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Driver Sessions

Starting and stopping a session is for opening and closing a browser.

Creating Sessions

Creating a new session corresponds with the W3C command for New session

The session is created automatically by initializing a new Driver class object.

Each language allows a session to be created with arguments from one of these classes (or equivalent):

  • Options to describe the kind of session you want; default values are used for local, but this is required for remote
  • Some form of CommandExecutor (the implementation varies between languages)
  • Listeners

Local Driver

The primary unique argument for starting a local driver includes information about starting the required driver service on the local machine.

  • Service object applies only to local drivers and provides information about the browser driver

Remote Driver

The primary unique argument for starting a remote driver includes information about where to execute the code. Read the details in the Remote Driver Section

Quitting Sessions

Quitting a session corresponds to W3C command for Deleting a Session.

Important note: the quit method is different from the close method, and it is recommended to always use quit to end the session

1 - Browser Options

These capabilities are shared by all browsers.

In Selenium 3, capabilities were defined in a session by using Desired Capabilities classes. As of Selenium 4, you must use the browser options classes. For remote driver sessions, a browser options instance is required as it determines which browser will be used.

These options are described in the w3c specification for Capabilities.

Each browser has custom options that may be defined in addition to the ones defined in the specification.

browserName

This capability is used to set the browserName for a given session. If the specified browser is not installed at the remote end, the session creation will fail.

browserVersion

This capability is optional, this is used to set the available browser version at remote end. For Example, if ask for Chrome version 75 on a system that only has 80 installed, the session creation will fail.

pageLoadStrategy

Three types of page load strategies are available.

The page load strategy queries the document.readyState as described in the table below:

StrategyReady StateNotes
normalcompleteUsed by default, waits for all resources to download
eagerinteractiveDOM access is ready, but other resources like images may still be loading
noneAnyDoes not block WebDriver at all

The document.readyState property of a document describes the loading state of the current document.

When navigating to a new page via URL, by default, WebDriver will hold off on completing a navigation method (e.g., driver.navigate().get()) until the document ready state is complete. This does not necessarily mean that the page has finished loading, especially for sites like Single Page Applications that use JavaScript to dynamically load content after the Ready State returns complete. Note also that this behavior does not apply to navigation that is a result of clicking an element or submitting a form.

If a page takes a long time to load as a result of downloading assets (e.g., images, css, js) that aren’t important to the automation, you can change from the default parameter of normal to eager or none to speed up the session. This value applies to the entire session, so make sure that your waiting strategy is sufficient to minimize flakiness.

normal (default)

WebDriver waits until the load event fire is returned.

import org.openqa.selenium.PageLoadStrategy;
import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeOptions;
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeDriver;

public class pageLoadStrategy {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ChromeOptions chromeOptions = new ChromeOptions();
    chromeOptions.setPageLoadStrategy(PageLoadStrategy.NORMAL);
    WebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver(chromeOptions);
    try {
      // Navigate to Url
      driver.get("https://google.com");
    } finally {
      driver.quit();
    }
  }
}
from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.chrome.options import Options
options = Options()
options.page_load_strategy = 'normal'
driver = webdriver.Chrome(options=options)
driver.get("http://www.google.com")
driver.quit()
using OpenQA.Selenium;
using OpenQA.Selenium.Chrome;

namespace pageLoadStrategy {
  class pageLoadStrategy {
    public static void Main(string[] args) {
      var chromeOptions = new ChromeOptions();
      chromeOptions.PageLoadStrategy = PageLoadStrategy.Normal;
      IWebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver(chromeOptions);
      try {
        driver.Navigate().GoToUrl("https://example.com");
      } finally {
        driver.Quit();
      }
    }
  }
}
require 'selenium-webdriver'
caps = Selenium::WebDriver::Remote::Capabilities.chrome
caps.page_load_strategy='normal'

driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for :chrome, :desired_capabilities => caps
driver.get('https://www.google.com')
            let caps = new Capabilities();
            caps.setPageLoadStrategy("normal");
            let driver = await env.builder().withCapabilities(caps).build();

            await driver.get('https://www.google.com');

            driver.quit();
import org.openqa.selenium.PageLoadStrategy
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeDriver
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeOptions

fun main() {
  val chromeOptions = ChromeOptions()
  chromeOptions.setPageLoadStrategy(PageLoadStrategy.NORMAL)
  val driver = ChromeDriver(chromeOptions)
  try {
    driver.get("https://www.google.com")
  }
  finally {
    driver.quit()
  }
}

eager

WebDriver waits until DOMContentLoaded event fire is returned.

