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1.1.0 • Public • Published

Chrome Launcher GitHub Actions Status Badge NPM chrome-launcher package

Launch Google Chrome with ease from node.

  • Disables many Chrome services that add noise to automated scenarios
  • Opens up the browser's remote-debugging-port on an available port
  • Automagically locates a Chrome binary to launch
  • Uses a fresh Chrome profile for each launch, and cleans itself up on kill()
  • Binds Ctrl-C (by default) to terminate the Chrome process
  • Exposes a small set of options for configurability over these details

Once launched, interacting with the browser must be done over the devtools protocol, typically via chrome-remote-interface. For many cases Puppeteer is recommended, though it has its own chrome launching mechanism.


yarn add chrome-launcher

# or with npm:
npm install chrome-launcher



Launch options

  // (optional) remote debugging port number to use. If provided port is already busy, launch() will reject
  // Default: an available port is autoselected
  port: number;

  // (optional) When `port` is specified *and* no Chrome is found at that port,
  // * if `false` (default), chrome-launcher will launch a new Chrome with that port.
  // * if `true`, throw an error
  // This option is useful when you wish to explicitly connect to a running Chrome, such as on a mobile device via adb
  // Default: false
  portStrictMode: boolean;

  // (optional) Additional flags to pass to Chrome, for example: ['--headless', '--disable-gpu']
  // See:
  // Do note, many flags are set by default:
  chromeFlags: Array<string>;

  // (optional) Additional preferences to be set in Chrome, for example: {'download.default_directory': __dirname}
  // See:
  // Do note, if you set preferences when using your default profile it will overwrite these
  prefs: {[key: string]: Object};

  // (optional) Close the Chrome process on `Ctrl-C`
  // Default: true
  handleSIGINT: boolean;

  // (optional) Explicit path of intended Chrome binary
  // * If this `chromePath` option is defined, it will be used.
  // * Otherwise, the `CHROME_PATH` env variable will be used if set. (`LIGHTHOUSE_CHROMIUM_PATH` is deprecated)
  // * Otherwise, a detected Chrome Canary will be used if found
  // * Otherwise, a detected Chrome (stable) will be used
  chromePath: string;

  // (optional) Chrome profile path to use, if set to `false` then the default profile will be used.
  // By default, a fresh Chrome profile will be created
  userDataDir: string | boolean;

  // (optional) Starting URL to open the browser with
  // Default: `about:blank`
  startingUrl: string;

  // (optional) Logging level
  // Default: 'silent'
  logLevel: 'verbose'|'info'|'error'|'silent';

  // (optional) Flags specific in [flags.ts](src/flags.ts) will not be included.
  // Typically used with the defaultFlags() method and chromeFlags option.
  // Default: false
  ignoreDefaultFlags: boolean;

  // (optional) Interval in ms, which defines how often launcher checks browser port to be ready.
  // Default: 500
  connectionPollInterval: number;

  // (optional) A number of retries, before browser launch considered unsuccessful.
  // Default: 50
  maxConnectionRetries: number;

  // (optional) A dict of environmental key value pairs to pass to the spawned chrome process.
  envVars: {[key: string]: string};

Launched chrome interface

.launch().then(chrome => ...

// The remote debugging port exposed by the launched chrome
chrome.port: number;

// Method to kill Chrome (and cleanup the profile folder)
chrome.kill: () => Promise<void>;

// The process id number;

// The childProcess object for the launched Chrome
chrome.process: childProcess


Returns an Array<string> of the default flags Chrome is launched with. Typically used along with the ignoreDefaultFlags and chromeFlags options.

Note: This array will exclude the following flags: --remote-debugging-port --disable-setuid-sandbox --user-data-dir.


Returns an Array<string> of paths to available Chrome installations. When chromePath is not provided to .launch(), the first installation returned from this method is used instead.

Note: This method performs synchronous I/O operations.


Attempts to kill all Chrome instances created with .launch([opts]). Returns a Promise that resolves to an array of errors that occurred while killing instances. If all instances were killed successfully, the array will be empty.

import * as ChromeLauncher from 'chrome-launcher';

async function cleanup() {
  await ChromeLauncher.killAll();


Launching chrome:

import * as ChromeLauncher from 'chrome-launcher';

  startingUrl: ''
}).then(chrome => {
  console.log(`Chrome debugging port running on ${chrome.port}`);

Launching headless chrome:

import * as ChromeLauncher from 'chrome-launcher';

  startingUrl: '',
  chromeFlags: ['--headless', '--disable-gpu']
}).then(chrome => {
  console.log(`Chrome debugging port running on ${chrome.port}`);

Launching with support for extensions and audio:

import * as ChromeLauncher from 'chrome-launcher';

const newFlags = ChromeLauncher.Launcher.defaultFlags().filter(flag => flag !== '--disable-extensions' && flag !== '--mute-audio');

  ignoreDefaultFlags: true,
  chromeFlags: newFlags,
}).then(chrome => { ... });

Continuous Integration

In a CI environment like Travis, Chrome may not be installed. If you want to use chrome-launcher, Travis can install Chrome at run time with an addon. Alternatively, you can also install Chrome using the script.

Then in .travis.yml, use it like so:

language: node_js
  - yarn install
  - export DISPLAY=:99.0
  - export CHROME_PATH="$(pwd)/chrome-linux/chrome"
  - sh -e /etc/init.d/xvfb start
  - sleep 3 # wait for xvfb to boot

  chrome: stable




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npm i chrome-launcher

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