Getting Started with Image Based Testing

Are you a tester who’s trying to automate something that your normal test automation tool is not recognizing? Or are you a gamer looking to create a gaming bot? Maybe you’re a combination of both. If any of those apply, this episode is for you. Today I’ll be Test Talking about the open-source, image based tool Sikuli with its core developer and maintainer, Raimund Hocke.

I think this is one of the most inspiring Test Talks to date because Raimund started the Sikulix project later in life, at a time when most people stop trying new things and become learning-stagnant. Raimund is proof that it’s never too late to learn something new, and his enthusiasm for Sikuli really comes through in this interview.

About Raimund Hocke


Raimund is the Senior Support Manager for SikuliX. Sikuli is a visual technology to automate graphical user interfaces (GUI) using images (screenshots). Sikuli Script automates anything you see on the screen. You can programmatically control a web page or a desktop application running on Windows/Linux/Mac OS X or even a Mobile Phone application running in an emulator.

Quotes & Insights from this Test Talk

  • You can use SikuliX to create game bots
  • Sikuli started as a image based automation project at MIT
  • Sikilu is like WYSIWYG for UI automation
  • Sikuli started with  2010, SikuliX includes everything from the start of the project but will not include new features. SikuliX2 will have not have native code just Java, it will also have better image handling functionality and will support more scripting languages.
  • SikuliX 2 will have better integration with RobotFramework
  • SikuliX can help automate anything you see on the screen of your desktop computer running Windows, Mac or some Linux/Unix.
  • Sikuli uses image recognition powered by OpenCV to identify and control GUI components.
  • SikuliX supports Java as well as  scripting languages like Python level 2.7 (supported by Jython) and Ruby  level 1.9 and 2.0 (supported by JRuby)
  • SikuliX works with multi-monitors
  • SikuliX comes with basic text recognition (OCR) and can be used to search text in images.


Connect with Raimund Hocke

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Nev - May 29, 2015

This and excellent tools. I am using it from 3 years and it is the best UI automation tool

    Joe Colantonio - May 29, 2015

    Awesome – good to hear! I have not done much with it yet but I can see it’s great potential

Hari - October 15, 2015

Hey Joe,

have you had a chance to validate/compare the visual automation tools like sikuli/applitools/phantomcss etc. Just on how reliable they are.

I am just thinking that it will be better to add a visual test rather than 10s of object based tests.

    Joe Colantonio - October 16, 2015

    The one I’ve been using the most is Applitools. So far so good but still in POC phase

SIVA - December 14, 2015

hi can we integrate sikulix with testrail or jira tool.

siva - December 14, 2015

can we integrate sikulix with testrail or jira

    Joe Colantonio - December 15, 2015

    Hi – I dont see why not. I have not tried what are you trying to do?

Patrick L Archibald (PLA) - April 30, 2017

Thanks for this. Good to associate a voice with Raimund Hocke. I used SikuliX to accomplish some automation tasks at work. I greatly appreciate Raimund Hocke taking this project on. He is responsive to issues. I am looking forward to SikuliX Version 2. Rock on, PLA

    Joe Colantonio - May 4, 2017

    Agreed – Raimund is awesome!

    Reply - April 2, 2019

Hi Joe, do you have any info on the Sikuli 2.0 release? I’ve built some POC projects in the 1.0 version for automating desktop apps for Adobe Creative Cloud, and have been really looking forward to the modernized 2.0 release with better Java integration. A year ago I read that he was looking at October 2018 for alpha releases, but I haven’t seen any significant activity, and the repo is updated to say that the 2.0 alpha is moved to 2019.

    Joe Colantonio - April 17, 2019

    Hi! I actually have not heard anything in awhile myself. I’ll try to find out for you

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