Browser Testing with Laravel Dusk in 5.4

Dusk is a new component in the newly released Laravel 5.4. It simplifies the way us developers can create acceptance tests, better known as browser testing. ​

Why you should have an interest in having browser tests

An ever growing amount of logic is being handed out to the browser these days. Back in the day we could write a full test suite for our PHP application and assume everything would work fine. We didn’t have client-side validation or ajax calls. A few years back JavaScript was there to assist us in improving functionality but now it’s defining it.

If assumed a full covering product solution, unit tests don’t cut it anymore.

Unit and feature tests will answer these kinds of questions for you:

  • Does my API return a valid JSON response?
  • Does my function format the data properly given the same input?
  • If I log in with a normal user, will he/she be able to visit admin pages?

However, if you test using a browser you can simulate an actual visitor on your project. This way, you’ll be able to ask questions like: ​

  • Given client-side validation, do the borders turn red?
  • Is my button being disabled when the form is submitted?
  • Will the purchase flow of a product generate JavaScript errors?

Using browser tests, you’ll know when something breaks if you upgrade jQuery for example. ​

How you can implement this

As just about everything with Laravel, the syntax is clear and logic easy to comprehend. I’ll discuss the steps below to create your first browser test. ​


This will be a brief description of the manual found at the offical documentation page of Laravel Dusk. I’ll assume you have a working Laravel installation set up. ​ To start, add laravel/dusk to your projects dependencies. ​

$ composer require laravel/dusk

​ When composer is done, add the ServiceProvider to your application’s configuration file. You’ll only want to do this locally and on a testing environment, there is no point on loading all the files when your application is running in production. ​ Open up the register method in the file AppServiceProvider.php

use Laravel\Dusk\DuskServiceProvider;

 * Register any application services.
 * @return void
public function register()
    if ($this->app->environment('local', 'testing')) {

​ Then, create all the required folders on disk using this command: ​

$ php artisan dusk:install

​ Make sure that your APP_URL is set correctly in your .env file. Mine is https://browsertest-test.app/. ​

Creating our first TestCase: User Login

You can use the command line generator to create a new Dusk test: ​

$ php artisan dusk:make LoginTest

​ It’s located in tests/Browser. The things I want to accomplish in this test are: ​

  • Create a user with email address test@jorijn.com
  • Test if I’m able to login using this newly made user
  • Delete the newly made user ​ Add this method to our new test file: ​
    public function testLogin()
      $user = factory(\App\User::class)->create([
          'email' => 'test@jorijn.com',
      $this->browse(function ($browser) use ($user) {
              ->type('email', $user->email)
              ->type('password', 'secret')

    ​ Now, run Dusk from the command line: ​

    $ php artisan dusk

    ​ ​ If everything is working you’ll now see a Chrome window open up that executes all your method commands automatically. ​ IMG_0060 ​ ​


    I wrote about doing these tests “headless” using PhantomJS.