Selenium IDE Tutorial – Part 2

In part 1 of this tutorial you have seen how to write a simple web test using Selenium. In this part we will see how to use the test generated using the IDE with Selenium RC and PHPUnit.

In this part we will use Delicious as our test target. I’ve already created a small Selenium test that you can use. You can download the HTML source from here.

Starting up.
Restart the Selenium IDE. In the source tab replace the default HTML with the one from the above file. Set the Base URL to After doing this your IDE should like below.

selenium ide tutorial 2

If you are on a slow internet connection than it may help to slow the test speed.

So what exactly does this test do? Simple:

1. First it opens the delicious home page
2. Then it searches by the keyword ‘selenium’
3. Reads the total number of bookmarks from the results page as shown below

Now this may not look like a test for you , but it is just an exercise in using Selenium, you will surely apply it to a good test case. Onwards…

Before running this test make sure that you are logged out of Delicious.
Now run the selenium IDE test. After the test is successfully completed this is what you should see in the log pane.

Is that all?
If this was all there was I wouldn’t be really writing this post. The interesting part comes now – running the same test from PHP. From the file menu select ‘Export Test Case As…’ and as we are using PHP, select ‘PHP – Selenium RC’. Save the file by the name ‘Example.php’.

This is what we will get in the ‘Example.php’ file.


  function testMyTestCase()
    $this->type("homepage-searchinput", "selenium");

A short notice.
Before we proceed a few points to consider. Make sure that the file name and the class name are the same, here ‘Example’. Say if you change the class name to ‘Delicious’ make sure that you also change the file name to ‘Delicious.php’.

What the code basically does is it initializes the browser to ‘chrome’ (you can set the browser to your preference by changing to ‘*iexplore’ or ‘*firefox’); sets the baseurl to ‘’ and runs the test.

Whats the complex looking line!?
Everything may look fine to you except maybe the last line – ‘$this->getText…’. The function ‘getText’ returns the text found at the element specified in the expression. The complex looking line is an xpath expression to the results element:

You don’t have to rake your brains to find an xpath to an element. An easy way is to use the XPather Firefox addon to get the xpath of any element on a page. After you download and install the addon, restart Firefox, right-click on any element and from the context menu select ‘Show in XPather’. XPather retrieves the xpath to the specified element, which you can than use in your test code.

Note: This site uses ‘delicious’ as an example, so even some minor changes made by them to their site will render the xpath invalid, throwing an ‘element not found’ error in selenium. If this happens please notify me or you can find the new xpath using the Xpather plugin.

Downloading and installing Selenium RC
Selenium RC is a Java based command line server that starts browsers and runs commands you pass from your tests.

1. First make sure you have a Java runtime installed on your machine.
2. Download Selenium RC from here.
3. After extracting the files from the archive copy the ‘selenium-server.jar’ file to any directory you feel appropriate. I copied it to my PHP installations bin directory.
4. Start the Selenium RC server from the command-line by issuing the following command:

java -jar selenium-server.jar

This will start the server on port 4444.
5. Now the server is ready to accept test commands from your PHP script. Make sure you keep this server running till you finish testing.

Installing PHPUnit
1. An easy way to install PHPUnit is to use the PEAR installer. The PEAR channel ( is used to distribute PHPUnit so make sure that it is registered with your local PEAR environment:

pear channel-discover

After the channel is registered install PHPUnit:

pear install phpunit/PHPUnit

Actual testing
Now that PHPUnit is installed and the Selenium RC server is up and running, its time to run our test we saved before in our ‘Example.php’ file. Type the following on your command-line:

phpunit Example

This will start the test. The PHPUnit Selenium driver will execute each test command from your file and send it to the Selenium server, which does the job of launching the appropriate browser, opening web pages, and performing various specified actions; and closing the browser after the test completes.

Now the above test does basically nothing important. So we will add some simple conditional statements to the code.

    $bookmarks = $this->getText("xpath=/html/body[@id='index']/div
    echo ($bookmarks > 3000)? "On the top" : "Still not there";


This is what PHPUnit has to say about the above test.

Or we can use an assertion as below, deliberately rigged to fail the test:

    $bookmarks = $this->getText("xpath=/html/body[@id='index']/div

    $this->assertGreaterThan(33000, $bookmarks);



Now PHPUnit will shout failure:

You can look at more functions to implement in your tests here and here.

This concludes the second part of the tutorial.

61 thoughts to “Selenium IDE Tutorial – Part 2”

  1. Hi, I m not able to playback the script involving a YUI object using Selenium IDE, Do I need to use CCS Selector? Can you please guide me with an example

  2. Hi,

    I did the same as your guide. However, I always receive message “Class PHPUnit_Extensions_SeleniumTestCase could not be found in Example.php”.

    I have still stuck with it. Please help me asap.

    Thanks so much for your time.

  3. Its probable that some of the phpunit files didn’t get copied, ‘SeleniumTestCase.php’ here. Why don’t you try a manual install.

