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How to use GeckoDriver in Selenium?

One of the most popular Web automation tools in the IT sector today is Selenium. New GeckoDriver in Selenium versions are released as time goes on, new features are routinely added, and the user base continues to grow. With the release of Selenium 3 and 4, using the Gecko Driver has recently become essential. Then, in this article, we’ll learn everything there is to know about the Selenium GeckoDriver and examine its application in selenium scripts. Check out the Selenium online training to learn more.

What is GeckoDriver?

Before understanding the GeckoDriver, let’s first understand Gecko. Mozilla created the web browser engine known as Gecko. It is utilised by numerous applications created by the Mozilla Foundation or Mozilla Corporation. Since 2016, the GeckoDriver has also been available in Rust, JavaScript, and C++. The operating systems Windows, macOS, Linux, Unix, and BSD can also use it.

The bridge that connects Firefox and Selenium testing is called GeckoDriver. GeckoDriver is, in other words, a proxy that communicates with Gecko-based browsers like Firefox and W3C WebDriver-compatible clients. As a result, occasionally people confuse it with the GeckoDriver and call it the Firefox driver. GeckoDriver, often known as the Firefox driver, connects our Selenium tests to the Mozilla Firefox web browser. Additionally, it is an executable file that the system paths for your test require.

How does GeckoDriver work?

Using the GeckoDriver, the WebDriver establishes a connection with the Firefox browser. This application launches a local server, just like the other drivers (such as ChromeDriver), which executes your selenium tests. It translates calls into the Marionette automation protocol by acting as a proxy between the local and distant ends.

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How to use GeckoDriver in Selenium?

A request is sent from the client or the local system to the geckodriver via a WebDriver call. These requests are translated into Marionette Protocol by the GeckoDriver and sent to the Marionette Driver. Now, the server uses the GeckoDriver to send the response back to the client. As a result, the execution takes place within the browser. Now that we are aware of how the Firefox driver functions, it is time to comprehend why we require it in order to run our Selenium tests.

Why use Gecko Driver?

Launching the Firefox browser was simple when using earlier Selenium versions (such as version 2.53 & below. There are codes that may also be used to accomplish this directly, and the WebDriver reference could be used to create a Firefox driver.

Before Marionette was integrated into Firefox, WebDriver’s default browser was Firefox, and it included a built-in driver to start the Firefox browser. Additionally, the WebDriver natively implements the FirefoxDriver, thus no executable was required to launch Firefox. The Firefox browser may be launched with just one line of code, as demonstrated above. However, with Firefox v47.0+, we must employ a proxy in order to communicate with the browser.

Additionally, any third-party driver cannot directly interface with Firefox 47.0 and above. Selenium 2 is difficult to use with the most recent Firefox versions as a result. Since Selenium 3 has the MarionetteDriver, we must use it. A Mozilla automation driver called Marionette may directly manipulate a Gecko platform like Firefox’s internal JavaScript or UI. Therefore, GeckoDriver is required in order to create an object and start Firefox.

How is GeckoDriver installed on Windows?

The download, installation, and use of GeckoDriver on the Windows operating system will all be covered in this section. We will go into great detail about the various setup options for your Selenium scripts. Therefore, let’s first start with downloading the driver executable for the Windows platform:

  • First, you can get the platform-specific GeckoDriver directly from Github (ideally the most recent version). We will download the file “geckodriver-latest-version>-win64.zip” because we are downloading it for the Windows 64-bit operating system.
  • Secondly, unzip the gecko driver file that was downloaded.
  • Thirdly, please decide where you want to save it.
How to use GeckoDriver in Selenium?

The GeckoDriver can now be used in your test scripts as planned. The driver needs to be configured on our system in the following step.

How To Setup GeckoDriver on Windows?

GeckoDriver cannot be instantiated directly, in contrast to older versions of the Firefox driver. Before explicitly establishing an instance of the WebDriver, it must be initialised. The FirefoxDriver should have access to the path of the GeckoDriver executable file so that it may locate the path of the GeckoDriver executable file when the user creates an instance of the WebDriver using the FirefoxDriver. It will result in an effective initialization. Any of the methods listed below can be used to set up GeckoDriver:

  • Setup GeckoDriver using System Properties in Environment Variables.
  • Set up GeckoDriver using System Properties in the test script.
  • Similarly, set up GeckoDriver by initialising the Desired capabilities for the browser.

Conclusion 

You can run your Selenium scripts using GeckoDriver and start the Firefox browser in any of the numerous ways listed above. You can also freely run your scripts in headless mode to maximise execution speed. Additionally, you can effectively create tests if you know how to avoid common exceptions. To learn more about GeckoDriver, check out the Selenium training online

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