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Setup GitHub Actions for Python Automation within CI/CD Pipeline

This article will cover client-side testing interactions with TestProject, pytest, and run it inside of GitHub actions. If your GitHub repo is public, this will be 100% free. This is great for learning TestProject, running integration testing on your side projects. If you need the security of running your actions from a private repo, GitHub offers a very generous amount of free minutes https://github.com/features/actions#pricing-details.

GitHub Repo Cards

I chose to start with the GitHub repos as they seemed a bit more straightforward, and it’s been a while since I have done any Selenium.

waylonwalker.com has his favorite repositories pinned to the top of the website. The information for these cards is dynamic and pulled in from the GitHub API client side. This means that as the pages load, JavaScript will execute scripts to pull information from the GitHub API, then transform that data into the DOM, and render it on the page. Here is what the GitHub repo cards look like:

GitHub Repo Cards

Get Your Keys

The first thing that you are going to need is a TP_DEV_TOKEN and TP_API_KEY. These will give TestProject access to your account to automatically post results to your reporting dashboard.

In your GitHub repo, go to settings>Secrets, or append settings/secrets to the URL to your repo, and add the tokens. This will give GitHub safe access to them without them being available to the public, contributors, log files, or anything.

Secrets in GitHub Repo

Setup Dev

To expedite development, I went ahead and set up a development environment in Digital Ocean. This step is optional, and everything can run from your local machine, or entirely from GitHub actions. I felt like setting up an Ubuntu Droplet in Digital Ocean gave me a very close to production feel that I could quickly iterate. This allowed me to get all of my tests working a bit quicker than just running them through GitHub, but being as similar as possible. This allowed me to learn the ins and outs of setting up TestProject without needing to do a full install every time GitHub actions ran.

❗ I am not going to go into full dev machine setup here, but you can read my setup notes here: https://waylonwalker.com/notes/new-machine-tpio.

Dev Setup


You can see all of the tests ran with Pytest on github.

I chose to go down the route of using Pytest. I liked the idea of utilizing fixtures, automatically running my test functions, and using a bit of the pytest reporting capabilities as I was developing (TestProject does not need to run through a test framework like pytest).

❗ NOTE: per pytest standard practice, I named the directory containing tests tests. While this works, TestProject.io uses this directory as the default name for the project. If I were to go back, I would either rename the directory to what I wanted to show up on TestProject.io or configure the project name inside the config.


You can see the conftest.py live on GitHub.

conftest.py is common to place fixtures that are used by multiple modules. Pytest automatically imports all conftest.py modules from the same directory that you are working from. This is a great place to include TestProject driver fixtures. Note that when you use a fixture as an argument in another function, the fixture will do setup, pass anything from the yield statement to the test function, run the test function, then run teardown.

conftest.py stores fixtures for all modules in a directory.

# tests/conftest.py

import time
import pytest
from src.TestProject.sdk.drivers import web driver

def driver():
    "creates a webdriver and loads the homepage"
    driver = webdriver.Chrome()
    yield driver

The above sample is a bit simplified. I ran into some inconsistencies in the real version and found that some tests had a better pass rate if I added a time.sleep statement. In my full project, I ended up with a driver and a slow_driver fixture. This allowed me to have a driver that waited for JavaScript to execute just a bit longer.


The full version of testrepos.py is available on GitHub.

I have initially set up three different tests for the repo cards. I set a list of repos that I expect to show up in the cards. These tests are quite easy to do with TestProject.io as it uses Selenium and a headless browser to execute JavaScript under the hood. The REPOS area created as a global list here and can easily be refactored into a config file if the time ever comes that they need to be.

If you are not familiar, a headless browser runs the engine as your browser without a graphical user interface. JavaScript gets fully loaded and parsed, and the dom is completely interactive programmatically.

Read through the docstrings of each function as it describes what happens at each step.

Test that GitHub repo data dynamically loads the client-side.


def test_repos_loaded(slow_driver):
    Test that each repo-name exists as a title in one of the repo cards.

    On waylonwalker.com repo cards have a title with a class of "repo-name"
    repos = slow_driver.find_elements_by_class_name("repo-name")
    # get innertext from elements
    header_text = [
        header.text for header in repos
    for repo in REPOS:
        assert repo in header_text

def test_repo_description_loaded(slow_driver):
    Test that each repo has a description longer than 10 characters

    On waylonwalker.com repo cards have a descriptiion with a class of "repo-description"
    repo_elements = slow_driver.find_elements_by_class_name("repo")
    for el in repo_elements:
        desc = el.find_element_by_class_name("repo-description")
        assert len(desc.text) > 10

def test_repo_stars_loaded(slow_driver):
    Ensure that stars are correctly parsed from the API and loaded client-side

    On waylonwalker.com repo cards have a stars element with a class of "repo-stars" and
    is displayed as "n stars"
    repo_elements = slow_driver.find_elements_by_class_name("repo")
    for el in repo_elements:
        stars = el.find_element_by_class_name("repo-stars")
        num_stars, label = stars.text.split()
        assert int(num_stars) > 0
        assert label == 'stars'


I was a bit confused about how to set up TestProject.io inside of actions. The TestProject forum welcomed me with a prompt response linking to the exact example I needed. The example was written in Java but had set up the docker-compose steps that I needed.

