Headless Chrome on Heroku

I’ve been experimenting with headless chrome for a Link Unshortener tool I’ve built to take screenshots of websites. I’ve been using BrowserShot which is great. It’s a php wrapper around Puppeteer which makes it simple to use in Laravel. To experiment more with Puppeteer, I wanted to get a node app running on Heroku. Overall it’s pretty straight forward but there are a few gotchas.

Here is a sample project that should get you started. Clone this and take a look at the source. You’ll notice I specified the node.js version in the package.json file. This is required for Heroku to know what version of node to use. Another issue I ran into is to run Puppeteer on Heroku you have to specify –no-sandbox. They last hurdle was adding the puppeteer Heroku buildpack. Follow the steps below and you should have a working screenshot app running locally and on Heroku. These instructions assume you are familiar with node and Heroku.

Setup Steps

  1. Clone sample project: git [email protected]:timleland/headless-chrome.git
  2. Make sure you are in the correct directory: cd headless-chrome
  3. Install node dependencies: npm install
  4. Run the app to test: npm start
  5. Open your browser to: http://localhost:8080/?url=google.com
  6. You should have download a png screenshot of google.com
  7. To deploy to Heroku make sure you have the Heroku cli tool installed 
  8. Create a new app on Heroku: heroku create APPNAMEHERE
  9. Add the puppeteer heroku buildpack: heroku buildpacks:add https://github.com/jontewks/puppeteer-heroku-buildpack
  10. Deploy to Heroku: git push heroku master
  11. Now just append the query string url=site.
  12. You should now have a working Heroku app that will screenshot any url you send it.

Leave your questions and feedback in the comments below.


Also published on Medium.

4 thoughts to “Headless Chrome on Heroku”

      1. @Tim

        Yeah, sorry I meant: `heroku buildpacks:add heroku/nodejs` (Note the `add` instead of `set` as `set` seems to overwrite the existing buildpacks)


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