Skip to main content
Version: 1.23

Continuous Integration

Playwright tests can be executed in CI environments. We have created sample configurations for common CI providers.


3 steps to get your tests running on CI:

  1. Ensure CI agent can run browsers: Use our Docker image in Linux agents or install your dependencies using the CLI.

  2. Install Playwright:

    pwsh bin\Debug\netX\playwright.ps1 install --with-deps
  3. Run your tests:

CI configurations

The Command line tools can be used to install all operating system dependencies on GitHub Actions.

GitHub Actions

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

GitHub Actions on deployment

This will start the tests after a GitHub Deployment went into the success state. Services like Vercel use this pattern so you can run your end-to-end tests on their deployed environment.

name: Playwright Tests
timeout-minutes: 60
runs-on: ubuntu-latest
if: github.event.deployment_status.state == 'success'
- uses: actions/checkout@v2
- uses: actions/setup-node@v2
node-version: '14.x'
- name: Install dependencies
run: npm ci
- name: Install Playwright
run: npx playwright install --with-deps
- name: Run Playwright tests
run: npm run test:e2e
# This might depend on your test-runner/language binding
PLAYWRIGHT_TEST_BASE_URL: ${{ github.event.deployment_status.target_url }}


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. 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.
  2. Seeing other weird errors when launching Chromium? Try running your container with docker run --cap-add=SYS_ADMIN when developing locally.
  3. Using --init Docker flag or dumb-init is recommended to avoid special treatment for processes with PID=1. This is a common reason for zombie processes.

Azure Pipelines

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

For Linux agents, you can use our Docker container with Azure Pipelines support running containerized jobs. Alternatively, you can use Command line tools to install all necessary dependencies.

vmImage: 'ubuntu-20.04'




Running Playwright on CircleCI requires the following steps:

  1. Use the pre-built Docker image in your config like so:

    - image:
    NODE_ENV: development # Needed if playwright is in `devDependencies`
  2. If you’re using Playwright through Jest, then you may encounter an error spawning child processes:

    [00:00.0]  jest args: --e2e --spec --max-workers=36
    Error: spawn ENOMEM
    at ChildProcess.spawn (internal/child_process.js:394:11)

    This is likely caused by Jest autodetecting the number of processes on the entire machine (36) rather than the number allowed to your container (2). To fix this, set jest --maxWorkers=2 in your test command.


Jenkins supports Docker agents for pipelines. Use the Playwright Docker image to run tests on Jenkins.

pipeline {
agent { docker { image '' } }
stages {
stage('e2e-tests') {
steps {
sh 'npm install'
sh 'npm run test'

Bitbucket Pipelines

Bitbucket Pipelines can use public Docker images as build environments. To run Playwright tests on Bitbucket, use our public Docker image (see Dockerfile).


GitLab CI

To run Playwright tests on GitLab, use our public Docker image (see Dockerfile).

- test

stage: test

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 (Node-specific)

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 Playwright 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 managing browser binaries.
  3. Use npm ci (instead of npm install) which forces a clean install: by removing the existing node_modules directory. See npm docs.
  4. 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.

Running headed

By default, Playwright launches browsers in headless mode. This can be changed by passing a flag when the browser is launched.

using Microsoft.Playwright;

using var playwright = await Playwright.CreateAsync();
await playwright.Chromium.LaunchAsync(new BrowserTypeLaunchOptions
Headless = false

On Linux agents, headed execution requires Xvfb to be installed. Our Docker image and GitHub Action have Xvfb pre-installed. To run browsers in headed mode with Xvfb, add xvfb-run before the Node.js command.