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Selenium Sandbox

Run an entire Selenium Grid on a single Windows desktop. Selenium automated testing for all versions of Chrome, Firefox, and IE.

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The Turbo Selenium Sandbox offers a solution for automated browser testing by running Selenium tests on a variety of browser containers all on your local machine with minimal setup. This lets you avoid the pain and expense of setting up and maintaining a local Selenium Grid.

Running your Selenium tests in the Selenium Sandbox is almost exactly like running them on a local Selenium Grid. What does this mean for you?

  1. Porting your tests to run in the Selenium Sandbox requires very few changes.
  2. You can use native Selenium APIs - no extra dependencies or libraries to import.

The key difference is that takes care of all the Selenium infrastructure and networking for you! Point your tests to the Selenium hub at http://localhost:4444/wd/hub and the Selenium Sandbox will automatically provision, stream, and start the test on the required browser.

Getting Started

If you've used a different cloud-based testing service in the past, check out the Adapting Tests from Other Services section.

If you're a Selenium veteran, but you've never used Selenium Grid before, you'll need to change a couple lines of code in your tests.

If you're already using Grid to run your tests, configuring your tests for is a one-line change. Substitute the URL of your current Selenium Hub with http://localhost:4444/wd/hub and you're ready to go!

Supported Browsers

  • Chrome 27+
  • Firefox 3+
  • Internet Explorer 6+

Don't see your preferred browser? Let us know and we'll do our best to get it added.

Starting the Selenium Sandbox

In your web browser, click the Run button for the Selenium Grid. A buffering dialog will appear on your desktop. When the buffering dialog completes, check the Hub window on the page. When the hub is ready, this output will appear in the window:

Jun 26, 2014 3:21:23 PM org.openqa.grid.selenium.GridLauncher main
INFO: Launching a selenium grid server
2014-06-26 15:21:24.064:INFO:osjs.Server:jetty-7.x.y-SNAPSHOT
2014-06-26 15:21:24.088:INFO:osjsh.ContextHandler:started o.s.j.s.ServletContextHandler{/,null}
2014-06-26 15:21:24.094:INFO:osjs.AbstractConnector:Started SocketConnector@

Adapting Your Test

To adapt an existing test for use in the Selenium Sandbox, you'll need to change all of your WebDriver instances to use the RemoteWebDriver class, instead of a native driver for Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer.

If you are already using Selenium Grid with RemoteWebDriver, you only have to change the hub url of the driver to http://localhost:4444/wd/hub.

Below, we've included approximate comparisons of the driver setup for a test using FirefoxDriver versus that same test run in the Selenium Sandbox.


Using FirefoxDriver:

 * Using FirefoxDriver
import org.openqa.selenium.firefox.FirefoxDriver;

WebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver();

 * Adapted for Selenium Sandbox
import org.openqa.selenium.remote.DesiredCapabilities;
import org.openqa.selenium.remote.RemoteWebDriver

DesiredCapabilities caps = DesiredCapabilities.firefox();
WebDriver driver = new RemoteWebDriver(new URL("http://localhost:4444/wd/hub"), caps);


 * Using FirefoxDriver
using OpenQA.Selenium.Firefox;

IWebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver();

 * Adapted for Selenium Sandbox
using OpenQA.Selenium.Remote;

ICapabilities caps = DesiredCapabilities.Firefox();
IWebDriver driver = new RemoteWebDriver(new Uri("http://localhost:4444/wd/hub"), caps);


Using webdriver.Firefox
from selenium import webdriver

driver = webdriver.Firefox()

Adapted for Selenium Sandbox
from selenium import webdriver
from selenium import webdriver.common

caps = desired_capabilities.FIREFOX
driver = webdriver.Remote(command_executor="http://localhost:4444/wd/hub", desired_capabilities=caps)

Choosing a Browser to Test

The Turbo Selenium Hub determines which browser you would like to test against using the DesiredCapabilities of the WebDriver that the test is using.

All of the major language bindings have a DesiredCapabilities (or desired_capabilities in the case of Python) class that have attributes for each browser. Change this attribute to change the browser the test will run against.

// Java
DesiredCapabilities.firefox(); 				// Mozilla Firefox;				// Google Chrome;					// Internet Explorer

// C#

# Python

To specify a version to test against, add a version capability into your existing test capabilities using a property setter or a setCapability/SetCapability instance method.

// Java
capabilities.setCapability("version", "30");		// Test against version 30

// C#
capabilities.SetCapability("version", "30");

In Python, you can modify the desired_capabilities just like a dictionary:

capabilities['version'] = '30'

Adapting Tests from Other Services

If you've used another cloud-based Selenium service in the past, switching over to is as easy as switching a couple of lines of code.


