Continuous Integration

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What you’ll learn

  • How to run and record Cypress tests in Continuous Integration
  • How to configure and cache Cypress in CI
  • Strategies for booting your server in CI

Running Cypress in Continuous Integration is the same as running it locally. You generally only need to do two things:

  1. Install Cypress

    npm install cypress --save-dev
  2. Run Cypress

    cypress run

That’s it!

For more examples please read the Command Line documentation.

What is supported?

Cypress should run on all CI providers. We currently have seen Cypress working on the following services:

CI Provider Example Project Example Config
AppVeyor cypress-example-kitchensink appveyor.yml
BitBucket cypress-example-kitchensink bitbucket-pipelines.yml
BuildKite cypress-example-kitchensink .buildkite/pipeline.yml
CircleCI cypress-example-kitchensink circle.yml
CodeShip Basic (has cy.exec() issue)
CodeShip Pro cypress-example-docker-codeship
Docker cypress-docker-images
GitLab cypress-example-kitchensink .gitlab-ci.yml
Jenkins cypress-example-kitchensink Jenkinsfile
Shippable cypress-example-kitchensink shippable.yml
TravisCI cypress-example-kitchensink .travis.yml
VSTS CI / TeamFoundation cypress-example-kitchensink vsts-ci.yml

Setting up CI

Depending on which CI provider you use, you may need a config file. You’ll want to refer to your CI provider’s documentation to know where to add the commands to install and run Cypress. For more example config files check out any of our example apps.

Caching the Cypress binary

As of Cypress version 3.0, Cypress downloads its binary to the global system cache - on linux that is ~/.cache/Cypress. By ensuring this cache persists across builds you can shave minutes off install time by preventing a large binary download.

We recommend users:

  • Cache the ~/.cache folder after running npm install, yarn, npm ci or equivalents as demonstrated in the configs below.

  • Do not cache node_modules across builds. This bypasses more intelligent caching packaged with npm or yarn, and can cause issues with Cypress not downloading the Cypress binary on npm install.

  • If you are using npm install in your build process, consider switching to npm ci and caching the ~/.npm directory for a faster and more reliable build.

  • If you are using yarn, caching ~/.cache will include both the yarn and Cypress caches. Consider using yarn install --frozen-lockfile as an npm ci equivalent.


Example .travis.yml config file

language: node_js
  - 10
  npm: true
    - ~/.cache
  - npm ci
  - $(npm bin)/cypress run --record

Caching folders with npm modules saves a lot of time after the first build.


New Example CircleCI Orb

The Cypress CircleCI Orb is a piece of configuration set in your circle.yml file to correctly install, cache and run Cypress with very little effort.

Full documentation can be found at the cypress-io/circleci-orb repo.

A typical project can simply have:

version: 2.1
  cypress: cypress-io/[email protected]
      - cypress/run # "run" job comes from "cypress" orb

A more complex project that needs to install dependencies, build an application and run tests across 10 CI machines in parallel may have:

version: 2.1
  cypress: cypress-io/[email protected]
      - cypress/install:
          build: 'npm run build'  # run a custom app build step
      - cypress/run:
            - cypress/install
          record: true        # record results on Cypress Dashboard
          parallel: true      # split all specs across machines
          parallelism: 10     # use 10 CircleCI machines to finish quickly
          group: 'all tests'  # name this group "all tests" on the dashboard
          start: 'npm start'  # start server before running tests

In all cases, you are using run and install job definitions that Cypress provides inside the orb. Using the orb brings simplicity and static checks of parameters to CircleCI configuration.

You can find multiple examples at our examples page.

Example circle.yml v2 config file

version: 2
      - image: cypress/base:8
          ## this enables colors in the output
          TERM: xterm
    working_directory: ~/app
      - checkout
      - restore_cache:
            - v1-deps-{{ .Branch }}-{{ checksum "package.json" }}
            - v1-deps-{{ .Branch }}
            - v1-deps
      - run:
          name: Install Dependencies
          command: npm ci
      - save_cache:
          key: v1-deps-{{ .Branch }}-{{ checksum "package.json" }}
            - ~/.npm
            - ~/.cache
      - run: $(npm bin)/cypress run --record --key <record_key>

Example circle.yml v2 config file with yarn

version: 2
      - image: cypress/base:8
          ## this enables colors in the output
          TERM: xterm
    working_directory: ~/app
      - checkout
      - restore_cache:
            - v1-deps-{{ .Branch }}-{{ checksum "package.json" }}
            - v1-deps-{{ .Branch }}
            - v1-deps
      - run:
          name: Install Dependencies
          command: yarn install --frozen-lockfile
      - save_cache:
          key: v1-deps-{{ .Branch }}-{{ checksum "package.json" }}
            - ~/.cache  ## cache both yarn and Cypress!
      - run: $(yarn bin)/cypress run --record --key <record_key>

Find the complete CircleCI v2 example with caching and artifact upload in the cypress-example-docker-circle repo.


