Drupal 7 Testing With Behat

Behat is a tool that makes behavior driven development (BDD) possible. With BDD, we can write human-readable stories that describe the behavior of your application. These stories can then be auto-tested against our applications

What does the Drupal Extension add?

  • Set up test data with Drush or the Drupal API
  • Define theme regions and test data appears within them
  • Clear the cache, log out, and other useful steps
  • Detect and discover steps provided by contributed modules and theme


  • PHP (It must be higher than 5.3.5!)
  • JAVA
  • Drush
  • Selanium

System wide Installation

A system-wide installation allows you to maintain a single copy of the testing tool set and use it for multiple test environments.

Install Composer

   curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer |
   php mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer

Install the Drupal Extension

  1. Make Directory drupalextention
cd /opt/
sudo mkdir drupalextension
cd drupalextension/
  1. Create a file called composer.json with the following code syntax
  "require": {
    "drupal/drupal-extension": "~3.0"
  "config": {
    "bin-dir": "bin/"
  1. Run the install command
sudo composer install
  1. Check whether behat installed successfully
bin/behat --help

If you were successful, you’ll see the help output.

  1. Create a symlink this will make the binary available system-wide so you can use behat only instead of bin/behat
ln -s /opt/drupalextension/bin/behat /usr/local/bin/behat

Set up tests

  1. Create a folder to resides the test scenarios (There is no specific constraints for folder location but best practice is keep the test scenarios with in the same repository)
cd drupal_root
mkadir sites/default/behat-tests
  1. Create a behat.yml file with in the folder with the following code basically this is the file we are using for setting the configurations for behat test
        - FeatureContext
        - Drupal\DrupalExtension\Context\DrupalContext
        - Drupal\DrupalExtension\Context\MinkContext
        - Drupal\DrupalExtension\Context\MessageContext
        - Drupal\DrupalExtension\Context\DrushContext
      goutte: ~
      selenium2: ~
      base_url: base_url of your drupal site (Ex :http://www.behat-test.local.com)
      blackbox: ~
      api_driver: 'drupal'
         drupal_root: /Users/mimran/Projects/behat-test
         root: your drupal root folder (Ex :/Users/mimran/Projects/behat-test)
        right sidebar: "#aside .region-sidebar-second"
        content: "#content"
        # Header regions
        left header: "#header-left"
        top header: "#nav-header"
        right header: "#header-right"
        bottom header: "#nav-masthead"
        # frontpage content regions
        top middle content: "#sites-with-drupal"
        top right content: "#develop-with-drupal"
        bottom right content: "#community-updates"
        middle content: "#front-drupal-stats"
        # Footer region
        footer: "#footer"
        # Pager region
        pager: ".pager"
  1. Initialize behat. This creates the features folder with some basic things to get you started:
bin/behat --init

This will generate a FeatureContext.php file where we can write our own gherkin code snippets.

use Behat\Behat\Tester\Exception\PendingException;
use Drupal\DrupalExtension\Context\RawDrupalContext;
use Behat\Behat\Context\SnippetAcceptingContext;
use Behat\Gherkin\Node\PyStringNode;
use Behat\Gherkin\Node\TableNode;
 * Defines application features from the specific context.
class FeatureContext extends RawDrupalContext implements SnippetAcceptingContext {
   * Initializes context.
   * Every scenario gets its own context instance.
   * You can also pass arbitrary arguments to the
   * context constructor through behat.yml.
  public function __construct() {
  1. To ensure everything is set up appropriately, type:
behat -dl

if all went well you can see a result like follow (smile) (These are predefined behat gherkin snippets that we can use for create test suits)

default | Given I am an anonymous user
default | Given I am not logged in
default | Given I am logged in as a user with the :role role(s)
default | Given I am logged in as :name

Environment specific settings

Some of the settings in behat.yml are environment specific. For example the base URL may be http://behat-test.local.com on your local development environment so we cant put them in to behat.yml in such case we have to put them as envirment variable as follow

    "extensions": {
        "Behat\\MinkExtension": {
            "base_url": "http://myproject.localhost"
        "Drupal\\DrupalExtension": {
            "drupal": {
                "drupal_root": "/var/www/myproject"

NOTE: To export this into the BEHAT_PARAMS environment variable, squash the JSON object into a single line and surround with single quotes: like following syntax

export BEHAT_PARAMS='{"extensions": {"Behat\\MinkExtension": {"base_url": "http://myproject.localhost"},"Drupal\\DrupalExtension": {"drupal": {"drupal_root":"/var/www/myproject"}}}}'

HINT: for automatically create JSON object with the environment variable we can use drush-bde-env