decapitated : Headless ‘Chrome’ Orchestration

The ‘Chrome’ browser has a headless mode which can be instrumented programmatically. Tools are provided to perform headless ‘Chrome’ instrumentation on the command-line and will eventually provide support for the ‘DevTools’ instrumentation ‘API’ or the forthcoming ‘phantomjs’-like higher-level ‘API’ being promised by the development team.


This pkg will eventually do much under the covers to find the location of the Chrome binary on all operating systems. For now, you’ll need to set an envrionment variable HEADLESS_CHROME to one of these two values:

  • Windows: C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe
  • macOS: /Applications/Google\\ Chrome

Linux folks will know where their binary is (many of you use non-default locations for things).

Use ~/.Renviron to store this value for the time being.

The following functions are implemented:

  • chrome_dump_pdf: “Print” to PDF
  • chrome_read_html: Read a URL via headless Chrome and return the renderd ’ ’ ‘innerHTML’ DOM elements
  • chrome_shot: Capture a screenshot
  • chrome_version: Get Chrome version