Introducing Selenose

Selenose provides a set of Selenium related plugins for nose developed by ShiningPanda:

The use of these plugins is detailed bellow, but let's have a look on the installation process first.


On most UNIX-like systems, you'll probably need to run these commands as root or using sudo.

Install selenose using setuptools/distribute:

$ easy_install selenose

Or pip:

$ pip install selenose

It can take a while as Selenium server's jar is downloaded on the fly during installation.

Selenium Server Plugin

This plugin starts a Selenium Server before running tests, and stops it at the end of the tests.

To enable it, add --with-selenium-server to the nose command line:

$ nose --with-selenium-server

You can also add the with-selenium-server option under the nosetests section of the ~/nose.cfg:

with-selenium-server = true

Options for Selenium Server can be found by downloading its jar and typing:

$ java -jar /path/to/seleniumserver/libs/selenium-server-standalone-X.X.X.jar -h

Most common options are:

  • -port <nnnn>: the port number the Selenium Server should use (default 4444),
  • -log <logFileName>: writes lots of debug information out to a log file,
  • -debug: enable debug mode.

To set the server options, add a selenium-server section to the configuration file (setup.cfg, ~/.noserc or ~/nose.cfg). Option names are obtained by removing the initial dash, for instance to run:

$ java -jar selenium-server-standalone-X.X.X.jar -debug -log selenium-server.log

Add the following options to the configuration:

debug = true
log = selenium-server.log

In your test, just create a new Remote Web Driver calling the server and that's it:

import nose
import unittest

from selenium import webdriver

class TestCase(unittest.TestCase):

    def test(self):
        driver = webdriver.Remote(desired_capabilities=webdriver.DesiredCapabilities.FIREFOX)
            # Your test here...

if __name__ == '__main__':

Selenium Driver Plugin

This plugin provides a Selenium Web Driver to Selenium tests.

Flag Selenium tests

This plugin only provides Web Drivers to Selenium test. To declare a Selenium test:

  • Either make your test case inherit from selenose.cases.SeleniumTestCase,
  • Or set a enable_selenium_driver flag to True:
class TestCase(unittest.TestCase):
    enable_selenium_driver = True

Enable the plugin

To enable this plugin, add --with-selenium-driver on the nose command line:

$ nose --with-selenium-driver

You can also add the with-selenium-driver option under the nosetests section to the configuration file (setup.cfg, ~/.noserc or ~/nose.cfg):

with-selenium-driver = true

But enabling it is not enough, a Web Driver environment is also required.

Web Driver environment

An environment declares all the necessary parameters to create a new Web Driver.

To create a new environment sample, add a selenium-driver:sample section to the configuration file (setup.cfg, ~/.noserc or ~/nose.cfg) with at least one webdriver option:

webdriver = firefox

This webdriver option defines the Web Driver to use. Here are the available values:

`chrome` for [Chrome](, allowing the following options in configuration:

:   -   `executable_path` (optional): path to `chromedriver` executable,
    -   `port` (optional),
    -   `desired_capabilities` (optional),
`firefox` for [Firefox](, allowing the following options in configuration:

:   -   `timeout` (optional),
`ie` for [Internet Explorer](, allowing the following options in configuration:

:   -   `port` (optional),
    -   `timeout` (optional),
`remote` to delegate to a Selenium Server (started by [Selenium Server plugin](#selenium-server-plugin)?), allowing the following options in configuration:

:   -   `command_executor` (required): url of the server (`` by default),
    -   `desired_capabilities` (required): the desired browser, it could be the lower case field name of `selenium.webdriver.DesiredCapabilities` such as `firefox`, `htmlunitwithjs`\... or a comma separated key/value list such as `browserName=firefox,platform=ANY`.

To enable an environment, add --selenium-driver on the nose command line:

$ nose --with-selenium-driver --selenium-driver=sample

You can also add the selenium-driver option under the nosetests section to the configuration file (setup.cfg, ~/.noserc or ~/nose.cfg):

with-selenium-driver = true
selenium-driver = sample

webdriver = firefox

Selenose also provides a set of predefined but overridable environments:

webdriver = chrome

webdriver = ie

webdriver = firefox

webdriver = remote
desired_capabilities = htmlunit

webdriver = remote
desired_capabilities = htmlunitwithjs

webdriver = remote
desired_capabilities = opera

webdriver = remote
desired_capabilities = ...

Writing tests

The Web Driver is directly available with self.driver and there is no need to cleanup after use, selenose will do it for you:

import nose

from selenose.cases import SeleniumTestCase

class TestCase(SeleniumTestCase):

    def test(self):
        # Your test here...

if __name__ == '__main__':

Combining Server & Driver

To combine a Selenium Server and a Driver plugin, just enable them both: the command_executor option of the remote Web Driver will know the correct value to reach the Selenium Server.


When writing tests, it's convenient to start a Selenium Server manually to reduce setup time when running tests. To do so, execute:

$ selenium-server
Starting... done!

Quit the server with CONTROL-C.

Then type CONTROL-C or CTRL-BREAK to stop the server.