Web Scraping Using an Automated Browser
We will install one package to help us here: ChromeDriver.
Installing this stuff is operating-system specific, hence so are the instructions below.
Watch our YouTube video, in which we walk you through the setup on Windows.
- Install Google Chrome from here.
- Download the windows version of Chromedriver from here.
- Extract the contents from the zip file, and extract them into a new directory under
C:\chromedriver. If you do not have admin rights, you can put the file also in another folder, for example
C:\Program Files\chromedriver, or
C:\Users\[your-username]\chromedriver. It does not matter where exactly the file will be put, as long as you remember where it is (it’s not a good idea though to leave it in your downloads folder).
- Make sure that the chromedriver.exe file is directly under the PATH you specified, i.e. under
C:\chromedriver(or an alternative path). If your zip unpacker created a new folder with a different name inside your specified folder, move the .exe file to that path.
- Add the directory
C:\chromedriver(or whichever directory you chose above) to your PATH as described before (for instructions, see below)
- If this went successfully, open a terminal/command prompt, and enter
chromedriver --version, you should get output that looks like
ChromeDriver [version number]
chromedriver available via the PATH settings on Windows.
We need to update our PATH settings; these settings are a set of directories that Windows uses to “look up” software to startup.
Open the settings for environment variables
- Right-click on Computer.
- Go to “Properties” and select the tab “Advanced System settings”.
- Choose “Environment Variables”
Alternatively, type “environment variable” (Dutch: omgevingsvariabelen) in your Windows 10 search menu, and press Enter.
Pathfrom the list of user variables. Choose
Windows 7 and 8 machines: If you chose your installation directory to be
C:\chromedriverduring your installation (i.e., you did use the default directory), copy and paste the following string without spaces at the start or end:
Windows 10 machines:
Newand paste the following string:
OKas often as needed.
Let’s install Homebrew first!
Make sure your
Homebrew package is up-to-date. To do so, open a terminal and enter
If that returns an error,
Homebrew is not installed.
- To install Homebrew, open a terminal and paste the following command:
/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install.sh)"
- To verify that Homebrew installed correctly, enter the following into your terminal
…and you should see the following output
Your system is ready to brew
brew doctor returns some warnings. While it’s advisable to fix them (eventually), you typically don’t have to do it to get started with Chromedriver - so just try to continue from here.
Let’s proceed to installing Chromedriver
We assume you have Google Chrome installed. If not, do this first, please.
brew cask install chromedriver
- Verify your install, by entering the following in your terminal. The expected output is
- Open a terminal session
- Install Google Chrome for Debian/Ubuntu by pasting the following and then pressing
sudo apt-get install libxss1 libappindicator1 libindicator7 wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb sudo dpkg -i google-chrome*.deb sudo apt-get install -f
xvfbso chrome can run ‘headless’ by pasting the following and then pressing
sudo apt-get install xvfb
- Install Chromedriver by pasting the following and then pressing
sudo apt-get install unzip wget -N https://chromedriver.storage.googleapis.com/2.41/chromedriver_linux64.zip unzip chromedriver_linux64.zip chmod +x chromedriver sudo mv -f chromedriver /usr/local/share/chromedriver sudo ln -s /usr/local/share/chromedriver /usr/local/bin/chromedriver sudo ln -s /usr/local/share/chromedriver /usr/bin/chromedriver
- Your install worked, you should get
ChromeDriver XXreturned if the installation was successful