How to hide your selenium browser window with "headless"

Note: While the solution in this card should still work, we prefer another solution now: Hide your Selenium browser window with a VNC server.

If you would like to hide the annoying selenium browser window that always gets the focus and prevents you from working, you can use the headless gem Archive . This note provides some instructions how you can get it to work with your cucumber acceptance tests using selenium webdriver as a capybara driver.

  1. Install xvfb if it is not installed yet on your system.

    sudo apt-get install xvfb
  2. Add the headless gem to your Gemfile.

    group :cucumber do
      gem 'headless'
  3. Go to your features/support/env.rb file and include the following snippet:

    require 'headless'
    headless =
    at_exit do
    Before("@selenium,@javascript", "~@no-headless") do
      headless.start if Capybara.current_driver == :selenium
    After("@selenium,@javascript", "~@no-headless") do
      headless.stop if Capybara.current_driver == :selenium

    This starts an xvfb process, registers a hook to destroy the process on exit and starts and stops the headless mode if you are running a scenario
    that is tagged with @selenium or @javascript.

    If you don't want a specific scenario to hide the selenium browser window, you can tag it with @no-headless.

Note: If you are using paralell_tests to run your tests in parallel you have to take care of several things to get selenium to work. Please have a look at the note on running your tests in parallel.

Ulrich Berkmueller over 10 years ago
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