Skip to content


Folders and files

Last commit message
Last commit date

Latest commit



14 Commits

Repository files navigation

Looking Glass

Looking Glass is a simple web screenshot API using Puppeteer.

When I say simple, I really mean simple. It was designed to serve exactly one API endpoint with one use case, which is to generate thumbnail previews for my Hacker News Reader.

Installation and usage

To install ...

  1. git clone the repository
  2. Install Node's dependencies with yarn install (or npm install).
  3. If you don't already have Chrome installed on your system and you're on a Linux system (like a server), you might also need to install required OS-level libraries. Because I run looking-glass almost exclusively on Debian-based Linux systems, I've checked the script that you can run on a Debian system to bootstrap all required libraries.
  4. You'll need a configuration file, config.js, at the root of the project. There's a mock config file checked into the repostory as mock.config.js -- feel free to use that as the base.
    • You'll need to set an API token or two that you can use to access the service, since Puppeteer isn't exactly the most lightweight service. I could use more sophisticated systems for managing access tokens, but since it's just me using it, I'm just embedding tokens in the AUTHORIZED_TOKENS field of my config file. If you feel adventurous, feel free to try to integrate a better system in. Otherwise, just put a string token in that array in the config file.
  5. Once both sets of dependencies are installed, check that Puppeteer / Chromium launches with yarn start -- it should eventually log Looking Glass running on <port>.
  6. Navigate to <your server>:<port>/screenshot?url=<your api token>. If you see Google's home page, Looking Glass is working!

If you run into any bugs, please feel free to open an issue. But because it's such a narrow use case, if you have feature requests, I might just direct you to more full-featured screenshot services.


A simple web screenshot API using Puppeteer








No releases published


No packages published