import org.openqa.selenium.PageLoadStrategy;
import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeOptions;
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeDriver;

public class pageLoadStrategy {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ChromeOptions chromeOptions = new ChromeOptions();
    chromeOptions.setPageLoadStrategy(PageLoadStrategy.EAGER);
    WebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver(chromeOptions);
    try {
      // Navigate to Url
      driver.get("https://google.com");
    } finally {
      driver.quit();
    }
  }
}
from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.chrome.options import Options
options = Options()
options.page_load_strategy = 'eager'
driver = webdriver.Chrome(options=options)
driver.get("http://www.google.com")
driver.quit()
using OpenQA.Selenium;
using OpenQA.Selenium.Chrome;

namespace pageLoadStrategy {
  class pageLoadStrategy {
    public static void Main(string[] args) {
      var chromeOptions = new ChromeOptions();
      chromeOptions.PageLoadStrategy = PageLoadStrategy.Eager;
      IWebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver(chromeOptions);
      try {
        driver.Navigate().GoToUrl("https://example.com");
      } finally {
        driver.Quit();
      }
    }
  }
}
require 'selenium-webdriver'
caps = Selenium::WebDriver::Remote::Capabilities.chrome
caps.page_load_strategy='eager'

driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for :chrome, :desired_capabilities => caps
driver.get('https://www.google.com')
            let caps = new Capabilities();
            caps.setPageLoadStrategy("eager");
            let driver = await env.builder().withCapabilities(caps).build();

            await driver.get('https://www.google.com');

            driver.quit();
import org.openqa.selenium.PageLoadStrategy
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeDriver
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeOptions

fun main() {
  val chromeOptions = ChromeOptions()
  chromeOptions.setPageLoadStrategy(PageLoadStrategy.EAGER)
  val driver = ChromeDriver(chromeOptions)
  try {
    driver.get("https://www.google.com")
  }
  finally {
    driver.quit()
  }
}

none

WebDriver only waits until the initial page is downloaded.

import org.openqa.selenium.PageLoadStrategy;
import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeOptions;
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeDriver;

public class pageLoadStrategy {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    ChromeOptions chromeOptions = new ChromeOptions();
    chromeOptions.setPageLoadStrategy(PageLoadStrategy.NONE);
    WebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver(chromeOptions);
    try {
      // Navigate to Url
      driver.get("https://google.com");
    } finally {
      driver.quit();
    }
  }
}
from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.chrome.options import Options
options = Options()
options.page_load_strategy = 'none'
driver = webdriver.Chrome(options=options)
driver.get("http://www.google.com")
driver.quit()
using OpenQA.Selenium;
using OpenQA.Selenium.Chrome;

namespace pageLoadStrategy {
  class pageLoadStrategy {
    public static void Main(string[] args) {
      var chromeOptions = new ChromeOptions();
      chromeOptions.PageLoadStrategy = PageLoadStrategy.None;
      IWebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver(chromeOptions);
      try {
        driver.Navigate().GoToUrl("https://example.com");
      } finally {
        driver.Quit();
      }
    }
  }
}
require 'selenium-webdriver'
caps = Selenium::WebDriver::Remote::Capabilities.chrome
caps.page_load_strategy='none'

driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for :chrome, :desired_capabilities => caps
driver.get('https://www.google.com')
            let caps = new Capabilities();
            caps.setPageLoadStrategy("none");
            let driver = await env.builder().withCapabilities(caps).build();

            await driver.get('https://www.google.com');

            driver.quit();
import org.openqa.selenium.PageLoadStrategy
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeDriver
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeOptions

fun main() {
  val chromeOptions = ChromeOptions()
  chromeOptions.setPageLoadStrategy(PageLoadStrategy.NONE)
  val driver = ChromeDriver(chromeOptions)
  try {
    driver.get("https://www.google.com")
  }
  finally {
    driver.quit()
  }
}

platformName

This identifies the operating system at the remote-end, fetching the platformName returns the OS name.

In cloud-based providers, setting platformName sets the OS at the remote-end.

acceptInsecureCerts

This capability checks whether an expired (or) invalid TLS Certificate is used while navigating during a session.

If the capability is set to false, an insecure certificate error will be returned as navigation encounters any domain certificate problems. If set to true, invalid certificate will be trusted by the browser.