    Got to ‘’ and download version 3.0.0 from there. Extract them and copy the files to your PHPUnit directory which must be located in your PHP includes path. Make sure you make a backup copy of your original PHPUnit directory first.

  4. Hey;
    found your article very good; I was wondering if you can tell if it’s not possible to call a local host ( in HTTP mode to launch Selenium test instead of manual command prompt calls?

  5. When I run phpunit Example

    I get this message

    RuntimeException: Could not connect to the Selenium RC server.

    Do you know why it is ?

  6. Are you using Windows. If yes then which version; is the Windows personal firewall turned on? It could be blocking port 4444.

  7. I am using Windows xp and firewall was turned on and I gave the allow option when the pop up asked to allow or block..

  8. Could you please demonstrate with an example where selenium. can we test .NET application with selenium. I really wanted to for .NET application selenium RC can be used or not?

  9. Thanks sameer, the links were really very helpful. Hope to see some more blogs on selenium from you.

  10. Your blog is very useful to learn the testing.

    But when I followed same steps I’m facing error as below:

    (at server side)
    14:48:07.057 WARN – GET /selenium-server/driver/?cmd=getNewBrowserSession&1=%2Ac
    hrome& HTTP/1.0
    java.lang.RuntimeException: Firefox refused shutdown while preparing a profile
    at org.openqa.selenium.server.browserlaunchers.FirefoxChromeLauncher.wai
    at org.openqa.selenium.server.browserlaunchers.FirefoxChromeLauncher.lau
    at org.openqa.selenium.server.browserlaunchers.FirefoxChromeLauncher.lau
    at org.openqa.selenium.server.BrowserSessionFactory.createNewRemoteSessi
    at org.openqa.selenium.server.BrowserSessionFactory.getNewBrowserSession
    at org.openqa.selenium.server.BrowserSessionFactory.getNewBrowserSession
    at org.openqa.selenium.server.SeleniumDriverResourceHandler.getNewBrowse
    at org.openqa.selenium.server.SeleniumDriverResourceHandler.doCommand(Se
    at org.openqa.selenium.server.SeleniumDriverResourceHandler.handleComman
    at org.openqa.selenium.server.SeleniumDriverResourceHandler.handle(Selen
    at org.mortbay.http.HttpContext.handle(
    at org.mortbay.http.HttpContext.handle(
    at org.mortbay.http.HttpServer.service(
    at org.mortbay.http.HttpConnection.service(
    at org.mortbay.http.HttpConnection.handleNext(
    at org.mortbay.http.HttpConnection.handle(
    at org.mortbay.http.SocketListener.handleConnection(
    at org.mortbay.util.ThreadedServer.handle(
    at org.mortbay.util.ThreadPool$
    Caused by: org.openqa.selenium.server.browserlaunchers.FirefoxChromeLauncher$Fil
    eLockRemainedException: Lock file still present! C:\DOCUME~1\LOCALS~1\Te
    at org.openqa.selenium.server.browserlaunchers.FirefoxChromeLauncher.wai
    at org.openqa.selenium.server.browserlaunchers.FirefoxChromeLauncher.wai
    … 18 more

    (and at client side)

    PHPUnit 3.2.15 by Sebastian Bergmann.


    Time: 23 seconds

    There was 1 error:

    1) testMyTestCase(Donation1FF)
    RuntimeException: Could not connect to the Selenium RC server.

    Tests: 1, Errors: 1.

    ie it looks like it is having problem with creating firefox profile…
    So guide me to solve this problem

  11. Instead of using Firefox try IE.



    to this:


  12. very informative,,waiting for the next part,,do try to include a brief regarding few important selenium commands and the rollup rules,,keep it up,,

  13. Hi Sameer,

    I’m hoping you could help me on this.

    I’m new to selenium IDE, I tried following your sample for the tutorial part 2. Every time I try to run an IDE test i get the following error:
    [error] Element xpath=/html/body[@id=’index’]/div[@id=’doc3′]/div[@id=’bd’]/div[@id=’yui-main’]/div[@id=’content’]/h3/a/em[1] not found
    And, for that I wasn’t able to proceed for the .php stuff.

    I hope to get an answer from you.

    Thanks in advance.

  14. Well delicious has made some minor changes to their site since this post was written, so the previous xpath no longer works. Here is a new xpath for the same.


    I’ve also changed the source in the post, so you can also download it from there.

  15. Hi Sameer,

    Thanks for responding, I appreciate it. I will try the new xpath and let you know how I go with it.


  16. Hi sameer

    your Blog information is very useful to all. i would like to ask one question. i hope u will suggest me a good solution. how to use while loop in selenium test runner functional test tool.

  17. Hi,

    I wrote test case to click on download button. How to go to download confirmation pop up window and select save or open option, and click ok and come back to main window. I am using selenium-java client for web test automation.


