ExpressionEngine Docs

Cypress Tests

ExpressionEngine is utilizing Cypress for integration tests.

The tests are organized to check the functionality of ExpressionEngine itself, but can also be extended for add-on testing.

In order to get access to Cypress testing, ExpressionEngine need to be installed from repository. You also need to have Node.js and NPM installed.

Setting up

  1. Back up your existing database and system/user/config.php file. The database might be rewritten with the test dump and the config file changed during tests run.

  2. Ensure your config.php file has correct base_path, base_url and site_url values set up. Example:

     $config['base_path'] = $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'];
     $config['base_url'] = 'http://ee6pro.local/';
     $config['site_url'] = $config['base_url'];
  3. cd tests/cypress The Cypress working directory is tests/cypress, so all terminal command should be run there.

  4. npm i Cypress is being provided as NPM package, so run this command to install Cypress and all dependencies. If this is your first time using Cypress, the process might take a while to download and unpack the things.

  5. cp cypress.env.example.json cypress.env.json You will need to set up environment file that will hold important information that allow Cypress to connect to ExpressionEngine, such as your site URL, database name etc. These values should match the settings in ExpressionEngine config file.

  6. npm run cypress:open This command will open the Cypress UI that lists all tests that exist for ExpressionEngine in tests/cypress/cypress/integration folder and can be run individually. Clicking on the test file name will run the test using selected browser.

  7. npx cypress run --headed --no-exit -s cypress/integration/cp/login.ee6.js This command will run particular test file as specified by -s parameter. You can also specify a wildcard * in place of the file name to run all tests in a folder. Note that as of the current Cypress version that EE is using the test files cannot be placed above tests/cypress directory in directories tree.

Cypress commands and tasks for EE

In addition to built-in Cypress commands, ExpressionEngine is providing several specific helper commands, that are defined in support/commands.js


Log the the user into Control Panel.


Visit certain page after ensuring the user is logged in into Control Panel.


Checks that page contents does not show any of common errors.


Creates channel


Creates test members


Creates new member role


Creates some entries for testing


Get or set certain configuration value

cy.eeConfig({ item: 'save_tmpl_files', value: 'n' })
cy.eeConfig({ item: 'site_url' })


Truncates the database


Replaces the database using the default database dump provided with ExpressionEngine Cypress tests

cy.task('db:load', '../../support/spam/spam.sql')

Executes the SQL file provided

cy.task('db:query', 'SELECT status FROM exp_statuses')

Executes the SQL query provided


Clears all EE caches

cy.task('filesystem:delete', '../../images/about/')

Delete files from directory

cy.task('filesystem:create', Cypress.env("TEMP_DIR")+'/about')

Create directory

cy.task('filesystem:createFile', Cypress.env("TEMP_DIR")+'/test.html')

Create file

cy.task('filesystem:copy', { from: Cypress.env("TEMP_DIR")+'/about/*', to: '../../images/about' })

Copy files between directories

cy.task('filesystem:path', 'support/tmp')

Get full server path to file or directory

cy.task('filesystem:list', {target: upload_path, mask: '/*.png'})

List the files that match mask in target directory

cy.task('filesystem:read', '../../system/user/config/config.php')

Read the file

cy.task('filesystem:rename', {from: installer_folder, to: '../../system/ee/installer'})

Rename file or directory

Writing your own tests

The test files should have .ee6.js extension and need to be placed in a folder inside tests/cypress/cypress/integration directory.

The minimal test file might just consist of it directive like in the example

it('test something', () => {
    cy.log('performing the test...')

However if you have more than one test, it’s better to have them organized into groups

context('Test', () => {
    it('test something', () => {
        cy.log('performing the test...')

The typical test would try to emulate user performing certain actions and then check the result against what is expected.

It is recommended to keep the tests granular, so if one of the tests fails and the other ones pass you know exactly where to look. However for complex test cases sometimes the procedure needs to be written as one large test; in such case, it is good practice to perform intermediate checks during the test run.