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In linux, is it possible to launch web browser with given window size and url using terminal console or some kind of script (e.g., shell)?

What I want to do is to test the web streaming server to see how many clients can video-stream from the server and manually launch firefox is quite annoying task.

Any comments would be appreciated.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Firefox supports command-line arguments to specify URL, height and width. For example:

firefox -height 600 -width 800 ""

Depending on your setup, that might actually open in new tabs. Use -new-window "" to force a new window.

Do note that these windows will actually launch under a single process, reusing one if FF is already open. Apparently, setting the size will not work unless you're starting a new process (see the comments). You must specify -no-remote in order to launch multiple independent processes, and each must use a different profile, which you can specify with -p "profilename". Profiles must be created before use.

For example, if you were to do this in a loop (bash):

for i in {1..10}
    firefox -no-remote -createprofile testprofile$i
    firefox -no-remote -p testprofile$i -height 600 -width 800 ""&

(The & is at the end to run it in the backround, i.e. don't wait for it to close.)

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Question is tagged Linux but yes dimension parameters work despite not being listed by firefox --help – justbrowsing Aug 9 '13 at 8:28
@justbrowsing Yea, I just noticed I had .exe on the end. Force of habit. The rest should be applicable to Linux, AFAIK. – Bob Aug 9 '13 at 8:28
I tried the following commands and the dimension param looks like not applied: firefox -height 300 -width 200 -new-window "google" – jaeyong Aug 9 '13 at 8:49
also, adding -no-remote -createprofile "test1" to the argument does not work..., which setup am I missing? – jaeyong Aug 9 '13 at 8:50
@jaeyong WorksForMe (Kubuntu, Firefox 23.0, what are you running?). You have to create profiles independently of using them; I'll amend the answer to include that. – Bob Aug 9 '13 at 12:06

The question is unclear. Is this what you are asking?

firefox --no-remote -P testing http://my-url

  • You can just launch Firefox with firefox command
  • --no-remote tells it to launch a new instance
  • -P testing tells it to use a profile you named testing
  • URL opens instance with given URL

As far as the window size requirement, most Window Managers will remember the previous size of the window.

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I can't advise on sizing the browser, but you can launch a firefox instance by simply typing

firefox "url"

From a command line.

So if you want to launch, for example, 10 instances you could write a 1 liner to launch multiple tabs to the same url :

for each in `seq 1 10`; do firefox ; done

I suspect that there are better ways of performance testing the site which don't require a browser, but I'm not an expert when it comes to streaming. WGET and CURL provide command line functionality for getting web pages and may provide a more objective result (I'm guessing you are not wanting to benchmark the browser, and a GUI has a much higher overhead)

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Yes, I don't want to impose anykind of GUI overhead. But, still want to stress the server by video streaming. Any idea? – jaeyong Aug 9 '13 at 8:43
You would need to advise how you are doing the streaming, or replace firefox with a command line stream capturing client. (Maybe VLC can help you by at least lowering the GUI overhead compared with a browser, or you could try, or use mencoder and copy the stream rather then convert it ?) – davidgo Aug 9 '13 at 8:48
Oh, right. VLC or menucoder may help! thanks. I didn't think in that view :) – jaeyong Aug 9 '13 at 8:51

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