All self-signed certificates will be trusted by this capability by default. Once set, acceptInsecureCerts capability will have an effect for the entire session.

timeouts

A WebDriver session is imposed with a certain session timeout interval, during which the user can control the behaviour of executing scripts or retrieving information from the browser.

Each session timeout is configured with combination of different timeouts as described below:

Script Timeout

Specifies when to interrupt an executing script in a current browsing context. The default timeout 30,000 is imposed when a new session is created by WebDriver.

Page Load Timeout

Specifies the time interval in which web page needs to be loaded in a current browsing context. The default timeout 300,000 is imposed when a new session is created by WebDriver. If page load limits a given/default time frame, the script will be stopped by TimeoutException.

Implicit Wait Timeout

This specifies the time to wait for the implicit element location strategy when locating elements. The default timeout 0 is imposed when a new session is created by WebDriver.

unhandledPromptBehavior

Specifies the state of current session’s user prompt handler. Defaults to dismiss and notify state

User Prompt Handler

This defines what action must take when a user prompt encounters at the remote-end. This is defined by unhandledPromptBehavior capability and has the following states:

  • dismiss
  • accept
  • dismiss and notify
  • accept and notify
  • ignore

setWindowRect

Indicates whether the remote end supports all of the resizing and repositioning commands.

strictFileInteractability

This new capability indicates if strict interactability checks should be applied to input type=file elements. As strict interactability checks are off by default, there is a change in behaviour when using Element Send Keys with hidden file upload controls.

proxy

A proxy server acts as an intermediary for requests between a client and a server. In simple, the traffic flows through the proxy server on its way to the address you requested and back.

A proxy server for automation scripts with Selenium could be helpful for:

  • Capture network traffic
  • Mock backend calls made by the website
  • Access the required website under complex network topologies or strict corporate restrictions/policies.

If you are in a corporate environment, and a browser fails to connect to a URL, this is most likely because the environment needs a proxy to be accessed.

Selenium WebDriver provides a way to proxy settings:

import org.openqa.selenium.Proxy;
import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeDriver;
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeOptions;

public class proxyTest {
public static void main(String[] args) {
Proxy proxy = new Proxy();
proxy.setHttpProxy("<HOST:PORT>");
ChromeOptions options = new ChromeOptions();
options.setCapability("proxy", proxy);
WebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver(options);
driver.get("https://www.google.com/");
driver.manage().window().maximize();
driver.quit();
}
}
from selenium import webdriver

PROXY = "<HOST:PORT>"
webdriver.DesiredCapabilities.FIREFOX['proxy'] = {
"httpProxy": PROXY,
"ftpProxy": PROXY,
"sslProxy": PROXY,
"proxyType": "MANUAL",

}

with webdriver.Firefox() as driver:
driver.get("https://selenium.dev")
using OpenQA.Selenium;
using OpenQA.Selenium.Chrome;

public class ProxyTest{
public static void Main() {
ChromeOptions options = new ChromeOptions();
Proxy proxy = new Proxy();
proxy.Kind = ProxyKind.Manual;
proxy.IsAutoDetect = false;
proxy.SslProxy = "<HOST:PORT>";
options.Proxy = proxy;
options.AddArgument("ignore-certificate-errors");
IWebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver(options);
driver.Navigate().GoToUrl("https://www.selenium.dev/");
}
}
proxy = Selenium::WebDriver::Proxy.new(http: '<HOST:PORT>')
cap   = Selenium::WebDriver::Remote::Capabilities.chrome(proxy: proxy)

driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for(:chrome, capabilities: cap)
driver.get('http://google.com')
let webdriver = require('selenium-webdriver');
let chrome = require('selenium-webdriver/chrome');
let proxy = require('selenium-webdriver/proxy');
let opts = new chrome.Options();

(async function example() {
opts.setProxy(proxy.manual({http: '<HOST:PORT>'}));
let driver = new webdriver.Builder()
.forBrowser('chrome')
.setChromeOptions(opts)
.build();
try {
await driver.get("https://selenium.dev");
}
finally {
await driver.quit();
}
}());
import org.openqa.selenium.Proxy
import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeDriver
import org.openqa.selenium.chrome.ChromeOptions

class proxyTest {
fun main() {

        val proxy = Proxy()
        proxy.setHttpProxy("<HOST:PORT>")
        val options = ChromeOptions()
        options.setCapability("proxy", proxy)
        val driver: WebDriver = ChromeDriver(options)
        driver["https://www.google.com/"]
        driver.manage().window().maximize()
        driver.quit()
    }
}

2 - Command executors

These allow you to set various parameters for the HTTP library

3 - Command Listeners

These allow you to execute custom actions in every time specific Selenium commands are sent

4 - Browser Service

The Service classes are for managing the starting and stopping of drivers. They are not applicable in Remote Drivers.

