UI testing

Provides the IceWM window manager, the TightVNC remote desktop software, and the Mozilla Firefox browser. This allows you to e.g. set up UI testing using Selenium.

Default setup

We only install the software packages but do not change their default configuration.


All tools can be configured individually with dotfiles in the user’s home directory.

If you need help with the configuration concepts and syntax, please consult the respective tool’s online documentation:


Interaction with the tools highly depends on your use case. To give you an idea of how the tools can be used, here is an example how to start Mozilla Firefox and access it remotely via VNC:

First, we configure VNC (only has to be done once):

# Create a configuration directory in your home
abittner@test04 ~ $ mkdir ~/.vnc

# Set a password for VNC remote access:
abittner@test04 ~ $ vncpasswd
Using password file /home/abittner/.vnc/passwd
Would you like to enter a view-only password (y/n)? y

Now we can start the VNC server:

abittner@test04 ~ $ vncserver -geometry 1024x768 -localhost :1

New 'X' desktop is test04:1

Starting applications specified in /home/abittner/.vnc/xstartup
Log file is /home/abittner/.vnc/test04:1.log

This starts a VNC server on Display :1 (TCP 5901) using a screen resolution of 1024x768. Further, we only want to listen on localhost for security reasons. We will later use SSH port forwarding to connect to the remote desktop.


We strongly recommend using the -localhost option when starting VNC. There are a lot of known security issues in VNC and you should not make it accessible to the outside world.

Now that VNC is running, we can start Mozilla Firefox:

abittner@test04 ~$ DISPLAY=:1 firefox-bin

On our client machine, we initiate a SSH connection that tunnels the VNC port:

abittner@zapp ~$ ssh -L 5901:localhost:5901 test04.gocept.net

We can now use any remote desktop software that support VNC to view our Firefox. To do so, connect to localhost:1 or localhost:5901, respectively.