Hello Arsenic

This tutorial will show you how to install arsenic and write a simple script that will use Firefox and Google Images to search for pictures of cats.


This tutorial assumes you already have Python 3.6 and Firefox installed.

You will also need to install geckodriver. Download the latest release for your operating system from the releases page. Extract the binary executable from the archive and place it in the current directory. On OS X or Linux you might need to mark it as an executable using chmod +x geckodriver in your terminal.

Creating a virtual env

We will create a virtual env to install arsenic:

python3.6 -m venv env

Let’s make sure that pip is up to date:

env/bin/pip install --upgrade pip

Let’s install arsenic:

env/bin/pip install --pre arsenic

Writing the script

In your favourite text editor, create a file named cats.py and insert the following code:

import asyncio
import sys

from arsenic import get_session, keys, browsers, services

if sys.platform.startswith('win'):
    GECKODRIVER = './geckodriver.exe'
    GECKODRIVER = './geckodriver'

async def hello_world():
    service = services.Geckodriver(binary=GECKODRIVER)
    browser = browsers.Firefox()
    async with get_session(service, browser) as session:
        await session.get('https://images.google.com/')
        search_box = await session.wait_for_element(5, 'input[name=q]')
        await search_box.send_keys('Cats')
        await search_box.send_keys(keys.ENTER)
        await asyncio.sleep(10)

def main():
    loop = asyncio.get_event_loop()

if __name__ == '__main__':

Save it and in the terminal, run python cats.py. You should see an instance of Firefox starting, navigating to https://images.google.com and entering Cats in the search box, then submitting the search. The browser will then wait for 10 seconds for you to look at the cats before exiting.