  • Location of the driver
  • port to use
  • command line arguments to use

5 - Remote WebDriver

You can use WebDriver remotely the same way you would use it locally. The primary difference is that a remote WebDriver needs to be configured so that it can run your tests on a separate machine.

A remote WebDriver is composed of two pieces: a client and a server. The client is your WebDriver test and the server is simply a Java servlet, which can be hosted in any modern JEE app server.

To run a remote WebDriver client, we first need to connect to the RemoteWebDriver. We do this by pointing the URL to the address of the server running our tests. In order to customize our configuration, we set desired capabilities. Below is an example of instantiating a remote WebDriver object pointing to our remote web server, www.example.com, running our tests on Firefox.

FirefoxOptions firefoxOptions = new FirefoxOptions();
WebDriver driver = new RemoteWebDriver(new URL("http://www.example.com"), firefoxOptions);
driver.get("http://www.google.com");
driver.quit();
  
from selenium import webdriver

firefox_options = webdriver.FirefoxOptions()
driver = webdriver.Remote(
    command_executor='http://www.example.com',
    options=firefox_options
)
driver.get("http://www.google.com")
driver.quit() 
  
 FirefoxOptions firefoxOptions = new FirefoxOptions();
 IWebDriver driver = new RemoteWebDriver(new Uri("http://www.example.com"), firefoxOptions);
 driver.Navigate().GoToUrl("http://www.google.com");
 driver.Quit();
  
require 'selenium-webdriver'

driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for :remote, url: "http://www.example.com", desired_capabilities: :firefox
driver.get "http://www.google.com"
driver.close
  
const { Builder, Capabilities } = require("selenium-webdriver");
var capabilities = Capabilities.firefox();
(async function helloSelenium() {
    let driver = new Builder()
        .usingServer("http://example.com")   
        .withCapabilities(capabilities)
        .build();
    try {
        await driver.get('http://www.google.com');
    } finally {
        await driver.quit();
    }
})();  
  
firefoxOptions = FirefoxOptions()
driver: WebDriver = new RemoteWebDriver(new URL("http://www.example.com"), firefoxOptions)
driver.get("http://www.google.com")
driver.quit()
  

To further customize our test configuration, we can add other desired capabilities.

Browser options

For example, suppose you wanted to run Chrome on Windows XP, using Chrome version 67:

ChromeOptions chromeOptions = new ChromeOptions();
chromeOptions.setCapability("browserVersion", "67");
chromeOptions.setCapability("platformName", "Windows XP");
WebDriver driver = new RemoteWebDriver(new URL("http://www.example.com"), chromeOptions);
driver.get("http://www.google.com");
driver.quit();
  
from selenium import webdriver

chrome_options = webdriver.ChromeOptions()
chrome_options.set_capability("browserVersion", "67")
chrome_options.set_capability("platformName", "Windows XP")
driver = webdriver.Remote(
    command_executor='http://www.example.com',
    options=chrome_options
)
driver.get("http://www.google.com")
driver.quit()  
  
var chromeOptions = new ChromeOptions();
chromeOptions.BrowserVersion = "67";
chromeOptions.PlatformName = "Windows XP";
IWebDriver driver = new RemoteWebDriver(new Uri("http://www.example.com"), chromeOptions);
driver.Navigate().GoToUrl("http://www.google.com");
driver.Quit();
  
caps = Selenium::WebDriver::Remote::Capabilities.chrome
caps.platform = Windows XP
caps.version = 67

driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for :remote, :url => "http://www.example.com", :desired_capabilities => caps
  
const { Builder } = require("selenium-webdriver");
const chrome = require("selenium-webdriver/chrome");
let opts = new chrome.Options();
opts.setAcceptInsecureCerts(true);
opts.setBrowserVersion('67');
opts.setPlatform('Windows XP');
(async function helloSelenium() {
    let driver = new Builder()
        .usingServer("http://example.com")
        .forBrowser('chrome')
        .setChromeOptions(opts)
        .build();
    try {
        await driver.get('http://www.google.com');
    }
    finally {
        await driver.quit();
    }
})();
  
val chromeOptions = ChromeOptions()
chromeOptions.setCapability("browserVersion", "67")
chromeOptions.setCapability("platformName", "Windows XP")
val driver: WebDriver = new RemoteWebDriver(new URL("http://www.example.com"), chromeOptions)
driver.get("http://www.google.com")
driver.quit()
  

