Running Selenium Headless Firefox in UBUNTU

If you want run your tests with Selenium without open the browser Firefox, I will write how you can do this:

Verify if you have the last version of Firefox.

1 – Install Firefox headless in Ubuntu

  • Open the file: /etc/apt/sources.list and add the line:
  • Open the terminal and run the commands:
     sudo apt-get update
     sudo apt-get install firefox


2 – Install Xvfb – the X Virtual FrameBuffer. This piece of software emulates the framebuffer using virtual memory which lets you run X-Server in machines with no display devices. This service is required to make browsers run normally by making them believe there is a display available.

  • Open the terminal and run the command:
    sudo apt-get install xvfb
  • Lets run the xvfb service in a display number which is less likely to clash even if you add a display at later stage. For this example, we will assume a display, 5. The parameter -ac makes xvfb run with access control off. The server should be running now.sudo Xvfb :5 -ac


3 – Start browser headlessly in Ubuntu

  • Run the command:
    export DISPLAY=:5

If there was no error on the terminal, then you have successfully running firefox headlessly in Ubuntu. The command should keep running until you kill the process by pressing ctrl+ C or similar. There wont be any output. Now, you can run selenium server as you will run in your local machine.