Usage

geckodriver is an implementation of WebDriver, and WebDriver can be used for widely different purposes. How you invoke geckodriver largely depends on your use case.

Selenium

If you are using geckodriver through Selenium, you must ensure that you have version 3.11 or greater. Because geckodriver implements the W3C WebDriver standard and not the same Selenium wire protocol older drivers are using, you may experience incompatibilities and migration problems when making the switch from FirefoxDriver to geckodriver.

Generally speaking, Selenium 3 enabled geckodriver as the default WebDriver implementation for Firefox. With the release of Firefox 47, FirefoxDriver had to be discontinued for its lack of support for the new multi-processing architecture in Gecko.

Selenium client bindings will pick up the geckodriver binary executable from your system’s PATH environmental variable unless you override it by setting the webdriver.gecko.driver Java VM system property:

System.setProperty("webdriver.gecko.driver", "/home/user/bin");

Or by passing it as a flag to the java(1) launcher:

% java -Dwebdriver.gecko.driver=/home/user/bin YourApplication

Your milage with this approach may vary based on which programming language bindings you are using. It is in any case generally the case that geckodriver will be picked up if it is available on the system path. In a bash compatible shell, you can make other programs aware of its location by exporting or setting the PATH variable:

% export PATH=$PATH:/home/user/bin
% whereis geckodriver
geckodriver: /home/user/bin/geckodriver

On Window systems you can change the system path by right-clicking My Computer and choosing Properties. In the dialogue that appears, navigate AdvancedEnvironmental VariablesPath.

Or in the Windows console window:

$ set PATH=%PATH%;C:\bin\geckodriver

Standalone

Since geckodriver is a separate HTTP server that is a complete remote end implementation of WebDriver, it is possible to avoid using the Selenium remote server if you have no requirements to distribute processes across a matrix of systems.

Given a W3C WebDriver conforming client library (or local end) you may interact with the geckodriver HTTP server as if you were speaking to any Selenium server.

Using curl(1):

% geckodriver &
[1] 16010
% 1491834109194   geckodriver     INFO    Listening on 127.0.0.1:4444
% curl -d '{"capabilities": {"alwaysMatch": {"acceptInsecureCerts": true}}}' http://localhost:4444/session
{"sessionId":"d4605710-5a4e-4d64-a52a-778bb0c31e00","value":{"XULappId":"{ec8030f7-c20a-464f-9b0e-13a3a9e97384}","acceptSslCerts":false,"appBuildId":"20160913030425","browserName":"firefox","browserVersion":"51.0a1","command_id":1,"platform":"LINUX","platformName":"linux","platformVersion":"4.9.0-1-amd64","processId":17474,"proxy":{},"raisesAccessibilityExceptions":false,"rotatable":false,"specificationLevel":0,"takesElementScreenshot":true,"takesScreenshot":true,"version":"51.0a1"}}
% curl -d '{"url": "https://mozilla.org"}' http://localhost:4444/session/d4605710-5a4e-4d64-a52a-778bb0c31e00/url
{}
% curl http://localhost:4444/session/d4605710-5a4e-4d64-a52a-778bb0c31e00/url
{"value":"https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/"
% curl -X DELETE http://localhost:4444/session/d4605710-5a4e-4d64-a52a-778bb0c31e00
{}
% fg
geckodriver
^C
%

Using the Python wdclient library:

import webdriver

with webdriver.Session("127.0.0.1", 4444) as session:
    session.url = "https://mozilla.org"
    print "The current URL is %s" % session.url

And to run:

% geckodriver &
[1] 16054
% python example.py
1491835308354   geckodriver     INFO    Listening on 127.0.0.1:4444
The current URL is https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/
% fg
geckodriver
^C
%