Local file detector

The Local File Detector allows the transfer of files from the client machine to the remote server. For example, if a test needs to upload a file to a web application, a remote WebDriver can automatically transfer the file from the local machine to the remote web server during runtime. This allows the file to be uploaded from the remote machine running the test. It is not enabled by default and can be enabled in the following way:

driver.setFileDetector(new LocalFileDetector());
  
from selenium.webdriver.remote.file_detector import LocalFileDetector

driver.file_detector = LocalFileDetector()
  
var allowsDetection = this.driver as IAllowsFileDetection;
if (allowsDetection != null)
{
   allowsDetection.FileDetector = new LocalFileDetector();
}
  
@driver.file_detector = lambda do |args|
  # args => ["/path/to/file"]
  str = args.first.to_s
  str if File.exist?(str)
end
  
var remote = require('selenium-webdriver/remote');
driver.setFileDetector(new remote.FileDetector);  
  
driver.fileDetector = LocalFileDetector()
  

Once the above code is defined, you can upload a file in your test in the following way:

driver.get("http://sso.dev.saucelabs.com/test/guinea-file-upload");
WebElement upload = driver.findElement(By.id("myfile"));
upload.sendKeys("/Users/sso/the/local/path/to/darkbulb.jpg");
  
driver.get("http://sso.dev.saucelabs.com/test/guinea-file-upload")

driver.find_element(By.ID, "myfile").send_keys("/Users/sso/the/local/path/to/darkbulb.jpg")
  
driver.Navigate().GoToUrl("http://sso.dev.saucelabs.com/test/guinea-file-upload");
IWebElement upload = driver.FindElement(By.Id("myfile"));
upload.SendKeys(@"/Users/sso/the/local/path/to/darkbulb.jpg");
  
@driver.navigate.to "http://sso.dev.saucelabs.com/test/guinea-file-upload"
    element = @driver.find_element(:id, 'myfile')
    element.send_keys "/Users/sso/SauceLabs/sauce/hostess/maitred/maitred/public/images/darkbulb.jpg"
  
driver.get("http://sso.dev.saucelabs.com/test/guinea-file-upload");
var upload = driver.findElement(By.id("myfile"));
upload.sendKeys("/Users/sso/the/local/path/to/darkbulb.jpg");  
  
driver.get("http://sso.dev.saucelabs.com/test/guinea-file-upload")
val upload: WebElement = driver.findElement(By.id("myfile"))
upload.sendKeys("/Users/sso/the/local/path/to/darkbulb.jpg")
  

Tracing client requests

This feature is only available for Java client binding (Beta onwards). The Remote WebDriver client sends requests to the Selenium Grid server, which passes them to the WebDriver. Tracing should be enabled at the server and client-side to trace the HTTP requests end-to-end. Both ends should have a trace exporter setup pointing to the visualization framework. By default, tracing is enabled for both client and server. To set up the visualization framework Jaeger UI and Selenium Grid 4, please refer to Tracing Setup for the desired version.

For client-side setup, follow the steps below.

Add the required dependencies

Installation of external libraries for tracing exporter can be done using Maven. Add the opentelemetry-exporter-jaeger and grpc-netty dependency in your project pom.xml:

  <dependency>
      <groupId>io.opentelemetry</groupId>
      <artifactId>opentelemetry-exporter-jaeger</artifactId>
      <version>1.0.0</version>
    </dependency>
    <dependency>
      <groupId>io.grpc</groupId>
      <artifactId>grpc-netty</artifactId>
      <version>1.35.0</version>
    </dependency>

Add/pass the required system properties while running the client

System.setProperty("otel.traces.exporter", "jaeger");
System.setProperty("otel.exporter.jaeger.endpoint", "http://localhost:14250");
System.setProperty("otel.resource.attributes", "service.name=selenium-java-client");

ImmutableCapabilities capabilities = new ImmutableCapabilities("browserName", "chrome");

WebDriver driver = new RemoteWebDriver(new URL("http://www.example.com"), capabilities);

driver.get("http://www.google.com");

driver.quit();

  

Please refer to Tracing Setup for more information on external dependencies versions required for the desired Selenium version.

More information can be found at: