Laravel Dusk on Docker

July 02, 2022

I used Laravel Dusk quite a lot when it was first released. It was a great way to get started with automation testing. Taylor always takes very good care of the developer experience provided and I remember at the time it was quite a revolutionary way to manipulate Google Chrome with an easy syntax.

One drawback that I always had is that I could never really see the browser executing the actions I designed it to do. This is because I don't run PHP on my own machine. I run it on a Docker Container. I used to install google-chrome on an Alpine Linux container and use docker-compose to orchestrate it in such a way that Dusk could communicate with the Chrome Driver running on a Docker service.

When tests failed, all I had was the last screenshot that Dusk would take to represent the failed test. This wasn't great, but I was kinda new to tests and I could somewhat figure out where to go from there.

As time went by I distanced myself from Dusk and got into a lot more of PHPUnit testing. Recently one of my clients asked me to help out with setting up Dusk on a Docker-based infrastructure. However, he also wanted to be able to see the browser actions for easy local development. He pointed me to the following Laracasts post. I looked into the selenium/standalone-chrome image and I was baffled at how amazing it is.

First, it comes with Selenium & Google Chrome setup and ready for use. Second, it provides VNC as a webserver so that we can see what's going on with the browser running tests by simply navigating to localhost:7900. Lastly it's super easy to setup.

version: '3.8'
    image: selenium/standalone-chrome:4.3
      - /dev/shm:/dev/shm
      - "4444:4444"
      - "7900:7900"

This is all we need to add to a docker-compose file. Then we open DuskTestCase to do some small adjustments:

protected function driver()
    $server = 'http://selenium:4444';

    $options = (new ChromeOptions)->addArguments([

    $capabilities = DesiredCapabilities::chrome()
        ->setCapability(ChromeOptions::CAPABILITY, $options);

    return RemoteWebDriver::create(

Here we configure Dusk to connect to the Selenium container. After this, we can go to localhost:7900 and the VNC server running inside the Selenium container will ask us for an authentication. The default password is secret. Once that's done, we can run our Dusk Tests and it will play out on the VNC Server for us to watch what's going on with the tests.

This is such a game-changer if like me you run multiple projects, multiple PHP versions, multiple setups on the same machine. Because of this I always run everything inside Docker and the selenium/standalone-chrome image brought back the ability to watch out Google Chrome without sacrificing the ability to isolate projects with their own reproducible setup.

As always, hit me up on Twitter with any questions.