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Aug 3rd, 2021

Setting up Behat on Symfony 5 or higher

sadikoff avatar bocharsky-bw avatar

Written by sadikoff, and bocharsky-bw

Setting up Behat on Symfony 5 or higher

If you're interested in Behat, we have a great tutorial about it! Except that... well... that tutorial is getting old when it comes to getting Behat installed and configured into a modern app.

So how can you use Behat with Symfony 5 or higher? Easy Peasy! Just find a Symfony 5+ project, install and configure Behat, then profit!

Too fast? Ok, let's look at each part, step-by-step.

Install Behat with everything you need

To get started, let's install some packages:

composer require friends-of-behat/mink-extension friends-of-behat/mink-browserkit-driver friends-of-behat/symfony-extension --dev

As you can see, we're using packages from the friends-of-behat organization. This setup uses the Symfony extension to make requests directly through Symfony's Client.


To use Goutte to make real HTTP requests - use this command instead:

composer require friends-of-behat/mink-extension friends-of-behat/mink-browserkit-driver behat/mink-goutte-driver --dev

You may see this warning:

The recipe for this package comes from the "contrib" repository, which is open to community contributions.

Hit "yes" to continue the installation. This recipe has everything you need to run Behat:

| - services_test.yaml
| - demo.feature
| - Behat/
|  - DemoContext.php

Configure it

But it's still not enough. By default FriendsOfBehat\SymfonyExtension tries to load config/bootstrap.php. But in Symfony 5 or higher, we don't have that file! No problem.

Because Behat is a test system, we can use the same configuration as, for example, PHPUnit. In this case, we can use the same bootstrap file. The only problem is that, unless you already have PHPUnit installed, you won't have this file!


composer require phpunit --dev

This installs a few packages including a recipe with a shiny new tests/bootstrap.php file that we can use.

Now we are unstoppable! Adjust your behat.yaml.dist to use this:

    # ...

            bootstrap: tests/bootstrap.php

Now we are ready to test it. Check the features/demo.feature file out:

    In order to prove that the Behat Symfony extension is correctly installed
    As a user
    I want to have a demo scenario

    Scenario: It receives a response from Symfony's kernel
        When a demo scenario sends a request to "/"
        Then the response should be received

It's not too complex, but enough to see if everything works! Run:


Woohoo we have Behat superpowers!

PHPUnit Power

You may also want to use PHPUnit's assert functions inside Behat. Cool! We've already installed PHPUnit, so we can immediately use its assertions:

use PHPUnit\Framework\Assert;

final class DemoContext implements Context
     * @Then the response should be received
    public function theResponseShouldBeReceived(): void

Go to the console and run things again:


It's still green! That's a WIN!


If you have symfony/phpunit-bridge installed instead of phpunit/phpunit, using its built-in assertions is a bit trickier. We recommend installing phpunit/phpunit directly.

Real Browser Power

You may ask:

Hey, what about testing in a real browser!?

Let's do it!

For this, we will need some additional tools: Java, Selenium and a browser to test with, like Chrome or Firefox.


Instead of using Selenium, you could also use Panther via We haven't tried this extension out yet, but in general, working with Panther is great and a bit easier than Selenium.

The "browser" part of the setup is the easiest thing. You probably already have one installed. But it does require a driver to work properly. For Chrome and Chromium-based browser, you need chromedriver. For Firefox, you need geckodriver.

There are multiple ways to get the driver you need! The easiest is: dbrekelmans/browser-driver-installer - this package will check your system and automatically download supported drivers into a drivers/ directory in your app. All you need to run is:

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

Otherwise, use your favorite package manager or download it manually from the official ChromeDriver and GeckoDriver repositories.

Then, before running your tests, start it:

# if you downloaded it as a file with dbi
./drivers/chromedriver -v

# or if you installed it with your favorite package manager
chromedriver -v

Next up: selenium server! You can download it from Move the downloaded file (e.g. selenium-server-standalone-3.141.59.jar) to an easily-accessible folder so you can jump to it.

Executing jar files requires the Java Runtime to be installed. Check if it's installed with:

java -version

If you see an error like "Command not found", then install it. Installation, of course, is one of those wonderful things that varies depending on your operating system.

Ok, so we have Java, Selenium and a browser with a driver! Next, open a terminal, go to wherever you put the Selenium file, and run:

java -jar selenium-server-standalone-3.141.59.jar

That will start Selenium, which means that Behat can now operate with your browser. Now we need to tell Behat that we want to use Selenium instead of using Goutte or the Symfony2 extension.

To do this, install the Selenium2 driver:

composer require behat/mink-selenium2-driver --dev

After this finishes, add the following config to behat.yml.dist:

    # ...
        # ...
            # adapt this to whatever the real URL is to your local site
            # or use "goutte"
            default_session: symfony
            javascript_session: selenium2
            browser_name: chrome
            symfony: ~
            selenium2: ~

Make your context files extend Behat\MinkExtension\Context\MinkContext:

use Behat\MinkExtension\Context\MinkContext;

final class DemoContext extends MinkContext
    // ...

Now we are ready to make some real queries to our website. Do it! Open features/demo.feature and add a new scenario:

    # ...

    Scenario: I can navigate to the homepage
        When I am on the homepage
        Then the response status code should be 200

Try it with:


Hey! Where is our browser? Add one more scenario to features/demo.feature, but this time add @javascript above it:

    # ...

    Scenario: I can open the homepage in the Browser
        When I am on the homepage
        Then I should see a "body" element

Try it again:


And... celebrate with a green pass mark on all tests!

If you have any issues, feel free to ask us in the comments below or anywhere on the Behat tutorial. We think Behat and that tutorial are great... as long as you can get it installed.

That's all folks!


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Wojciech-K avatar Wojciech-K 5 days ago

Still works even with Symfony 6.4

I didn't managed to use it with


so I start selenium server with

java -jar selenium-server-standalone-3.141.59.jar

or run it with docker

docker run -d -p 4444:4444 --name selenium-docker --shm-size=2g selenium/standalone-chrome:3.141.59

| Reply |

Hey Wojciech,

Thanks for confirming it works for your Symfony 6.4 app with Selenium server v3!


| Reply |
dhpizza avatar dhpizza 1 year ago edited


when I do:

composer require friends-of-behat/mink-extension friends-of-behat/mink-browserkit-driver behat/mink-goutte-driver --dev

I don't get the recipe with the structure of files you say above...just no extra files.

I use PHP 7.4 - is that the root cause? Should I use PHP 8?


| Reply |

Hey Dhpizza,

The problem should not be in PHP version... unless you got a message from Composer that something could not be installed because of the PHP legacy version you have. So, there should be a different problem most probably. Did you allow the Symfony Flex to execute those recipes? Because those are not official recipes, just contributed ones, and so you might have to allow Composer to execute them.


| Reply |

Thank you for post - very helpful

| Reply |


Yo! That's awesome to hear!


| Reply |
Default user avatar Robert Freigang 2 years ago

Thanks for mentioning robertfausk/behat-panther-extension :-) Let me know if you tried it🙃

Btw. there is a typo in:
„add @javasctipt above it“

| Reply |

Hey Robert Freigang

Thanks for reporting typo! I haven't tried this extension yet, but I have plans to do it =)


| Reply |

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