[keycloak-dev] Htmlunit vs PhantomJS vs Chrome

Marek Posolda mposolda at redhat.com
Wed Jun 7 15:53:53 EDT 2017

Just a note, the main reason why htmlUnit web driver is so faster than 
other browsers is, that it is fully embedded in the same JVM like tests. 
There is no additional overhead in the communication with other 
processes. The only exception are the HTTP requests for the 
communication with the tested Keycloak server and adapters.

On the other hand, the other web driver implementations, including 
phantomJS, are using external process and there is remote selenium 
server with which the webDriver needs to communicate. It means that all 
the webDriver calls including the most simple (like driver.getTitle() ) 
need to send additional HTTP request to the remote selenium server under 
the covers. All of this adds an additional overhead.

I suspect that headless chrome will also use remote selenium, hence I 
don't expect that performance will be much better comparing to 
phantomJS. But maybe I am wrong..


On 07/06/17 12:14, Stian Thorgersen wrote:
> We've picked Htmlunit as the default browser to run tests with due to it
> being the fastest. Downside is that it simply doesn't work very well for
> all tests, especially those heavy on the javascript side of things like
> testing the JavaScript adapter and admin console.
> Just saw that Chrome is actually bringing a headless option to Chrome 59
> [1]. This is really nice as it allows headless testing with a real browser,
> not just an emulated browser.
> Ideally if this is fast we could use it as the default browser instead of
> htmlunit. Obviously waiting until it's released on all platforms. If it's
> not as fast as htmlunit then maybe there is a compromise.
> The default browser would still be htmlunit. Then individual tests could be
> marked (with an annotation on the class or on the WebDriver field). Those
> marked would use Chrome in headless mode instead of htmlunit. Obviously
> -Dbrowser would continue to override the browser in either case.
> Thoughts? Anyone interested in giving the new headless Chrome option a spin
> and evaluating how fast it is compared to htmlunit?
> [1] https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2017/04/headless-chrome
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