Introduction To Selenium 3.0: An Upgradation Using GeckoDriver


Introduction To Selenium 3.0: An Upgradation Using GeckoDriver

Selenium 2.0 was released in 2011 and introduced the new WebDriver APIs that encouraged everyone to start moving to them. Selenium 3.0 is a simple drop-in upgrade version if you're currently using the WebDriver APIs. None of the WebDriver APIs have been changed, and the code is essentially the same as the last 2.x release. Even if you're using Selenium Grid, the same applies: in most cases, you can just drop in the new JAR, and you're done.

At the same time as the Selenium project is shipping Selenium 3.0, internals of Firefox are being changed by Mozilla to make it more stable and secure which also makes the community-provided Firefox Driver no longer work. If you use Firefox for your testing, you'll need to use the geckodriver, which is an executable similar to the chromedriver and MS's edgedriver. Even if you're using Selenium 2, you'll need to start using geckodriver— the change is in the browser, not Selenium.

Gecko Driver:

It is a proxy for using W3C WebDriver-compatible clients to interrelate with Gecko-based browsers. Geckodriver provides HTTP API defined by the WebDriver protocol to connect with Gecko browsers, such as Firefox (Version after 47).

Selenium 3 turns on Marionette (the next generation of Firefox Driver) by default. Selenium 3 expects from us to set path to the driver executable by the webdriver.gecko.driver, even if you are working with older versions of Firefox browser.

Note: If we are using Selenium version below 2.53, we don't need gecko additional driver.

If we are not doing so, it will throw exception "java.lang.IllegalStateException: The webdriver.gecko.driver system property must set the path to the driver executable;"

The other significant changes in Selenium 3.x are listed below:

* The original RC APIs are only available via the leg-rc package.

* Ensure that the leg-rc package is on the classpath, to run exported IDE tests.

* Minimum java version is now 8+.

* Official support for IE requires version 9 or above.

* Unused command line arguments are now no longer described.

* New html-table runner supported by WebDriver.

Now let us see the example to launch firefox browser with Selenium 3 using gecko driver:

System.setProperty("webdriver.gecko.driver", "path of geckodriver.exe");

WebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver();

package com.testing;

import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;

import org.openqa.selenium.firefox.FirefoxDriver;

import org.testng.annotations.Test;

public class SeleniumWithGeckodriver {

       public WebDriver driver;


       public void browserOpenUsingGeckodriver() {

              System.setProperty("webdriver.gecko.driver", "path of geckodriver.exe");

              driver = new FirefoxDriver();



       public void openUrl() {





       public void closeDriver() {




To run tests on remote machines, WebDriver has to use the case of the DesiredCapabilities and RemoteWebDriver in order to specify version, platform and browser name to implement tests.

Usually to run tests on our local machine, we will just specify as WebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver(); to run on Firefox browser.

We need to use remote webdriver to perform tests on remote machine. The sample code given below is to perform your tests on remote machine with Firefox gecko driver.

System.setProperty("webdriver.gecko.driver", "path of geckodriver.exe");

DesiredCapabilities capabilities=DesiredCapabilities.firefox();

capabilities.setCapability("marionette", true);

WebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver(capabilities);


The above code is verified Firefox 47+ version and selenium-server-standalone-3.0.0-beta2 version.

Just update/add the following selenium dependency to your pom.xml: in your Maven project.







With the latest versions of Firefox, the most common issue people are facing is org.openqa.selenium.firefox.NotConnectedException: Unable to connect to host on port 7055 after 45000 ms.

Users can use Marionette (geckodriver), who are facing the above problem. Please do comment your observation/issue with the versions (Geckodriver, Firefox and Selenium) that you have used.

User should be able to download Gecko Driver version 0.11 as it will resolve the issues related to windows32 bit.



Suraj works as Automation Test Engineer at BugRaptors. He is responsible for Automation testing on Web and Mobile application. He has working knowledge in Selenium Web driver(Web application), Appium(Android and iOS), Microsoft SQL Server and HP QTP (Web and window application).

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