How to perform the file upload operation with Protractor on Docker?

Anh Hoang
Anh Hoang
Dec 17, 2019 · 4 min read


One of the features of automated application testing is uploading files. You can easily create a file in the workspace and upload it to the web applications by protractor when running locally. But when you try to run your test on docker, a problem occurred. There is a message: “Failed: invalid argument: File not found: /home/headless-auto/data/abc.txt”. It means the webdriver server is not able to reach the folder contains the file abc.txt.

This is because when we run protractor in docker, the Selenium server and Protractor are running in 2 individual containers, so the Selenium server container cannot get the file was created and saved in protractor container, to put to the web application.

  • Is there any way to get a file in a container from another container?

Yes! It is not actually getting a file in a container from another container, but it still helps to solve the problem above. The docker supports us to share the folder between containers by using volume. All files in the shared folder will be synchronized with the volume. So the selenium server can get all files in the shared folder in the protractor container, then able to execute the uploading files.

Jump to coding

Let get the idea by the example below:

Protractor needs two files to run, a spec file and a configuration file.

Let prepare an uploading test script:


The Describe and Its syntax are from the Jasmine framework. Browser is a global created by Protractor, use path.resolve helper function to resolve the relative path to an absolute path.

  • Configuration file:

This configuration file means:

  • The default browser is Chrome (The protractor also supports Firefox, IE, Safari..)
  • The address of running the selenium server is http://localhost:4444/wd/hub. The Protractor can test directly against Chrome and Firefox without using a Selenium server. To use this, in your config file set directConnect: true.
  • The framework is Jasmine. Protractor supports two behavior-driven development (BDD) test frameworks out of the box: Jasmine and Mocha.
  • “specs” option tells to protractor where is test files.

Start the Protractor test:

We need to run tsc command to compile into javascript that node.js can understand.

Run “webdriver-manager update” to download the necessary binaries. Then start up the selenium server: “webdriver-manager start”.

Now we can execute “protractor output/protractor.config.js” to run the protractor test. For now, we are able to open the web application and then uploading the file.

To run on docker, add the Dockerfile and docker-compose.yml files like below to the workspace.


Docker-compose use “selenium/standalone-chrome:3.141.59-dubnium” as selenium server so we need to change the seleniumAddress in protractor.config.ts file to http://selenium-chrome-standalone:4444/wd/hub

We will share all files and folder in /home/headless-auto directory of protractor and selenium server containers into “data-volume” volume.

Now we can run the test in docker by executing docker-compose up command. Then you will able to upload the file to the website without any issue.


Running the end-to-end test on Docker is an easy way to implement the automation tests. With Docker run can your tests on cloud-based such as AWS Fargate or even AWS Lambda. I hope this post will help you and save your time!

Anh Hoang

Written by

Anh Hoang


We are an offshore software development and IT consulting company based in Vietnam. Our aim is to create awesome products that will make your everyday life easier. As a start-up company, we always put humans on first priority and welcome young people to join our team

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade