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Test localhost and staging websites that are not publicly accessible

BrowserStack can integrate with test suites pointing to your localhost URL, staging environment, and even websites behind one or more proxies/firewalls. This is done using BrowserStack Local - a tunneling feature that establishes a secure connection between your machine and the BrowserStack Cloud.

Select your integration method

  • Automatic (Browserstack SDK)
    Plug-n-play solution that takes care of all the integration steps for you
  • Manual (Language bindings)
    Start and stop the BrowserStack Local tunnel within your test suite manually

Prerequisites

Configuring BrowserStack Local

Once you have installed the BrowserStack SDK, ensure the browserstackLocal parameter is set to true in your browserstack.yml config file. You can now test your private websites on BrowserStack.

browserstack.yml
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Check BrowserStack Local connectivity

Run this sample test to check if BrowserStack Local is working as expected and can connect to BrowserStack servers.

Clone sample git repository

Clone the sample junit-browserstack repository using the following command:

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Set BrowserStack credentials

Set userName and accessKey in the browserstack.yml config file. Skip this step if you have already set credentials as environment variables.

browserstack.yml
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Execute build on BrowserStack

From the junit-5 directory of this project, run the following command:

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If the status check fails, refer to the sections below for additional configuration that may be needed.

Additional configuration

BrowserStack Local works out of the box in most cases, but depending on the URL being tested and your network setup, additional configuration may be needed. Here are the most frequently occurring scenarios:

The URL being tested is accessible from the internet but serves different content within your internal network.

This is common with staging environments set up as sub-domains and configured to work only in your private/VPN network. In this case, add the following entry in your browserstack.yml file.

browserstack.yml
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The forceLocal capability will resolve all network traffic through the BrowserStack Local tunnel.

Testing on Safari and iOS devices

When testing localhost on Safari desktop browsers and iOS real devices, your automation scripts Get URL / Open URL commands are rewritten to bs-local.com. This is a necessary action due to circumventing Safari browser behaviors and limitations. Read more about it here.

Potential impact on your test scripts

If your application is not honoring relative URLs and explicitly refers to localhost from a config file for example. In this case, we recommend honoring relative URLs in your web application as a best practice; or handling this case as you deem fit.

Bypass invalid certificate browser warnings

To avoid invalid certificate errors while testing on our remote browsers, set the acceptInsecureCerts capability at the root level in your browserstack.yml file.

browserstack.yml
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Advanced use-cases and troubleshooting

For restricted networks and troubleshooting, refer the following articles:

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