' $@

I named this file chrome.sh and made it executable with chmod +x chrome.sh.

Configure poltergeist


Capybara.javascript_driver = :poltergeist


Capybara.register_driver :poltergeist do |app|
  Capybara::Poltergeist::Driver.new(app, :inspector => './chrome.sh', :js_errors => true)
Capybara.javascript_driver = :poltergeist

Have fun

That should do it. Now you can include page.driver.debug in your test. When that’s executed, the test will be paused, and Google Chrome will load a page with two links. Click on the second link, and you should see a familiar WebKit inspector. When you are ready for the test to continue, hit enter in your terminal window.