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Python - Getting Started With Selenium WebDriver on Ubuntu/Debian

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This is a quick introduction to Selenium WebDriver in Python on Ubuntu/Debian systems.

WebDriver (part of Selenium 2) is a library for automating browsers, and can be used from a variety of language bindings. It allows you to programmatically drive a browser and interact with web elements. It is most often used for test automation, but can be adapted to a variety of web scraping or automation tasks.

To use the WebDriver API in Python, you must first install the Selenium Python bindings. This will give you access to your browser from Python code. The easiest way to install the bindings is via pip.

On Ubuntu/Debian systems, this will install pip (and dependencies) and then install the Selenium Python bindings from PyPI:

$ sudo apt-get install python-pip
$ sudo pip install selenium

After the installation, the following code should work:

#!/usr/bin/env python

from selenium import webdriver

browser = webdriver.Firefox()
browser.get('http://www.ubuntu.com/')

This should open a Firefox browser sessions and navigate to http://www.ubuntu.com/

Here is a simple functional test in Python, using Selenium WebDriver and the unittest framework:

#!/usr/bin/env python

import unittest
from selenium import webdriver


class TestUbuntuHomepage(unittest.TestCase):
    
    def setUp(self):
        self.browser = webdriver.Firefox()
        
    def testTitle(self):
        self.browser.get('http://www.ubuntu.com/')
        self.assertIn('Ubuntu', self.browser.title)
        
    def tearDown(self):
        self.browser.quit()


if __name__ == '__main__':
    unittest.main(verbosity=2)

 Output:

testTitle (__main__.TestUbuntuHomepage) ... ok

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ran 1 test in 5.931s

OK

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