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All versions of panther with dependencies

Informations about the package panther

A browser testing and web scraping library for PHP and Symfony

CI SymfonyInsight

Panther is a convenient standalone library to scrape websites and to run end-to-end tests using real browsers.

Panther is super powerful. It leverages the W3C's WebDriver protocol to drive native web browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox.

Panther is very easy to use, because it implements Symfony's popular BrowserKit and DomCrawler APIs, and contains all the features you need to test your apps. It will sound familiar if you have ever created a functional test for a Symfony app: as the API is exactly the same! Keep in mind that Panther can be used in every PHP project, as it is a standalone library.

Panther automatically finds your local installation of Chrome or Firefox and launches them, so you don't need to install anything else on your computer, a Selenium server is not needed!

In test mode, Panther automatically starts your application using the PHP built-in web-server. You can focus on writing your tests or web-scraping scenario and Panther will take care of everything else.


Unlike testing and web scraping libraries you're used to, Panther:


Installing Panther

Use Composer to install Panther in your project. You may want to use the --dev flag if you want to use Panther for testing only and not for web scraping in a production environment:

composer req symfony/panther

composer req --dev symfony/panther

Installing ChromeDriver and geckodriver

Panther uses the WebDriver protocol to control the browser used to crawl websites.

On all systems, you can use dbrekelmans/browser-driver-installer to install ChromeDriver and geckodriver locally:

composer require --dev dbrekelmans/bdi
vendor/bin/bdi detect drivers

Panther will detect and use automatically drivers stored in the drivers/ directory.

Alternatively, you can use the package manager of your operating system to install them.

On Ubuntu, run:

apt-get install chromium-chromedriver firefox-geckodriver

On Mac, using Homebrew:

brew install chromedriver geckodriver

On Windows, using chocolatey:

choco install chromedriver selenium-gecko-driver

Finally, you can download manually ChromeDriver (for Chromium or Chrome) and GeckoDriver (for Firefox) and put them anywhere in your PATH or in the drivers/ directory of your project.

Registering the PHPUnit Extension

If you intend to use Panther to test your application, we strongly recommend registering the Panther PHPUnit extension. While not strictly mandatory, this extension dramatically improves the testing experience by boosting the performance and allowing to use the interactive debugging mode.

When using the extension in conjunction with the PANTHER_ERROR_SCREENSHOT_DIR environment variable, tests using the Panther client that fail or error (after the client is created) will automatically get a screenshot taken to help debugging.

To register the Panther extension, add the following lines to phpunit.xml.dist:

Without the extension, the web server used by Panther to serve the application under test is started on demand and stopped when tearDownAfterClass() is called. On the other hand, when the extension is registered, the web server will be stopped only after the very last test.

Basic Usage

Testing Usage

The PantherTestCase class allows you to easily write E2E tests. It automatically starts your app using the built-in PHP web server and let you crawl it using Panther. To provide all the testing tools you're used to, it extends PHPUnit's TestCase.

If you are testing a Symfony application, PantherTestCase automatically extends the WebTestCase class. It means you can easily create functional tests, which can directly execute the kernel of your application and access all your existing services. In this case, you can use all crawler test assertions provided by Symfony with Panther.

To run this test:

bin/phpunit tests/E2eTest.php

A Polymorphic Feline

Panther also gives you instant access to other BrowserKit-based implementations of Client and Crawler. Unlike Panther's native client, these alternative clients don't support JavaScript, CSS and screenshot capturing, but they are super-fast!

Two alternative clients are available:

The fun part is that the 3 clients implement the exact same API, so you can switch from one to another just by calling the appropriate factory method, resulting in a good trade-off for every single test case (Do I need JavaScript? Do I need to authenticate with an external SSO server? Do I want to access the kernel of the current request? ... etc).

Here is how to retrieve instances of these clients:

Creating Isolated Browsers to Test Apps Using Mercure or WebSocket

Panther provides a convenient way to test applications with real-time capabilities which use Mercure, WebSocket and similar technologies.

PantherTestCase::createAdditionalPantherClient() creates additional, isolated browsers which can interact with each other. For instance, this can be useful to test a chat application having several users connected simultaneously:

Accessing Browser Console Logs

If needed, you can use Panther to access the content of the console:

Passing Arguments to ChromeDriver

If needed, you can configure the arguments to pass to the chromedriver binary:

Checking the State of the WebDriver Connection

Use the Client::ping() method to check if the WebDriver connection is still active (useful for long-running tasks).

