Puppeteer is one of the most popular browser automation libraries for testing and web scraping, but is there a Puppeteer Golang port of the library? Read on to find out.
Is Puppeteer Available for Go?
No, unfortunately, there isn't a Golang Puppeteer port. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't some great headless browser alternatives for testing and Golang web scraping. Check out the summary table below to see the most recommended ones:
|Library||Ease of Use||Browser Support||Anti-Bot Bypass|
|Rod||Medium-difficult||Chrome, Edge, Firefox||❌|
|Selenium Golang||Medium-difficult||Chrome, Firefox||❌|
|Playwright for Go||Medium-difficult||Chrome, Firefox, WebKit||❌|
Time to dig into the pros and cons of each of those libraries!
1. ZenRows: The Most Complete Overall
ZenRows is an all-in-one solution to retrieve data from any website with a single API request. As a complete scraping tool, it also supports browser automation thanks to its headless browser capabilities to render dynamic content and avoid getting blocked.
It rotates premium proxies and randomizes the User Agent for you, as well as implements many other techniques, to help you bypass all anti-scraping protections.
- Easy to use and integrate.
- Works with any programming language.
- Effective on sites with anti-bot enabled.
- Browser automation capabilities in a single API call.
- Offers premium proxies to geolocate you in more than 195 countries.
- Handles scalability for you.
- 99.9% uptime and live chat support.
- Requires a complementary libraryfor data parsing, such as GoQuery.
- Many user interactions are available.
- Premium proxies.
- Complete anti-bot toolkit.
- Built-in parallelization capabilities.
- Auto-parsing capabilities for popular sites.
2. Chromedp: The GitHub Star
With almost 10k stars on GitHub, Chromedp proves to be one of the favorite Puppeteer Golang alternatives by the community.
- Large support from the Golang community.
- Screenshots, mouse movements, mouse clicks, form submissions, and other interactions.
- Official integration with Docker via
- Works only with browsers that support the DevTools Protocol (Chrome, Edge).
- Not the easiest library to use.
- Can get your requests flagged and blocked.
- Complete Chrome automation through the DevTools Protocol.
- Dozens of user interaction actions are available.
- 5+ smart wait functions.
3. Rod: A Feature-Rich Tool
Rod is a Golang driver library for web automation and scraping. As a Puppeteer Golang alternative, it provides a high-level API to control Chrome over the DevTools Protocol.
Rod offers high-level and low-level utilities to attract both junior and senior developers. The high-level functions are designed to provide a seamless coding experience while the low-level ones allow customization of the browser automation experience.
- Intuitive syntax based on chained methods.
- Several high-level helper functions.
- Works with nested iframes or shadow DOMs.
- 100% test coverage.
- Works only with browsers supporting the DevTools Protocol (Chrome, Edge).
- Dozens of auto-wait functions are available.
- Debugging friendly.
- Thread-safe for all operations
- Both high-level and low-level API.
- Automatically find or download browsers for you.
4. Selenium: The Evergreen Port
Selenium Golang is an unofficial port of the popular Selenium WebDriver library. The
tebeka/selenium package provides the ability to control browsers via the WebDriver protocol. Even though the library hasn't been actively maintained since 2021, it still works with some workarounds.
As Selenium is one of Puppeteer's main competitors, you can consider
tebeka/selenium a viable Puppeteer Golang alternative.
- Based on the popular Selenium API.
- Easy to learn if you are familiar with Selenium.
- Supports Firefox.
- Last commit in 2021.
- No longer works with the latest versions of Chrome.
- Most online examples are outdated.
- Doesn't support WebKit browsers.
- Element selection via CSS selectors or XPath expressions.
- Functions to simulate clicking, typing, and other interactions.
- CLI command to download the browser driver and Selenium WebDriver JARs.
5. Playwright: Cross-Browser, Cross-Platform
Playwright for Go is a port of the modern web automation Playwright library. Keep in mind that Microsoft created Playwright to overcome Puppeteer's limitations. Therefore, Playwright for Go is a great Golang Puppeteer alternative.
It enables cross-browser and cross-platform web automation with a single API. This means that the same script can control Chrome, Firefox, and WebKit on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
- Based on the reliable Playwright API.
- Maintained by the large Playwright community.
- Cross-browser automation capabilities.
- Port not officially maintained by Microsoft.
- Still relatively new, with first release in 2020.
- Headless execution supported by all browsers on all platforms.
- Automatic waiting for elements to be ready before interacting with them.
- Interception of network activity for stubbing and mocking.
- CLI command to download all necessary dependencies.
- Mobile device simulation supported.
6. Godet: Small But Powerful
Godet is a remote client library for Chrome DevTools. It allows you to control a Chrome instance via a simple API. Even though it's less popular compared to the Puppeteer Golang alternatives presented above, the community loves it.
Godet isn't an all-in-one tool with hundreds of features, but it's great in what it offers. This makes it ideal for small and simple web automation projects.
- Simple API.
- Actively maintained.
- Limited capabilities.
- Small community.
- Requires manual configuration and execution of Chrome in remote debugging mode.
- Functions for mouse interaction.
- Cookie and header management.
- Multiple tab support.
- Page elements to PDF functionality.
7. Surf: Stateful Web Browsing
Surf is a library for stateful programmatic web browsing in Go. It implements a virtual web browser that you control as a human user would, which includes cookie, history, and bookmarking management.
Surf's goal is to provide a browser-automation-like experience. At the same time, it's just a
goquery wrapper, which means it can't really interact with the page in a browser. The names of the functions it exposes make you think so, but it only relies on workarounds based on the HTML parser.
- All-in-one scraping API for static pages.
- Functions with intuitive names based on user actions.
- Last release in 2021.
- Doesn't open pages in the browser.
- Can't really simulate user interactions on a page.
- Complete browsing experience with history and bookmarking.
- DOM selection and traversal via jQuery-like CSS selectors.
- Asset downloading capabilities.
This article taught you that Puppeteer isn't available in Golang. Yet, you can still perform browser automation thanks to some great headless browser Go libraries.
You now know the pros, cons, and features of seven Puppeteer Golang alternatives, among which Chromedp and ZenRows stand out.
No matter how sophisticated your web automation logic is, anti-bot solutions can still detect you. Avoid them all with ZenRows, the browser automation scraping API designed to bypass all anti-bot measures. Try ZenRows for free!