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How to install a frozen version of Firefox for your Selenium tests

Whenever Firefox updates, all your Cucumber features that use Selenium break. This is annoying.

In order to remedy this, version 0.5.0 of our geordi gem comes with a script that helps you create an unchanging version of Firefox for your Selenium tests. In particular, this new copy of Firefox will have the following properties:

  • It won't update itself with a newer version
  • It can co-exist with your regular Firefox installation (which you can update at will)
  • It will use a profile separate from the one you use for regular Firefox browsing
  • It will not try to re-use existing Firefox windows
  • It will automatically be used for your Selenium scenarios if you run your Cucumber using the cuc script from the geordi gem.
  • It will live in /opt/firefox-for-selenium


Install the newest version of the geordi gem by saying:

sudo gem install geordi

After installation, you can setup a separate Firefox copy for Selenium like this:


Once the setup process has completed, you have two Firefoxes: One for Selenium tests, one for regular browsing. You can now update your regular Firefox without fear of Selenium breaking.


When you start a Cucumber feature, you need to tell it which Firefox to use for Selenium tests. If you call Cucumber using the cuc script (also part of the geordi gem), this will happen automatically (because it's magic).

If you don't like to use cuc and prefer to run cucumber manually, you can tell Cucumber to use your frozen Firefox copy like this:

PATH=/opt/firefox-for-selenium:$PATH cucumber features/foo.feature


When you get the following error:

./firefox-bin: 1: Syntax error: "(" unexpected

… then you have a 32 bit Linux but downloaded a 64 bit Firefox build.

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Author of this card:

Henning Koch
About this deck:
We are makandra and do test-driven, agile Ruby on Rails software development.
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Posted by Henning Koch to makandropedia