When switching from BrowserStack, you'll need to make 2 changes to your existing code:

  1. Delete the browserstack.user and browserstack.key capabilities from your test's capabilities, along with any other BrowserStack-specific commands or libraries.
  2. Change the RemoteWebDriver hub URL to http://localhost:4444/wd/hub.

If you were passing your BrowserStack credentials through the hub url, the only required change is to change the RemoteWebDriver hub url from [browser.user]:[browserstack.key] to http://localhost:4444/wd/hub.

Sauce Labs

Sauce Labs provides 2 means of authentication when sending tests to their cloud server. If you are passing in your username and access key as DesiredCapabilities, you'll need to delete those capabilities and change the hub URL to http://localhost:4444/wd/hub.

If you are using the user-specific hub URL (, change this to http://localhost:4444/wd/hub and you're ready to go!

Testing Bot

Testing Bot uses Selenium's DesiredCapabilities object as a means of authentication. When switching to, delete the api_key and api_secret capabilities from all of your tests - they are not necessary in

If you were previously using any of the extension methods provided by the TestingBotDriver, those should also be removed from your code, as they may lead to unexpected results.

In addition to deleting Testing Bot-specific capabilities, change the hub URL in your tests from to http://localhost:4444/wd/hub.

Debugging Tests

Unlike other cloud-based testing services, makes live debugging of your tests as easy as setting a breakpoint in your IDE.

When your test contains a breakpoint, the test will execute normally until it hits your breakpoint. At this point, all execution will freeze and the browser window will idle, waiting for the breakpoint to be passed. At this point, you can interact with the browser window as if it were natively installed. When you are done debugging, press Continue in your IDE, or continue to Step Through your code. Your test will then resume, with the browser continuing to respond to WebDriver commands from your test.

Note: The Selenium Sandbox is currently configured to automatically recycle any session that continues for 90 seconds without a successive command. This may cause your debugging session to end abruptly if it lasts longer than 90 seconds. We are currently working towards an option to turn this feature off for cases where a longer debugging time is required.

Integrating the Selenium Sandbox with an Existing Grid

If you or your development team already have an in-house Selenium Grid, you can use the Selenium Sandbox to "fill in the gaps" in your Grid to support browsers that you may not have the capacity or hardware to host internally.

For example, if your in-house Grid is only large enough to host and support the latest versions of each browser, you can use the Selenium Sandbox to add legacy browsers to your Grid.

After initial configuration and setup, the Turbo Selenium hub will automatically provision and run tests on any browser that is not in your internal Grid.

Setup Guide

The Turbo Selenium hub has the same external API as the standard Selenium hub. You can connect external nodes to the Turbo Selenium hub just like you would a normal Selenium hub.

  1. Start the Turbo Selenium hub
    1. If using as part of your CI process:
      1. Log on, or RDP in, to your build/test server (must be a Windows machine).
      2. Open a web browser and navigate to Log in with your username and password.
      3. Click Run next to the Selenium Grid to start the Turbo Selenium hub. If the plugin is not already installed, you will have to install it before the hub will start.
    2. If using from a development machine: Log in to with your username and password. Click Run next to the Selenium Grid to start the Turbo Selenium hub.
  2. Connect your internal nodes to the Turbo Selenium hub.
    1. The hub will launch on port 4444 of the machine was accessed from. You can connect to the hub from a remote node by executing the following command (from the remote node): java -jar selenium-server-standalone-2.xx.y.jar -role node -hub http://hub-machine:4444/grid/register. For more information on configuring nodes with additional command line parameters, see the official Selenium Grid Documentation.

Once your Grid is configured, you can send your tests to it just as you normally would. If the hub cannot find a matching browser on your internal nodes, it will automatically provision a fresh browser from the Turbo Selenium Sandbox and run the test on it.

Testing Internal Sites

Testing internal websites with the Selenium Sandbox is just as easy as testing public websites.

All browsers and test scripts run on your local machine, so there is no need for any special proxy configuration or modifications to the URL when testing an internal site.

The security benefit of this is that no browser data or network traffic passes through servers.

Below is some example code demonstrating how you would run your test against an internal site running at http://my-internal-server:8080.

// Java

// C#

# Python

Testing Internet Explorer

When testing parallel instances of Internet Explorer with the Selenium Sandbox, we recommend setting the following options in your test.

  1. Force Internet Explorer to use the Create Process API
  2. Launch Internet Explorer with the -private flag (for Internet Explorer 8+ only)

Using these settings helps prevent cookies and other session-specific items from being shared between different instances of Internet Explorer.

If you are not testing multiple instances of Internet Explorer in parallel, we recommend setting the Ensure Clean Session capability to True.

Configuring Internet Explorer Options

See below for language-specific instructions for how to properly configure your Internet Explorer tests for the Selenium Sandbox.


