Using Blackfire Player with Docker

By Jérôme Vieilledent, on Sep 01, 2021

Blackfire Player is a powerful HTTP client one may use for crawling, testing, and scraping web pages. It provides a DSL with which one can define scenarios, run assertions, and extract data. And yes, it is open-source!

Using its thorough DSL, Blackfire Player also integrates with Blackfire Profiler so that running scenarios can create builds where each step is getting profiled. Combined with tests and metrics one can define in their .blackfire.yaml, it provides a powerful way to run performance tests.

In fact, Blackfire Player is even used to run your periodic builds!

Using Docker

Blackfire Player is written in PHP. Therefore, if one wants to run scenarios with it must have PHP installed. While this is usually not a problem when developing a PHP application, it may be an annoying dependency in some cases:

  • Working on a Python application
  • Running scenarios from a “runner” machine in a CI pipeline, where PHP might not be available

In such situations, using Docker is usually a good solution. This is why we now provide a dockerized version of Blackfire Player!

To use it, one first needs to properly expose BLACKFIRE_CLIENT_ID and BLACKFIRE_CLIENT_TOKEN environment variables using their client credentials.

The command is the following:

docker run --rm -it -e BLACKFIRE_CLIENT_ID -e BLACKFIRE_CLIENT_TOKEN -v "`pwd`:/app" blackfire/player run my-scenario.bkf

To make it easier to use, one may create a shell alias (in .bashrc , .zshrc, etc):

alias blackfire-player="docker run --rm -it -e BLACKFIRE_CLIENT_ID -e BLACKFIRE_CLIENT_TOKEN -v \"`pwd`:/app\" blackfire/player"

This way, it is possible to run the blackfire-player command as if it was the binary itself:

blackfire-player --version
blackfire-player list
blackfire-player run my-scenario.bkf

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Happy Performance Optimization!

Jérôme Vieilledent

As a Developer Advocate, Jérôme is all about spreading the love! His technical/development background enable him to talk as a peer to peers with our developer users. You’ll read his tips and advices on performance management with Blackfire. And he’ll support you as a day-to-day user.