Headless Browser Testing

Headless browser testing is turning into extra popular in software testing out in recent times. With chrome and firefox having launched their variations with aid for headless flags, it has to turn out to be even much easier. In this blog, let’s explore what exactly is ‘headless browser testing’, its benefits and tools to be used for headless browser testing. The last “aim of checking the automation is to increase the velocity of testing.

Headless Browser Needs

Headless browser testing is a beneficial technique and may be used for the following blessings:


Webpage interactions can be automated including form submissions, keyboard inputs, mouse clicks, etc. You can also run automated checks for JavaScript libraries. Headless browser checking out can enable updated automated assessments in a browser environment.

Layout Testing

Headless browser testing can facilitate quite a few format exams like take a look at style factors such as page layouts (e.g. figuring out the default width of the page, the coordinates in which the detail is), color selection for any elements, font used, etc. You may even automate display captures for format tests.


Headless browser trying out is quicker than real browsers due to the fact they do not come with all of the overhead of starting up a browser GUI, and this equates to quicker consequences for your assessments.

Data Extraction

It is much simpler and faster to navigate to a website headlessly, scraping of data, and use the outcomes to check more than one webpages as part of a satisfactory manage effort.

Looks impressive, isn’t. However, we should also do not forget the restrictions and boundaries of headless browser testing.

 - Debugging is very difficult in headless browser trying out.
 - It may be limiting, if you need to check the complete style of browser and OS aggregate to make certain coverage.
 - It may be limiting, while performing full UI assessments, because it won’t engage with the browser the manner your customers would.

Browser Support in Headless Testing

  1. PhantomJS
  2. Headless Chrome
  3. Headless Firefox
  4. Splash
  5. Selenium WebDriver
  6. Nightmare
  7. HtmlUnit
  8. CasperJS
  9. Puppeteer


PhantomJS is a headless WebKit scriptable with a JavaScript API. It has speedy and native guide for various web standards: DOM handling, CSS selector, JSON, Canvas, and SVG.

DesiredCapabilities capabilities = new DesiredCapabilities (); 
capabilities.setCapability(PhantomJSDriverService.PHANTOMJS_EXECUTABLE_PATH_PROPERTY, “drivers/phantomjs.exe”);

WebDriver driver = new PhantomJSDriver(capabilities);


HTML Unit Driver is the light weight and fastest implementation headless browser of WebDriver. It is based totally on HtmlUnit. It is known as Headless Browser Driver. It is identical as Chrome, IE, or Firefox driver, however it does no longer have GUI so one can’t see the check execution on screen.

  • Chrome
System.setProperty(“webdriver.chrome.driver”, “drivers/chromedriver.exe”);
ChromeOptions options = new ChromeOptions ();
WebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver(options);
  • Firefox
FirefoxBinary firefoxBinary = new FirefoxBinary ();
System.setProperty(“webdriver.gecko.driver”, “drivers/geckodriver.exe”);
FirefoxOptions firefoxOptions = new FirefoxOptions ();
FirefoxDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver(firefoxOptions);


Automated headless browser checking out is very much useful when you need fast remarks on components of your application. They are short to set up, and can make sure that snippets of code are running with the stop-to-cease experience.

Published 4 Jun 2020

Written by Kuldeep Chhipa

Quality Assurance Specialist currently runs the QA squad as a team Contributor and loves Automation. I help business owners to grow their businesses online.

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