How to backup browser state after Watir automation
Summary of tools: watir-webdriver 1.8.17 Mac OS X 10.7.3 Chrome 18.0.1025.151
I'm currently using Watir WebDriver to automate Chrome sessions across a number of websites. I need to backup the state of the web browser (cookies, cache, etc.) at certain points throughout the session. Originally, I figured I could do this with Ruby's file IO library by copying ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default at the necessary points. However, it does not appear that Chrome sessions created with Watir WebDriver store the needed information in this default location. How can I locate this data to back it up? Is this information stored elsewhere? Is there something other than Watir that would make this easier?
I finally have a solution!
It appears that watir-webdriver stores the browser state/user data in random path. By default this can be found here (where XXXXXX is the random identifier):
Instead of relying on this default and randomized path, you can specify a precise location for the user data using the following flag:
Watir::Browser.new :chrome, :switches => %w[--user-data-dir=/path/to/user/data]
Then the cache, cookies, etc. can be backed up, deleted, etc. using Ruby's standard library. Hopefully this helps someone else.
Edit: If you are unable to find where watir-webdriver is storing your user data by default, find Chrome's process id by running watir-webdriver and top. Once you have the pid, type lsof -p <pid> into terminal to find the path to the user data.
Another thing I like to do is serialize(save) the Watir::Browser object into a file using YAML, like so:
require "yaml" File.open("browserObj.yaml", 'w').write YAML::dump(@browser)
This browserObj.yaml file will then contain all sorts of internal details in easily readable/parseable text, including PID of whichever browser, path to temp profile, etc. Eg.