  18. I am trying to Run Selenium RC on Windows Win 7 but I am getting error. Steps followed by me are written below:

    1. Installed Selenium IDE.

    2. Record a test case and Exported as “PHP selanium RC”

    3. Open it in notepad and get following code:

    a. Code [Filename is “Example.php”]


    function testMyTestCase()
    $this->type(“homepage-searchinput”, “selenium”);

    b. Replaced “$this->setBrowser(“*chrome”);” with

    “$this->setBrowser(“*iexplore C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe”);”

    c. Save and close it.

    4. Installed Java

    5. Downloaded Selenium RC and Run Selenium RC server by using “java -jar selenium-server.jar” command on command prompt and minimized it.

    6. Installed PHP.

    7. Copied and pasted the “Example.php” file in “C:\wamp\bin\php\php5.2.8” folder

    8. Open another cmd window and wrote cd C:\wamp\bin\php\php5.2.8

    9. Run the command phpunit Example

    10. I have noticed that Internet explorer was opened and nothing was happened after that.

    10. Error recieved by me on my command prompt:

    C:\wamp\bin\php\php5.2.8>phpunit Example
    PHPUnit 3.3.17 by Sebastian Bergmann.


    Time: 02:00

    There was 1 error:

    1) testMyTestCase
    RuntimeException: Could not connect to the Selenium RC server.

    Tests: 1, Assertions: 0, Errors: 1.

  19. Hi Sameer,

    Its working fine now

    1. I just replaced following code as suggested by you:

    2. Replaced chrome by “iexplore”

    Its working great 🙂

    But still not working with chrome and firefox.

  20. Hi Sameer, Good work on the tutorials .. thank you — definitely getsa newbie started…

    Was curious to know how i could test forms, with a huge data set ?

    any pointers…


  21. Well you could create the basic test structure with the Selenium Ide and then use the RC server and PHP to unserialize test data sets from a file and again serialize results back.

  22. I am new to use selenium. I want to do data driven test for a form with some data set in IDE. Canyou please help for the same?Can we do it in selenium IDE?

  23. The best way to design data driven tests is to use Selenium IDE along with Selenium RC server and PHP. Design your tests with the IDE, export the generated PHP code, and use it with PHP and the RC Server

  24. Hi sameer,

    I am trying to execute selenium RC in ubuntu , so i have fetch a problem for phpunit Example case not executed. I have doing whole procedure as you told above.

    Please told me ,ASAP.

  25. swami@swami-laptop:/etc/php5$ phpunit Example
    PHP Warning: Module ‘mysql’ already loaded in Unknown on line 0
    PHPUnit 3.4.2 by Sebastian Bergmann.


    Time: 0 seconds

    There was 1 error:

    1) Example::testMyTestCase
    PHPUnit_Framework_Exception: Could not connect to the Selenium RC server.

    Tests: 1, Assertions: 0, Errors: 1.

  26. Sameer,

    Thanks for the tutorial you have provided.

    I am using the selenium + php + bromine. I just started to do this. and while im doing the record from IDE and export it as php- selenium, mainly the code contains,

    function testMyTestCase()
    //the steps that recorded in IDE


    So what is the method to break the single function to different function? i mean is it possible to call different functions inside this main function?

    Also in case of login check of a website say example, We need to check all the incorrect user-name and password also. So if we need to check 5 combination of username and password, then need to repeat all the steps again/?

    Actually i have stucked in initial stage itself…

  27. Thanks sameer for the post..

    Can you give me an example to handle the datadriven using php?? Like data can use from csv…???

  28. You can add support functions to your test case, for example:

    public function myFunction()
    // return someThing

    function testMyTestCase()
    $data = $this->myFunction();
    // the steps that recorded in IDE

  29. Thank you for the quick reply…

    I really want a start up examples to write the coding on selenium. Can you provide me some examples?? then it will be great.

    AI really don’t know the steps to follow in standard way if i am writing the code.

    or is there any tutorials to let me do the example coding on selenium

  30. Sameer,

    Thanks for the help sameer. I just started. Initially started to do on IDE and then later it will become a routine and will learn coding.

    Now i stucked like if i ever used the $this->waitForPageToLoad(“30000”);, its showing time out error while running the test case.

    Evertime its showing in red color, timeout….I tried to just increased tye number. But i think its not related to that…Di u have any idea regarding that????


  31. Hello there, I am using Selenium and want to find out how to use it to open and attach a file command. Is there one such command?

    current my code is using open command for edit-field-student-file-decree-0-filefield-upload. To upload a file. But it does not open a file. Any suggestions.


  32. I’ve used the following sample Selenium IDE html to upload a file.

    New Test
    open /selenium/index.php
    type uploadFile C:\Program Files\ Mozilla Firefox\application.ini
    clickAndWait mysubmit

    ‘uploadFile’ is the name of the file input box.

    You can duplicate the command and see if it works on your browser.
    I’m using Firefox 3.5.5.

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