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Chromium binaries for your NodeJS project

node-chromium allows you to easily add Chromium binaries to your project and use it for automation, testing, web scraping or just for fun.

Why Chromium?

Chromium is an open-source web browser developed and maintained by The Chromium Project. Google Chrome, also released in 2008, is a proprietary web browser developed and maintained by Google. The reason why Chrome and Chromium are tied to each other is that Chome borrows Chromium’s source code.
The main benefit of using Chromium is that it doesn't include all the proprietary modifications made by Google, thus it's more lightweight and more suitable for automation purposes.
You can see full list of differences in Fossbytes article.

Requirements

Starting from version 2.2.0 node-chromium is tested against and supports Node.js LTS and latest stable releases
Versions 2.0.0 - 2.1.2 support Node.js 7+
If you need to use older versions of Node.js try node-chromium 1.x.x releases.

Usage

Depending on your needs, you can install module into devDependencies (--save-dev) or production dependencies (--save)

npm install --save chromium

During the installation process node-chromium will find the latest suitable build for your platform, download it and extract into libraries folder. As soon as installation is finished, you are ready to use Chromium in your project:

const chromium = require('chromium');
const {execFile} = require('child_process');

execFile(chromium.path, ['https://google.com'], err => {
	console.log('Hello Google!');
});

Proxy Configuration

When downloading the chromium binary node-chromium will use the proxy configured for npm to establish HTTP(S) connections. The proxy used by npm can be configured using

npm config set proxy http://<username>:<password>@<the.proxy.hostname>:<port>
npm config set https-proxy http://<username>:<password>@<the.proxy.hostname>:<port
npm config set no-proxy localhost,127.0.0.1,example.org

Additionally proxy settings found in the environment variables HTTP_PROXY, HTTPS_PROXY and NO_PROXY will be used if they are not defined in the .npmrc file.

Install a concrete revision

If you want to specify the revision of Chromium to be installed, just set the environment variable NODE_CHROMIUM_REVISION to the number of the revision you want to install, as in:

export NODE_CHROMIUM_REVISION=729994

Note - may also be set in .npmrc like so:

node_chromium_revision=729994

Use a Download Mirror

You may download a specific revision from an alternate download host using the environment variable NODE_CHROMIUM_DOWNLOAD_HOST, for example:

export NODE_CHROMIUM_REVISION=737027
export NODE_CHROMIUM_DOWNLOAD_HOST=https://npm.taobao.org/mirrors/chromium-browser-snapshots/

# If running on Linux x64 this will download binary from:
# https://npm.taobao.org/mirrors/chromium-browser-snapshots/Linux_x64/737027/chrome-linux.zip?alt=media

Notes on NODE_CHROMIUM_DOWNLOAD_HOST:

  • The default download host is https://www.googleapis.com/download/storage/v1/b/chromium-browser-snapshots/o/
  • Mirrors are expected to host binaries in the structure: <NODE_CHROMIUM_DOWNLOAD_HOST>/<PLATFORM_ARCHITECTURE>/<REVISION>/<OS_CHROMIUM_FILE_NAME>.zip?alt=media for example see the taobao mirror chromium-browser-snapshots.
  • May also be set in .npmrc like so:
node_chromium_download_host=https://npm.taobao.org/mirrors/chromium-browser-snapshots/
node_chromium_revision=737027

Selenium WebDriver Headless (without UI) tests

It's extremely easy to use node-chromium with selenium-webdriver to perform e2e tests without spawning browser UI. First, install all dependencies

npm install --save chromium chromedriver selenium-webdriver

After the installation is finished, create simple script that opens Google Search home page and takes it's screenshot in headless mode.

const fs = require('fs');
const webdriver = require('selenium-webdriver');
const chrome = require('selenium-webdriver/chrome');
const chromium = require('chromium');
require('chromedriver');

async function start() {
    let options = new chrome.Options();
    options.setChromeBinaryPath(chromium.path);
    options.addArguments('--headless');
    options.addArguments('--disable-gpu');
    options.addArguments('--window-size=1280,960');

    const driver = await new webdriver.Builder()
        .forBrowser('chrome')
        .setChromeOptions(options)
        .build();
		
    await driver.get('http://google.com');
    console.log('Hello Google!');
    await takeScreenshot(driver, 'google-start-page');
    
    await driver.quit();
}

async function takeScreenshot(driver, name) {
	await driver.takeScreenshot().then((data) => {
        fs.writeFileSync(name + '.png', data, 'base64');
        console.log('Screenshot is saved');
    });
}

start();

Cache Downloaded Binaries

By default downloaded chromium binaries are cached in the appropriate cache directory for your operating system.

You may override the cache path by setting the NODE_CHROMIUM_CACHE_PATH environment variable to a directory path, for example:

export NODE_CHROMIUM_CACHE_PATH=/path/to/cache/dir/

# or in .npmrc like so:
# node_chromium_cache_path=/path/to/cache/dir/

You may disable caching by setting NODE_CHROMIUM_CACHE_DISABLE to true:

export NODE_CHROMIUM_CACHE_DISABLE=true

# or in .npmrc like so:
# node_chromium_cache_disable=true

Skip Automatic Chromium Install

Chromium will ordinarily be installed when you exectute npm install however you may wish to skip this step if you are going to defer installation and perform it programatically at a later stage. Below is an example of how to do so.

export NODE_CHROMIUM_SKIP_INSTALL=true

# or in .npmrc like so:
# node_chromium_skip_install=true

Then install it programatically when you need it:

chromium.install().then(function() {
    // do stuff...
});

Contributors


Rick Brown

Alex Schlosser

psociety

Daniel Hernández Alcojor

Ryan Cooney

Amila Welihinda

Timon Kurmann

Jakub Wąsik

License

MIT