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Travis CI

Travis CI is a popular continuous integration service that integrates with your Github repository to automatically run your tests when code is pushed. Integration is done by adding a simple YAML file to your project root; Travis and Github take care of the rest. Whenever tested, the Travis results will appear in your Github pull requests and your history will be available within their control panel. This article assumes you already have Travis account.

Configure Travis

Create a file in your project root called .travis.yml with the following YAML content:

language: node_js
  - "4"

Set up a Test Command

If you do not already have a package.json in your project root create one now. Travis runs npm test to trigger your tests so this is where you tell Travis how to run your tests.

// ...snip...
'devDependencies': {
  'karma': '~0.12'
// ...snip...
'scripts': {
   'test': 'karma start --single-run --browsers PhantomJS'
// ...snip...

Travis will run npm install before every suite so this is your chance to specify any modules your app needs that Travis does not know about like Karma.

Configure Travis with Firefox

Travis supports running a real browser (Firefox) with a virtual screen. Just update your .travis.yml to set up the virtual screen like this:

language: node_js
  - "4"
  - export DISPLAY=:99.0
  - sh -e /etc/init.d/xvfb start

And now, you can run your tests on Firefox, just change the npm test command to

karma start --browsers Firefox --single-run


  • Travis' Node environment has very little available. If the startup process in Travis fails check for missing module information and be sure to add them to your package.json dependencies.
  • Travis does not run in your local network so any code that attempts to connect to resources should be stubbed out using Nock.
  • There are more options available to your .travis.yml, such as running scripts before the install or test run. There are hints in the Travis docs for GUI apps configuration.