[Fixed] How can I run tests with a headless browser?



ng test

Angular CLI runs the tests by default in Chrome, which is great, but what if I need to run them in a console-only environment (headless browser)?

Also it would be nice if I can specify if I want browser-less or not each time I run it, so something like:

ng test --browsers MyHeadLessBrowser


running PhantomJS I got the following:

PhantomJS 2.1.1 (Linux 0.0.0) ERROR
TypeError: useValue,useFactory,data is not iterable!
at http://localhost:9876/_karma_webpack_/polyfills.bundle.js:854

eferenceError: Can’t find variable: Intl in http://localhost:9876/_karma_webpack_/vendor.bundle.js (line 49362)


As a more complete answer based on William Hampshire‘s one, Cuga‘s comment and my personal additions.

Short answer: using ChromeHeadless

You can just use Headless Chrome:

ng test --browsers ChromeHeadless

You need to have Chrome 59+.

But if you need PhantomJS (and/or chaning the default ng test behaviour with no arguments) read the following.

Longer answer: using PhantomJS

EDIT: Be aware that PhantomJS project has been archived, see this thread.


In order to be able to (optionally) run your tests without a browser, using PhantomJS, you should:

1) Install some dependencies:

npm install --save-dev karma-phantomjs-launcher
npm install --save intl

2) Add PhantomJS to the Karma’s plugin list

Open karma.conf.js and add require('karma-phantomjs-launcher') to the plugins array, for example:

module.exports = function (config) {
    basePath: '',
    frameworks: ['jasmine', '@angular/cli'],
    plugins: [
      // ...

3) Enable polyfills

Open your src/polyfills.ts file and uncomment the following lines:


import 'core-js/es6/symbol';
import 'core-js/es6/object';
import 'core-js/es6/function';
import 'core-js/es6/parse-int';
import 'core-js/es6/parse-float';
import 'core-js/es6/number';
import 'core-js/es6/math';
import 'core-js/es6/string';
import 'core-js/es6/date';
import 'core-js/es6/array';
import 'core-js/es6/regexp';
import 'core-js/es6/map';
import 'core-js/es6/weak-map';
import 'core-js/es6/set';


import 'intl';
import 'intl/locale-data/jsonp/en';

How to run the tests

Specifying the browsers when running the command

No you can either run the test using Chrome (the angular-cli default):

ng test --browsers Chrome

Or PhantomJS (headless):

ng test --browsers PhantomJS

Changing the default behaviour of just ng test

It is possible to change the default behaviour of ng test (so when no --browsers argument is provided) by changing the value of the browsers array in karma.conf.js.

It can now be set to just use Chrome (default angular-cli setup):

browsers: ['Chrome'],

or PhantomJS:

browsers: ['PhantomJS'],

or even both:

browsers: ['Chrome', 'PhantomJS'],

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