Additional Documentation

Since Panther implements the API of popular libraries, it already has an extensive documentation:

Environment Variables

The following environment variables can be set to change some Panther's behaviour:

Changing the Hostname and Port of the Built-in Web Server

If you want to change the host and/or the port used by the built-in web server, pass the hostname and port to the $options parameter of the createPantherClient() method:

Chrome-specific Environment Variables

Firefox-specific Environment Variables

Accessing To Hidden Text

According to the spec, WebDriver implementations return only the displayed text by default. When you filter on a head tag (like title), the method text() returns an empty string. Use the method html() to get the complete contents of the tag, including the tag itself.

Interactive Mode

Panther can make a pause in your tests suites after a failure. It is a break time really appreciated for investigating the problem through the web browser. For enabling this mode, you need the --debug PHPUnit option without the headless mode:

$ PANTHER_NO_HEADLESS=1 bin/phpunit --debug

Test 'App\AdminTest::testLogin' started
Error: something is wrong.

Press enter to continue...

To use the interactive mode, the PHPUnit extension must be registered.

Using an External Web Server

Sometimes, it's convenient to reuse an existing web server configuration instead of starting the built-in PHP one. To do so, set the external_base_uri option:

Having a Multi-domain Application

It happens that your PHP/Symfony application might serve several different domain names.

As Panther saves the Client in memory between tests to improve performances, you will have to run your tests in separate processes if you write several tests using Panther for different domain names.

To do so, you can use the native @runInSeparateProcess PHPUnit annotation.

ℹ Note: it is really convenient to use the external_base_uri option and start your own webserver in the background, because Panther will not have to start and stop your server on each test. Symfony CLI can be a quick and easy way to do so.

Here is an example using the external_base_uri option to determine the domain name used by the Client:

Using a Proxy

To use a proxy server, set the following environment variable: PANTHER_CHROME_ARGUMENTS='--proxy-server=socks://'

Accepting Self-signed SSL Certificates

To force Chrome to accept invalid and self-signed certificates, set the following environment variable: PANTHER_CHROME_ARGUMENTS='--ignore-certificate-errors' This option is insecure, use it only for testing in development environments, never in production (e.g. for web crawlers).

For Firefox, instantiate the client like this:

Docker Integration

Here is a minimal Docker image that can run Panther with both Chrome and Firefox:

Build it with docker build . -t myproject Run it with docker run -it -v "$PWD":/srv/myproject -w /srv/myproject myproject bin/phpunit

GitHub Actions Integration

Panther works out of the box with GitHub Actions. Here is a minimal .github/workflows/panther.yml file to run Panther tests:

Travis CI Integration

Panther will work out of the box with Travis CI if you add the Chrome addon. Here is a minimal .travis.yml file to run Panther tests:

Gitlab CI Integration

Here is a minimal .gitlab-ci.yml file to run Panther tests with Gitlab CI:

AppVeyor Integration

Panther will work out of the box with AppVeyor as long as Google Chrome is installed. Here is a minimal appveyor.yml file to run Panther tests:

Usage with Other Testing Tools

If you want to use Panther with other testing tools like LiipFunctionalTestBundle or if you just need to use a different base class, Panther has got you covered. It provides you with the Symfony\Component\Panther\PantherTestCaseTrait and you can use it to enhance your existing test-infrastructure with some Panther awesomeness:


The following features are not currently supported:

Pull Requests are welcome to fill the remaining gaps!

Save the Panthers

Many of the wild cat species are highly threatened. If you like this software, help save the (real) panthers by donating to the Panthera organization.


Created by Kévin Dunglas. Sponsored by

Panther is built on top of PHP WebDriver and several other FOSS libraries. It has been inspired by Nightwatch.js, a WebDriver-based testing tool for JavaScript.

Requires php Version >=8.0
ext-dom Version *
ext-libxml Version *
php-webdriver/webdriver Version ^1.8.2
symfony/browser-kit Version ^5.3 || ^6.0
symfony/dependency-injection Version ^5.3 || ^6.0
symfony/deprecation-contracts Version ^2.4 || ^3
symfony/dom-crawler Version ^5.3 || ^6.0
symfony/http-client Version ^5.3 || ^6.0
symfony/http-kernel Version ^5.3 || ^6.0
symfony/process Version ^5.3 || ^6.0

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