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Rafał Garbowski
Rafał Garbowski

Posted on • Originally published at

Three ways to configure HTTP Proxy in Playwright


In fact, in Playwright v.1.31.1 there are three ways to configure an HTTP proxy:

  • chromium.launch
  • browser.newContext
  • page.setExtraHTTPHeaders, but works only on Firefox

Today I was struggling with proxy setup for Browserless ...

Official docs says:

Both browserless, and Chrome itself, support the usage of external proxies. In order to fully utilize a 3rd-party proxy you'll need to do two things:

-   Specify the address of where the proxy is with the `--proxy-server` switch.
-   Optionally, you'll also need to send in your username and password if the proxy is authenticated.
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Ok, so I need to set --proxy-server. I was using a Docker image to run Browserless locally. I discovered that there is an environment variable called PROXY_URL:

podman run --rm -p 3000:3000 -e "PROXY_URL=my-proxy-url" browserless/chrome:latest
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Fine, but how do I pass on the username and password?
Docs say there are two methods:

## Using username and password
### Method 1: page.authenticate
### Method 2: page.setExtraHTTPHeaders
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I'm using playwright-java and there is no method page.authenticate, so page.setExtraHTTPHeaders left, I thought.

page.setExtraHTTPHeaders(Map.of("Proxy-Authorization", "Basic "  
   + new String(Base64.getEncoder().encode("username:password".getBytes()))));
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Unfortunately, it does not work. I received the following strange error: net::ERR_INVALID_ARGUMENT. Besides there was no errors in container's logs. What's the hack?

Google's top two results for playwright Proxy-Authorization:

I quickly checked the first link. The answer says that there are two ways. I didn't read further, because I thought that I know these ways - one is method I'm struggling with and second chromium.launch, right? :) Later it turned out that I was wrong!

The second link looks like what I need. However issue was closed without any conclusion. The alternative shown, was one that I already knew:

browser = await playwright.chromium.launch(
    proxy={"server": "localhost:8080", "username": "user", "password": ""},
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The case was that I didn't want to lanuch browser, but rather connect to one created inside container.

I dug even deeper and found another similar issue in Playwright project:
# [Feature] Directly set Proxy-Authorization in Chrome without configuring any other proxy settings

The problem (in Chrome/Chromium anyway) is that Proxy-Authorization may not be set explicitly via extraHTTPHeaders. If you do this and then try to navigate to any page Chrome will give you the following error: net::ERR_INVALID_ARGUMENT.

I was lost, considering changing my approach...

Fortunately, my teammate assisted me by showing some examples of where I found a missing piece:

Browser.NewContextOptions options = new Browser.NewContextOptions()  
   .setProxy(new Proxy("my-proxy-url")  
BrowserContext context = browser.newContext(options);
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Ta da! As simple as that! 😃

I checked the playwright docs and it appears to be possible:

Proxy can be either set globally for the entire browser, or for each browser context individually.
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Unluckily there is no example, so it's hard to spot.

I also double-checked node.js - How do I authenticate a proxy in playwright - Stack Overflow and configuring proxy via browser.newContext was actually there, but I missed it (confused by Browserless docs?):

const browser = await chromium.launch({
    proxy: { server: 'per-context' }
const context = await browser.newContext({
    proxy: { server: '' }
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Getting to the point:
Festina lente ("hurry slowly") and read comprehension!

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