A Tour of 4: Authentication

Introducing how Selenium 4 handles authentication

Before we ship Selenium 4, I thought it would be nice to introduce some of the new features in-depth. Of course, all of the features we’re covering are in the main WebDriver documentation, so if you’re not one for reading blog posts, then feel free to dive in there!

The first thing I’d like to introduce you to is Selenium 4’s new-found ability to authenticate to websites. We’ve always been able to handle “form-based” authentication, where a login page has some INPUT elements that you need to enter the user name and password, but handling sites that use basic or digest authentication has always been harder. When using Selenium 3, the advice has been to get the login cookie and set it on your session before accessing the site, but you can now just call a register method to add a user name and password (or, in the future, other kinds of authentication credentials)

In short, in Selenium 4, the process has become less complicated. Perhaps an example will help?

// This "HasAuthentication" interface is the key!
HasAuthentication authentication (HasAuthentication) driver;

// You can either register something for all sites
authentication.register(() -> new UsernameAndPassword("admin", "admin"));

// Or use something different for specific sites
  uri -> uri.getHost().contains("mysite.com"),
  new UsernameAndPassword("AzureDiamond", "hunter2"));
driver.register(username: 'admin', password: 'admin')

Once you’ve done this, every time the driver loads a page that needs authentication, it will automatically use the user name and password you’ve given it.

This feature is currently implemented on top of Selenium 4’s CDP support, and so only works on those browser that support that protocol, but as we push forwards with development of WebDriver Bidi implementations will switch to that when they can.

Last modified October 11, 2021: Publishing post [deploy site] (eac25ed14ca)