I have a cucumber project in Ruby using Selenium Webdriver and Chromedriver and I would like to know if a page I access is up or in maintenance. To do this, I would like to access the response-headers of the HTTP Get request.

Is there a way to do this?

  • Selenium is not best suited to verify HTTP response headers or, in general, to work on HTTP protocol level. I have no expertise in Ruby, but quick search in Google returned two Ruby HTTP clients, gem and Net::HTTP. Here's a way to check response status with the latter: stackoverflow.com/questions/12023231/… – dzieciou May 26 '15 at 17:04
  • Thanks for your answer. Yes, Selenium is not suited to do this. Anyways, I have all my other tests made in Selenium and I wanted to know if there was an error on the requested page (like, the page is under maintenance and there's a redirect) at the beginning of each scenario, and I was hoping I could use Selenium. :) – Tiago May 26 '15 at 17:31
  • You can mix Selenium tests with tests using other technologies. If you really want to use only Selenium, you could verify pages for custom error descriptions or page title: that's the thing you're able to get from HTML document. But they always will be custom to the specific page or app, in contrast to HTTP protocol. – dzieciou May 26 '15 at 17:45

It may be easier to just openAndWait() the URL and do some conditional logic to see if the page displays a maintenance message or not. Incorporating a proxy (as mentioned in other responses) for this one use case sounds like a rather expensive operation.

In the past I have setup a proxy to ensure that a tracking pixel (Google Analytics or Omniture, for example) fires and it's values are asserted. For that I have used the Fiddler core, but not in combination with Selenium (I was using Telerik Test Studio which has it built in).


As mentioned, Webdriver explicitly decided not to include the ability to inspect HTTP traffic in their project. The recommended technique is to use a proxy to capture the browser traffic by specifying the proxy address in your desired capabilities. Then, you can inspect traffic from the proxy. A common proxy is Browsermob Proxy - it was forked from Selenium years ago, and it has a ruby gem that allows you to inspect & modify requests and responses, including response headers.

But, for your purpose it does sound like it may be enough to check it with a ruby HTTP client instead.

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