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Solve Selenium error “session deleted because of page crash”

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I’ve been dockerizing web scrapers in order to add them in a data pipeline. Web scraping is always a little bit of living on the edge because you never know which elements might have changed and which errors will pop up. In this blog post I would like to elaborate on the “Session deleted because of page crash” error, which is more of a Docker issue than a scraping issue.

When running the container, the following error popped up in the CLI:

selenium.common.exceptions.WebDriverException: Message: unknown error: session deleted because of page crash

There aren’t a lot of causes for a webpage crash. And if you’re using Docker, Bayesian reasoning should tell you that the described error can probably be solved with the solution below.

Here’s what’s happening: there’s not enough of (shared) memory allocated to the Docker container to fully load a web page. That’s because modern web applications tend to be very RAM-intensive. The default allocated memory of 64MB might simply not be enough.

You can adjust the shared memory when running/composing a Docker container.

Via the CLI:

docker run -it --shm-size=1gb oracle11g /bin/bash

Via the compose file (YAML):

version: '3.5'
services:
    browser:
        image: 'selenium/standalone-chrome'
        ports: 
            - '4444:4444'
        shm_size: '1gb'

If you would to know what valid parameter values are:

Size of /dev/shm. The format is <number><unit>. number must be greater than 0. Unit is optional and can be b (bytes), k (kilobytes), m (megabytes), or g (gigabytes). If you omit the unit, the system uses bytes. If you omit the size entirely, the system uses 64m.

Docker run reference

And that’s it. Great success!

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Technologies get updated, syntax changes and honestly… I make mistakes too. If something is incorrect, incomplete or doesn’t work, let me know in the comments below and help thousands of visitors.

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