Introducing Selenium Manager

Get a working environment to run Selenium out of the box with a new beta feature!

Most people’s first experience with Selenium ends up with an error message like this one:

java.lang.IllegalStateException: The path to the driver executable must be set by the 
system property; for more information, see The latest version can be 
downloaded from

Then they have to search the web for instructions on what to do with the drivers they download.

Selenium: now with batteries included!

The Selenium project wants to improve the user experience, and one of the first steps is to help all users to simplify how they set up their environment. Configuring browser drivers has been for many years a task which users need to perform in order to have a working environment to run Selenium.

Setting up a browser driver once is not that complicated, but as browser release cycles got shorter, and now we have a new Chrome/Firefox/Edge version every 4-6 weeks, the task of keeping the browser driver in sync with the browser version is not that easy anymore.

Selenium Manager is a new tool that helps to get a working environment to run Selenium out of the box. Beta 1 of Selenium Manager will configure the browser drivers for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge if they are not present on the PATH.

To run a Selenium test with Selenium 4.6, you only need to have Chrome, Firefox, or Edge installed. If you already have browser drivers installed, this feature will be ignored. If you’d like to help us test it, though, delete your drivers or remove your third party driver manager and things should still “just work.” If they don’t, please file a bug report.

Future releases of Selenium Manager will eventually even download browsers if necessary.

Inspired by Open Source and the Selenium Community

Selenium Manager is not a completely new solution. Over the years, several third-party projects in the Selenium ecosystem emerged. Such as: WebDriverManager for Java, webdriver-manager for Python, webdrivers for Ruby, and WebDriverManager.Net for C#.

All these projects served as an inspiration and as a clear sign that the community needed this feature to be built-in Selenium. In addition, a survey done on January 2021 showed that most Selenium users want to get rid of the driver management problem. Plus, the fact that the driver installation page is by far the most visited one in the Selenium documentation.

Selenium Manager in detail

Selenium Manager is a CLI (Command-Line Interface) tool developed in Rust to allow cross platform execution. On its beta 1 version, Selenium Manager is invoked transparently by the Selenium bindings when no browser driver is detected on the PATH or no third party driver manager is being used.

You can also use Selenium Manager without the Selenium bindings. While we plan to do formal releases in the future, for now, the binaries can be found directly on the Selenium repository. Check the different parameters and options by running the following command:

$ ./selenium-manager --help

A quick example showing how ChromeDriver gets configured can be seen below:

$ ./selenium-manager --browser chrome
INFO	/home/boni/.cache/selenium/chromedriver/linux64/106.0.5249.61/chromedriver

If you maintain a WebDriver based project and would like to use Selenium Manager as well, join us in our community channels and we would be happy to help. Also, if you are interested in contributing, for detailed instructions and information check the project’s README.

Next steps

Selenium Manager is still under development, features will be added and bugs fixed along with each release. However, you as a member of the Selenium community are key part on the future success of this new tool. Please report ideas or bugs through our issue tracker and join the conversation through our community channels. Looking forward to your feedback!

Happy testing!