Cypress Config
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15 min

Create A Wide Configuration For Running Cypress In GitHub Actions!

What is a wide configuration? What should the configuration be like? And why is it important to dedicate time to this?

Build a test config in 5 steps
Build a test config in 5 steps

In the article, we will try to answer these questions, using the following technologies as examples: Cypress as a testing framework and GitHub Actions as a CI/CD tool.

So, imagine you've decided to buy a car. Do you want to add any options? Perhaps automatic transmission. Winter tires. Climate control, or something else?

A testing framework without a well-thought-out configuration is like a car without options. It can get you to your destination, but the journey is unlikely to be comfortable.

Under the 'wide configuration,' we understand the ability to pass the most important options and/or arguments to your testing framework.  

Explaining in detail we must be able to easily run the tests in any %put the item from the list below% we want.

  1. ENV [Environment, like DEV, UAT, PROD, etc]
  2. Browser [Chrome, Edge, Firefox, etc]
  3. Resolution [laptop, mobile, tablet]

The following article won't contain examples of Safari usage because its configuration will be defined in a separate article.

In our example, we will build out the configuration using a default Cypress Project. You can apply this config to your project or check out the final configuration in github.  

Environment configuration

Let’s start with a test example, look at this simple test below. The URL used in the test can be easily replaced with your project environment's URL.  

To accomplish this, Cypress utilizes environment variables. You can find detailed information about this here. file:

describe('spec', () => {
 it('test example', () => {

In order to easily provide environment-related data as we desire, we need to start with adding dotenv and cross-env package dependencies. Then add a script to open cypress with a specified environment.

package.json file:

 "name": "techfabric.cls", 
 "version": "1.0.0", 
 "scripts": { 

  "cypress:open": "cross-env cypress open" 

 "dependencies": { 
  "cross-env": "^7.0.3", 
  "cypress": "^13.6.4", 
  "dotenv": "^16.3.1", 
  "typescript": "4.6.3" 

Now create file with url env variable:

A screenshot of a file with url env variable file with url env variable:

Then change cypress.config.ts configuration:

import dotenv from 'dotenv'; 
require('dotenv').config({ path: `.env${process.env.E2E_ENV}` }); 
const { defineConfig } = require('cypress'); 

module.exports = defineConfig({ 
 e2e: { 
  setupNodeEvents(on, config) { 
   config.env.url = process.env.CYPRESS_ENV_URL; 
   return Object.assign(config); 
  baseUrl: process.env.CYPRESS_ENV_URL, 

The final part is to update the test itself:

A screenshot of a file
test file

From this moment, we simplify variables management for cases when we jump from one environment to another, everything we need is just to pass the correct .env file (or set of environment variables) to Cypress.

A screenshot of a computerDescription automatically generated
pass variables to cypress

Browser Configuration

Up until this moment, we have been using the default or selected browser.

A close-up of a cell phone with Google Browser
Google Browser

The next step is to be able to use the chosen browser with preferred options. To make this happen:

  1. Update package.json scripts with chosen browsers:
A screenshot of package.json file
package.json file
  1. Create browserLauncher.ts file in ‘support’ folder and provide desired arguments
A screenshot of browserLauncher.ts file
browserLauncher.ts file
  1. Update setupNodeEvents method:
setupNodeEvents(on, config) { 
  on('before:browser:launch', (browser, launchOptions) => { 
  return launchBrowser(browser, launchOptions); 
  config.env.url = process.env.CYPRESS_ENV_URL; 
  return Object.assign(config); 

In result we can run any pre-defined browser and pass custom arguments.

A screenshot of a computer codeDescription automatically generated
run starting
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fun finished

Resolution Preferences

Defining resolutions is a bit more complex… So, before we begin with the code let’s agree on some criteria:

  1. Framework must support desktop / mobile / tablet resolutions.
    • Desktop resolutions: 1920x1080, 1536x864.
    • Mobile resolutions: Samsung S10 (360x760), Samsung Note S9 (414x846).
    • Tablet resolutions: Samsung Galaxy Tab A (810x1080), Google Nexus 9 (800x1280).
  2. Framework must take resolution as a single and clear argument, so we don’t need to pass many details via cmd.
  3. Browser object must be as close to the real one, as it could be.  

The task seems to be quite simple since we can just pass viewport options:

viewportWidth: width,
viewportHeight: height,

But in this case, we won’t handle such important things as:  

  1. userAgent
  2. deviceScaleFactor
  3. mobile type
  4. orientation
  5. etc

To handle all advanced options we start with resolution objects creation.

  1. Create browser config file with resolution specification and objects.
// Tablet devices configurations 

export const tabletBrowsers = { 
 'tablet_810x1080': { 
  name: 'Samsung Galaxy Tab A', 
  width: 810, 
  height: 1080, 
  deviceScaleFactor: 2, 
  mobile: false, 
  orientation: 'portrait', 
  userAgent: 'Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 11; SAMSUNG SM-T870) Chrome/121.0.6167.160' 
 'tablet_800x1280': { 
  name: 'Google Nexus 9, Samsung Galaxy Tab S2', 
  width: 800, 
  height: 1280, 
  deviceScaleFactor: 2, 
  mobile: false, 
  orientation: 'portrait', 
  userAgent: 'Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 11; Nexus 9) Chrome/121.0.6167.160' 
A screenshot of browserConfig.ts file
browserConfig.ts file
  1. Update browserLauncher, now use resolution and browser type from browserConfig file:
A screenshot of a browserLauncher.ts file
browserLauncher.ts file
  1. Update cypress.config.ts, now pass resolution and set viewport options
A screenshot of cypress.config.ts file
cypress.config.ts file
  1. Update package.json scripts:
A screenshot of a computerDescription automatically generated
package.json file

As a result of the previous setup, we can run the tests in the chosen environment, using the preferred browser with the desired resolution and capabilities. Now time to integrate it to CI/CD so everyone benefits from the tests.

CI/CD Integration

name: Run Cypress using Wide Configuration 
 workflow_dispatch: # allow for manual execution 
    type: choice 
    description: Select browser 
     - chrome 
     - firefox 
     - edge 
    type: choice 
    description: Select environment 
     - dev 
     - uat 
     - prod 
    type: choice 
    description: Select platform type 
     - desktop 
     - tablet 
     - mobile 
    type: choice 
    description: Select screen resolution 
     - 1536x864 
     - 1920x1080 
     - 360x760 
     - 414x846 
     - 810x1080 
     - 800x1280 

  name: Run Cypress 
  runs-on: ubuntu-latest 
  environment: dev 
   - name: Checkout repository 
     uses: actions/checkout@v3 
   - name: Install dependencies 
     run: npm install 
   - name: Run tests in ${{ github.event.inputs.choice_browser }}-${{ github.event.inputs.choice_resolution }} 
     run: | 
     npx cross-env E2E_ENV=.${{ github.event.inputs.choice_environment }} BROWSER_TYPE=${{ github.event.inputs.choice_platform }} RESOLUTION=${{ github.event.inputs.choice_resolution }} cypress run --browser ${{ github.event.inputs.choice_browser }} 

After configuration is applied, we can start the test run, just select your options from the list in boxes:

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select your configuration

And check the result:

A screenshot of a computer programDescription automatically generated


Today, we've reviewed how to build a testing framework that is flexible enough to accommodate client needs such as custom environments, browsers, options, and resolutions.

We've also integrated everything into CI, so not only the development or automation QA team can benefit from our solution, but everyone on the team can run the test suites with just a few clicks.  

Check out this test project in our GitHub repository and apply useful configuration parts to your project. Good luck and see you later!


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