We have created an official cypress/base container with all of the required dependencies installed. Just add Cypress and go! We are also adding images with browsers pre-installed under cypress/browsers name. A typical Dockerfile would look like this:

FROM cypress/base
RUN npm install
RUN $(npm bin)/cypress run

Mounting a project directory with an existing node_modules into a cypress/base docker image will not work:

docker run -it -v /app:/app cypress/base:8 bash -c 'cypress run'
Error: the cypress binary is not installed

Instead, you should build a docker container for your project’s version of cypress.

Docker images & CI examples

See our examples for additional information on our maintained images and configurations on several CI providers.


If you are not using one of the above CI providers then make sure your system has these dependencies installed.

apt-get install xvfb libgtk2.0-0 libnotify-dev libgconf-2-4 libnss3 libxss1 libasound2

Recording tests in CI

Cypress can record your tests running and make them available in our Dashboard.

Recorded tests allow you to:

  • See the number of failed, pending and passing tests.
  • Get the entire stack trace of failed tests.
  • View screenshots taken when tests fail and when using cy.screenshot().
  • Watch a video of your entire test run or a clip at the point of test failure.

To record tests running:

  1. Set up your project to record
  2. Pass the --record flag to cypress run

You can read more about the Dashboard Service here.

Running Tests in Parallel in CI

Cypress can run recorded tests running in parallel across multiple machines.

You’ll want to refer to your CI provider’s documentation on how to set up multiple machines to run in your CI environment.

Once multiple machines are available within your CI environment, you can pass the --parallel key to cypress run to have your recorded tests parallelized.

Environment Variables

You can set various environment variables to modify how Cypress runs.

Record Key

If you are recording your runs on a public project, you’ll want to protect your Record Key. Learn why.

Instead of hard coding it into your run command like this:

cypress run --record --key abc-key-123

You can set the record key as the environment variable, CYPRESS_RECORD_KEY, and we’ll automatically use that value. You can now omit the --key flag when recording.

cypress run --record

Typically you’d set this inside of your CI provider.

CircleCI Environment Variable

Record key environment variable

TravisCI Environment Variable

Travis key environment variable

Other Configuration Values

You can set any configuration value as an environment variable. This overrides values in your cypress.json.

Typical use cases would be modifying things like:


Refer to the configuration for more examples.

Custom Environment Variables

You can also set custom environment variables for use in your tests. These enable your code to reference dynamic values.


And then in your tests:

  method: 'POST',
  url: Cypress.env('EXTERNAL_API_SERVER') + '/users/1',
  body: {
    foo: 'bar',
    baz: 'quux'

Refer to the dedicated Environment Variables Guide for more examples.

Booting Your Server

Typically you will need to boot a local server prior to running Cypress. Here are some typical recipes for users who are new to CI.

Command Line

Booting your web server means that it is a long running process that will never exit. Because of this, you’ll need to background it - else your CI provider will never move onto the next command.

Backgrounding your server process means that your CI provider will simply “skip” over it and immediately execute the next command.

The problem is - what happens if your server takes seconds to boot? There is no guarantee that when Cypress starts running your web server is available.

This is a naive scenario assuming your web server boots fast:

Don’t write the following - it will fail on slow booting servers. Cypress may start before the server has started.

npm start & cypress run

There are easy solutions to this. Instead of introducing arbitrary waits like sleep 20 you can use a much better option like the wait-on module.

Now, we can simply block the cypress run command from executing until your server has booted.

npm start & wait-on http://localhost:8080
cypress run

Most CI providers will automatically kill background processes so you don’t have to worry about cleaning up your server process once Cypress finishes.

However, if you’re running this script locally you’ll have to do a bit more work to collect the backgrounded PID and then kill it after cypress run.


If the server takes a very long time to start, and Cypress times out while loading the page, we recommend using start-server-and-test utility.

npm install --save-dev start-server-and-test

Pass the boot server command, url to check when server is ready, and the Cypress test command.

  "scripts": {
    "start": "my-server -p 3030",
    "cy:run": "cypress run",
    "test": "start-server-and-test start http://localhost:3030 cy:run"

The cy:run command will only be executed when the URL http://localhost:3030 responds with HTTP status code 200. The server will be shut down when the tests complete.

Module API

Oftentimes it can be much easier to simply programmatically control and boot your servers with a Node script.

If you’re using our Module API then it would be trivial to write a script which boots and then shuts down the server later. As a bonus you can easily work with the results and do other things.

// scripts/run-cypress-tests.js

const cypress = require('cypress')
const server = require('./lib/my-server')

// start your server
return server.start()
.then(() => {
  // kick off a cypress run
  .then((results) => {
    // stop your server when it's complete
    return server.stop()
node scripts/run-cypress-tests.js

Known Issues


If you are running long runs on Docker, you need to set the ipc to host mode. This issue describes exactly what to do.

See also