Run Chrome Browser completely Headless

I just received a message via  the helpdesk from a Ubot friend. Let’s call him John. He told me that Chrome and Firefox are currently working on a headless version of their browsers.

Headless means you can run that browser completely hidden without any UI. Chrome will release that feature with version 60 for the windows platform. But there is already a beta version available.

For all my tests I like to use the portable versions of chrome and firefox. So that I don’t have to install all the different browser onto my system. That makes it a lot easier to test stuff and to switch between versions.

You can download the latest portable versions of chrome here:

​So to enable that headless mode, you have to run chrome with a commandline switch –headless

I did a very quick test with ExBrowser plugin, and it looks like EXB already supports this out of the box. So I tested Chrome Beta 61 portable with EXB and that commandline switch. And I was able to launch the browser without any UI, navigate to Google and take a screenshot.​

I did not test all the possible commands with the headless browser. And there might be limitations or bugs. But this is definitely something you can test and try for yourself. ​

I currently don’t have any plans to run dedicated test with all commands and functions, but if someone finds a problem, I will definitely take a look after I receive a support ticket.​

Here’s the test code I was using:

plugin command(“ExBrowser.dll”, “ExBrowser CleanUp”)
plugin command(“ExBrowser.dll”, “ExBrowser Launcher”, “Chrome”, “”, “{$plugin function(“ExBrowser.dll”, “$ExBrowser Specify Binary Location”, “E:!DownloadsGoogleChromePortableDev61AppChrome-binchromexxx.exe”)}{$plugin function(“ExBrowser.dll”, “$ExBrowser Generic Chrome Parameter”, “–headless”)}”)

plugin command(“ExBrowser.dll”, “ExBrowser Navigate”, “www.google.de”)
plugin command(“ExBrowser.dll”, “ExBrowser Save Screenshot”, “e:xxx1.jpg”, “JPG”)
plugin command(“ExBrowser.dll”, “ExBrowser Close”)