// Import the ie package

// Create DesiredCapabilities for ie
DesiredCapabilities capabilities =;
// Force Windows to launch IE through Create Process API and in "private" browsing mode
capabilities.setCapability(InternetExplorerDriver.FORCE_CREATE_PROCESS, true);
capabilities.setCapability(InternetExplorerdriver.IE_SWITCHES, "-private");

// If testing serial instances of IE, add IE_ENSURE_CLEAN_SESSION
capabilities.setCapability(InternetExplorerDriver.IE_ENSURE_CLEAN_SESSION, true);

WebDriver driver = new RemoteWebDriver(new URL("http://localhost:4444/wd/hub"), capabilities);


// Add using directive for IE namespace
using OpenQA.Selenium.IE;

// Use this class in leiu of DesiredCapabilities
InternetExplorerOptions ieOptions = new InternetExplorerOptions();

// Force Windows to launch IE through Create Process API and in "private" browsing mode
ieOptions.ForceCreateProcessApi = true
ieOptions.BrowserCommandLineArguments = "-private";
ieOptions.AddAdditionalCapability("version", "10");

// Convert ieOptions to an ICapabilities object and instantiate driver
IWebDriver driver = new RemoteWebDriver(new Uri("http://localhost:4444/wd/hub"), ieOptions.ToCapabilities());


# Create desired_capabilities
capabilities = webdriver.DesiredCapabilities.INTERNETEXPLORER

# Force Windows to launch IE through Create Process API and in "private" browsing mode
capabilities['ie.forceCreateProcessApi'] = True
capabilities['ie.browserCommandLineArguments'] = '-private'

# Instantiate the driver
driver = webdriver.Remote(command_executor="http://localhost:4444/wd/hub", desired_capabilities=capabilities)

Internet Explorer Container Configuration's Internet Explorer containers are packaged and pre-configured to work with Selenium's Remote WebDriver without any end-user configuration. Each container is pre-configured with the following settings:

  • Packaged with the latest IEDriverServer installed in the virtual environment's PATH.
  • Protected Mode Enabled in all zones.

For Internet Explorer 10 and 11, Enhanced Protected Mode is Disabled.

For Internet Explorer 11, the registry key HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_BFCACHE was added to the container with DWORD iexplore.exe and value 0.

For more information on these changes, as they relate to the InternetExplorerDriver, see the Selenium documentation.

Internet Explorer "Gotchas"

The InternetExplorerDriver in Selenium has some unique features that may cause unexpected test results. Below, we've compiled a list of some of the most commonly encountered "gotchas" we've seen testing Internet Explorer.

  • When testing Internet Explorer, the browser zoom level should always be left at 100%. The IEDriverServer relies on this zoom level for native mouse events - configuring the zoom to be greater or less than 100% may cause inadvertent failures in your tests.
  • If you are using a hover command in your tests, do not place your mouse over the Internet Explorer window. Doing so causes the hover to fail.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Cannot connect to the Turbo Selenium Hub

Before proceeding, make sure the Turbo Selenium hub is running on your local computer. You can check this by opening a browser and going to http://localhost:4444/grid/console.

Solution 1: Check your Firewall: This issue may occur if your computer has a restrictive firewall that blocks incoming and outgoing connections to/from your computer.

If possible, check your firewall and make sure port 4444 is not blocked. This is the port the Turbo Selenium hub listens for commands on. If this port is blocked, it must be unblocked before using the Selenium Sandbox.

Cannot Launch the Turbo Selenium Hub

Ensure that the TurboLauncher is installed and running. The Turbo Launcher can be downloaded from

To run or restart the TurboLauncher once installed, go to the Start Menu > All Programs > Startup and select TurboLauncher.

After clicking Run, the Grid never launches

This issue occurs when the TurboLauncher is not activate or installed. If you have not installed the TurboLauncher, it can be downloaded from

If the TurboLauncher is installed and you continue to see this issue, verify that your browser is not blocking the TurboLauncher from running on

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Navigate to
  2. To the left of the browser's address bar, a "building block" icon should appear (it looks like a small LEGO).
  3. Click this icon and a small box will appear beneath it with the dialog "Allow to run TurboLauncher?"
  4. Select Allow and Remember
  5. Refresh the page and click Start Grid.

Google Chrome

  1. In the address bar, type chrome://plugins.
  2. Locate TurboLauncher and check the Always allowed box.
  3. Restart Google Chrome to apply this new setting.

Selenium Errors

Internet Explorer does not launch with Error "IELaunchURL() returned HRESULT 80070012"

This error occurs due to a bug in Selenium's IEDriverServer. For more information, see this issue report:

To avoid this error, enable ForceCreateProcessApi in your test capabilities. For language-specific instructions, see Testing Internet Explorer.

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