GitHub Actions


Now that I have my GitHub repo setup with my tests successfully running in Pytest, let’s get it running inside of GitHub actions automatically.

Actions are GitHub’s solution to CI/CD. It allows you to execute code within a virtual machine managed by GitHub that can get extra information from your repo, such as secrets, which we set up at the beginning. What gets ran, how it gets ran, and when it gets ran are all configured inside of a yaml file.

# .github/workflows/test-waylonwalker-com.yml
name: Test WaylonWalker.com

# Controls when the action will run. Triggers the workflow on push or pull request
# events but only for the master branch
    branches: [ main ]
    branches: [ main ]
    - cron: '*/10 * * * *'

You can see in the section above I have set up to run every time there is a push to or pull request open to main. I also set a reasonably aggressive test schedule to run every 10 minutes. This is just to build confidence in the tests and get more data in the reports to explore. I will likely turn this down later.

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest

    - uses: actions/checkout@main
    - uses: actions/setup-python@v2
        python-version: '3.8'
    - run: pip install -r requirements.txt
    - name: Run TestProject Agent
        TP_API_KEY: ${{ secrets.TP_API_KEY }} # < Let Secrets handle your keys
      run: |
        envsubst < .github/ci/docker-compose.yml > docker-compose.yml
        cat docker-compose.yml
        docker-compose -f docker-compose.yml up -d
    - name: Wait for Agent to Register
      run: bash .github/ci/wait_for_agent.sh
    - run: pytest
        TP_DEV_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.TP_DEV_TOKEN }} # < Let Secrets handle your tokens
        TP_AGENT_URL: http://localhost:8585

In the test job, you can see that I have decided to run the test job on ubuntu-latest. The first three steps are a bit of boilerplate to checkout the repo, setup python 3.8, and pip install our requirements.txt. Next, the TP_API_KEY has been rendered into the docker-compose.yml using envsubstdocker-compose has been started, and waited for the agent to be ready. I have also exposed our TP_DEV_TOKEN to pytest and ran pytest.


The following docker-compose.yml file was graciously contributed by Vitaly Bukhovsky (One of TestProject’s Co-Founders and Chief Security Officer) in the testproject-io/java-sdk repo. It sets up a template with the TP_API_KEY as a variable for envsubst, headless browsers for chrome and firefox, and the TestProject.io agent.

version: "3.1"
    image: testproject/agent:latest
    container_name: testproject-agent
      - chrome
      - firefox
      TP_API_KEY: "${TP_API_KEY}"
      TP_AGENT_TEMP: "true"
      TP_SDK_PORT: "8686"
      CHROME: "chrome:4444"
      CHROME_EXT: "localhost:5555"
      FIREFOX: "firefox:4444"
      FIREFOX_EXT: "localhost:6666"
    - "8585:8585"
    - "8686:8686"
    image: selenium/standalone-chrome
      - /dev/shm:/dev/shm
    - "5555:4444"
    image: selenium/standalone-firefox
      - /dev/shm:/dev/shm
    - "6666:4444"

Waiting for the Agent to Register

wait for agent.sh

I think the most interesting part of the workflow above is how we wait for the agent to register. The shell script is a bit terse. It looks for exceeding the max_attempts allowed or that the agent has started by using its /api/status rest API. This prevents us from wasting too much time by setting a big wait or trying to move on too early and running pytest without a running agent.

trap 'kill $(jobs -p)' EXIT
mkdir -p build/reports/agent
docker-compose -f docker-compose.yml logs -f | tee build/reports/agent/log.txt&
until curl -s http://localhost:8585/api/status | jq '.registered' | grep true; do
    if [ ${attempt_counter} -eq ${max_attempts} ]; then
    echo "Agent failed to register. Terminating..."
    exit 1
    sleep 1

TestProject Reporting Dashboard

Once the tests are running, they will appear in the TestProject dashboard. There are several failures that happened early on in the development of the tests, but they continued to pass once they started passing.

TestProject Reporting Dashboard

A Single Test Flow in the Dashboard

The reporting dashboard lets you drill in to see individual tests that have been run, select them, and examine individual reports for each test. It automatically converts the steps ran by the driver into a human-readable flowchart, and each step can be opened up to see the values that were pulled from the site by the driver.

TestProject Test Flow in Reporting Dashboard

You can read more about the TestProject reporting dashboards in the following links:

This tutorial was created by Waylon Walker and based on his article: Integration testing with Python, TestProject.io, and GitHub Actions.

Happy Testing! 🐍😉

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