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Headless Windows VM and Bamboo


We are using Windows 2012 Server as a VM for Bamboo continuous integration. Our tests use a GUI automation tool so we need the VM to be a head less server. The problem we have is that the tests do not pass unless we remote desktop to the VM, i.e. it seems like we cannot get Windows 2012 to be a head less server.

Is there something special we need to do to the Windows 2012 VM to make it work as a head less server?

Some facts about what we have done:

1. If someone logs in to the VM and runs the Bamboo test plan while the remote desktop is opened, then the tests will successfully run.

2. If there is no one logged in to the VM or the VM desktop is minimised after being logged in, then the Bamboo tests will fail.

3. We also took some screenshots during the tests. If the remote desktop is open, the screenshots look normal. However, if the remote desktop is minimised or the user logs off the VM, the screenshots are black.

Thanks in advance

2 answers

That's a limitation of Windows. You cannot have a UI to test on headless wich means no UI. You need a bamboo agent which does not run as a service to get UI tests running. If remote connected or does not matter then.

The UI behaviour of course also depends on the softwäre and the test tool you use, if they have special behaviour on remote sessions. They important, never run the agent as system, always use a normal user. You may even have to turn off UAC. That's suggested on remote agents only.

Thanks for the info Mike :) Have you got some links handy that I could read about? Would it be something like but seems to be for the application server and not the agent. The test tool we use is called Jubula ( I do not believe this tool is the problem as the screen capture on failure is black and this is done using Java's java.awt.Robot which is independent of Jubula. We use no special behaviour on remote sessions that I am aware of. The use case is simply to use Bamboo to run some JUnit-based tests via Maven. Pretty standard stuff really.

We are still not having any luck here. Does anyone else have any suggestions or links to resources that Mike is referring to? Thanks in advance, Eban

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