Version: 1.1.0

Continuous Integration

Playwright tests can be executed to run on your CI environments. To simplify this, we have created sample configurations for common CI providers that can be used to bootstrap your setup.

Broadly, configuration on CI involves ensuring system dependencies are in place, installing Playwright and browsers (typically with npm install), and running tests (typically with npm test). Windows and macOS build agents do not require any additional system dependencies. Linux build agents can require additional dependencies, depending on the Linux distribution.

CI configurations#

GitHub Actions#

The Playwright GitHub Action can be used to run Playwright tests on GitHub Actions.

- uses: microsoft/playwright-github-action@v1
- name: Run your tests
run: npm test

We run our tests on GitHub Actions, across a matrix of 3 platforms (Windows, Linux, macOS) and 3 browsers (Chromium, Firefox, WebKit).


We have a pre-built Docker image which can either be used directly, or as a reference to update your existing Docker definitions.

Suggested configuration

  1. By default, Docker runs a container with a /dev/shm shared memory space 64MB. This is typically too small for Chromium and will cause Chromium to crash when rendering large pages. To fix, run the container with docker run --shm-size=1gb to increase the size of /dev/shm. Since Chromium 65, this is no longer necessary. Instead, launch the browser with the --disable-dev-shm-usage flag:

    const browser = await playwright.chromium.launch({
    args: ['--disable-dev-shm-usage']

    This will write shared memory files into /tmp instead of /dev/shm. See for more details.

  2. Using --ipc=host is also recommended when using Chromium—without it Chromium can run out of memory and crash. Learn more about this option in Docker docs.

  3. Seeing other weird errors when launching Chromium? Try running your container with docker run --cap-add=SYS_ADMIN when developing locally. Since the Dockerfile adds a pwuser user as a non-privileged user, it may not have all the necessary privileges.

  4. dumb-init is worth checking out if you're experiencing a lot of zombies Chromium processes sticking around. There's special treatment for processes with PID=1, which makes it hard to terminate Chromium properly in some cases (e.g. in Docker).

Azure Pipelines#

For Windows or macOS agents, no additional configuration required, just install Playwright and run your tests.

For Linux agents, refer to our Docker setup to see additional dependencies that need to be installed.

Caching browsers#

By default, Playwright downloads browser binaries when the Playwright NPM package is installed. The NPM packages have a postinstall hook that downloads the browser binaries. This behavior can be customized with environment variables.

Caching browsers on CI is strictly optional: The postinstall hooks should execute and download the browser binaries on every run.

Exception: node_modules are cached#

Most CI providers cache the npm-cache directory (located at $HOME/.npm). If your CI pipelines caches the node_modules directory and you run npm install (instead of npm ci), the default configuration will not work. This is because the npm install step will find the NPM package on disk, and not execute the postinstall step.

Travis CI automatically caches node_modules if your repo does not have a package-lock.json file.

This behavior can be fixed with one of the following approaches:

  1. Move to caching $HOME/.npm or the npm-cache directory. (This is the default behavior in most CI providers.)
  2. Set PLAYWRIGHT_BROWSERS_PATH=0 as the environment variable before running npm install. This will download the browser binaries in the node_modules directory and cache them with the package code. See installation docs.
  3. Cache the browser binaries, with the steps below.

Directories to cache#

With the default behavior, Playwright downloads the browser binaries in the following directories:

  • %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\ms-playwright on Windows
  • ~/Library/Caches/ms-playwright on MacOS
  • ~/.cache/ms-playwright on Linux

To cache the browser downloads between CI runs, cache this location in your CI configuration, against a hash of the Playwright version.

Debugging browser launches#

Playwright supports the DEBUG environment variable to output debug logs during execution. Setting it to pw:browser* is helpful while debugging Error: Failed to launch browser errors.

DEBUG=pw:browser* npm run test