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Selenium with Capybara

A guide to running Selenium Webdriver tests with Capybara on BrowserStack.

Note: Code samples in this guide can be found in the capybara-browserstack sample repo on GitHub.


BrowserStack gives you instant access to our Selenium Grid of 3000+ real devices and desktop browsers. Running your Selenium tests with Capybara on BrowserStack is simple. This guide will help you:

  1. Run your first test
  2. Integrating your tests with BrowserStack
  3. Mark tests as passed or failed
  4. Debug your app


  • You need to have BrowserStack Username and Access key, which you can find in your account settings. If you have not created an account yet, you can sign up for a Free Trial or purchase a plan.
  • Before you can start running your Selenium tests with Capybara, ensure you have the Capybara libraries installed:
     gem install capybara

Run your first test

Protip: Selenium 4 is now supported on BrowserStack. To use the Selenium 4 client bindings, modify your existing test scripts as follows:
  • Edit or add capabilities in the W3C format using our W3C capability generator.
  • Add the seleniumVersion capability in your test script and set the value to 4.0.0.

To run your first Capybara test on BrowserStack, follow the steps below:

  1. Clone the capybara-browserstack sample repo on GitHub using the following command:

    git clone
    cd capybara-browserstack
  2. Install the dependencies using bundle install
  3. Setup your credentials in the capybara-browserstack/config/single.config.yml file as shown below:

     server: ""
     user: "YOUR_USERNAME"
     key: "YOUR_ACCESS_KEY"
       "browserstack.debug": true
       "name": "Bstack-[Capybara] Sample Test"
         "browser": "chrome"
  4. Run your first test using the following command:
     bundle exec rake single
  5. You can visit BrowserStack Automate Dashboard and see your test there.
Protip: You can use our capability builder and select from a wide range of custom capabilities that BrowserStack supports.

Details of your first test

The sample test that you just ran can be found in capybara-browserstack/features/single.feature file. The test case below searches for the string “BrowserStack” on Google, and checks if the title of the resulting page is “BrowserStack - Google Search”:

# Google Steps
Given /^I am on (.*)$/ do |url|
  visit url

When /^I fill in "([^\"]*)" found by "([^\"]*)" with "([^\"]*)"$/ do |value, type, keys|
  fill_in(value, :with => keys)

When /^I submit$/ do

Then /^I should see title "([^\"]*)"$/ do |title|
  expect(page).to have_title title
# Google Feature
Feature: Google Search Functionality

  Given I am on

Scenario: Can find search results
  When I fill in "q" found by "name" with "BrowserStack"
  And I submit
  Then I should see title "BrowserStack - Google Search"

Integrating your tests with BrowserStack

The integration of your test with BrowserStack is working with the help of capybara-browserstack/features/support/browserstack.rb file which contains the methods to configure and create the connection with BrowserStack as shown below:

require 'yaml'
require 'selenium/webdriver'
require 'capybara/cucumber'
require 'browserstack/local'

# monkey patch to avoid reset sessions
class Capybara::Selenium::Driver < Capybara::Driver::Base
  def reset!
    if @browser'about:blank')

TASK_ID = (ENV['TASK_ID'] || 0).to_i

CONFIG = YAML.load(, "../../config/#{CONFIG_NAME}.config.yml")))

Capybara.register_driver :browserstack do |app|
  @caps = CONFIG['common_caps'].merge(CONFIG['browser_caps'][TASK_ID])

  # Code to start browserstack local before start of test
  if @caps['browserstack.local'] && @caps['browserstack.local'].to_s == 'true';
    @bs_local =
    bs_local_args = {"key" => "#{CONFIG['key']}"}
    :browser => :remote,
    :url => "https://#{CONFIG['user']}:#{CONFIG['key']}@#{CONFIG['server']}/wd/hub",
    :desired_capabilities => @caps

Capybara.default_driver = :browserstack

# Code to stop browserstack local after end of test
at_exit do
  @bs_local.stop unless @bs_local.nil?

Mark tests as passed or failed

BrowserStack provides a comprehensive REST API to access and update information about your tests. Shown below is a sample code snippet which allows you to mark your tests as ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ based on the assertions in your Capybara test cases.

require 'rest_client'
RestClient.put '<session-id>.json', {"status"=>"<passed/failed>", "reason"=>"<Your reason goes here>"}, {:content_type => :json}

It is suggested to include the above REST API call in the After hook of your tests based on the status of your assertions. You can find the full reference to our REST API.

Debug your app

BrowserStack provides a range of debugging tools to help you quickly identify and fix bugs you discover through your automated tests.

Text logs

Text Logs are a comprehensive record of your test. They are used to identify all the steps executed in the test and troubleshoot errors for the failed step. Text Logs are accessible from the Automate dashboard or via our REST API.

Visual logs

Visual Logs automatically capture the screenshots generated at every Selenium command run through your Capybara tests. Visual Logs help with debugging the exact step and the page where failure occurred. They also help identify any layout or design related issues with your web pages on different browsers.

Visual Logs are disabled by default. In order to enable Visual Logs you will need to set browserstack.debug capability to true.

caps =
caps["browserstack.debug"] = "true"

Sample Visual Logs from Automate Dashboard: BrowserStack Automate Visual Logs

Video recording

Every test run on the BrowserStack Selenium grid is recorded exactly as it is executed on our remote machine. This feature is particularly helpful whenever a browser test fails. You can access videos from Automate Dashboard for each session. You can also download the videos from the Dashboard or retrieve a link to download the video using our REST API.

Note: Video recording increases test execution time slightly. You can disable this feature by setting the capability to false.
caps =
caps[""] = "false"

In addition to these logs BrowserStack also provides Raw Logs, Network Logs, Console Logs, Selenium Logs, Appium Logs and Interactive session. You can find the complete details to enable all the debugging options.

Next steps

Once you have successfully run your first test on BrowserStack, you might want to do one of the following:

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