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Taking Browser Screenshots With No Display (Selenium/Xvfb)

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Taking Browser Screenshots With No Display (Selenium/Xvfb)

· Web Dev Zone ·
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Deploying code to production can be filled with uncertainty. Reduce the risks, and deploy earlier and more often. Download this free guide to learn more. Brought to you in partnership with Rollbar.

In my last two blog posts, I showed examples of using Selenium WebDriver to capture screenshots, and running in a headless (no X-server) mode.

This example combines the two solutions to capture screenshots inside a virtual display.

To achieve this, I use a combination of Selenium WebDriver and pyvirtualdisplay (which uses xvfb) to run a browser in a virtual display and capture screenshots.

the setup you need is:

  • Selenium 2 Python bindings: PyPI
  • pyvirtualdisplay Python package (depends on xvfb): PyPI

On Debian/Ubuntu Linux systems, you can install everything with:

$ sudo apt-get install python-pip xvfb xserver-xephyr
$ sudo pip install selenium

once you have it setup, the following code example should work:

#!/usr/bin/env python

from pyvirtualdisplay import Display
from selenium import webdriver

display = Display(visible=0, size=(800, 600))
display.start()

browser = webdriver.Firefox()
browser.get('http://www.google.com')
browser.save_screenshot('screenie.png')
browser.quit()

display.stop()

this will:

  • launch a virtual display
  • launch Firefox browser inside the virtual display
  • navigate to google.com
  • capture and save a screenshot
  • close the browser
  • stop the virtual display

Deploying code to production can be filled with uncertainty. Reduce the risks, and deploy earlier and more often. Download this free guide to learn more. Brought to you in partnership with Rollbar.

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