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This guide introduces the general concepts involved when developing an application using CefSharp. It's important to remember that CefSharp is a simple .Net wrapper around the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF). CEF is an open source project based on the Google Chromium project. Unlike the Chromium project itself, which focuses mainly on Google Chrome application development, CEF focuses on facilitating embedded browser use cases in third-party applications. CEF is based on the multi-process Chromium Content API and as a result only a subset of the features that exist in Chromium are currently available. For example, support for extensions is not yet avaliable (It may be in the future, check the CEF Issue Tracker as there is an open issue regarding support).

The CEF project has its own site https://bitbucket.org/chromiumembedded/cef/overview and support forum http://magpcss.org/ceforum/index.php if you're dealing with a low level problem or your question is pretty generic you can search or post on the forum. Be sure to mention which CEF version you're using, CefSharp versions look like 51.0.0, whilst CEF versions are like 3.2840.1493. Open about:chrome or check your packages.config to easily determine the version. Post on ceforum before opening an issue on the CEF Issue Tracker.

It's important to remember that CefSharp is limited by the API that CEF exposes, and even then not all of the CEF API is currently implemented. The C headers are available at https://bitbucket.org/chromiumembedded/cef/src/607d420baf2fb4f9ea2f12c4270c9df448a93b43/include/?at=master you should look through those if you're chasing a feature. The http://magpcss.org/ceforum/apidocs3/index-all.html is outdated, though still relevant in a lot of cases. If there is a piece of the CEF API that is not currently exposed, then you can implement it yourself and submit a PR for inclusion in the main project.

This document is based on https://bitbucket.org/chromiumembedded/cef/wiki/GeneralUsage.md

CefSharp provides three different flavors, WinForms, WPF and OffScreen. The WPF and OffScreen versions use the OffScreen Rendering(OSR) rendering mode. In OSR mode each frame is rendered to a buffer and then either drawn on the screen as in the case of WPF or available as a Bitmap in the OffScreen. All versions use the CefSharp and CefSharp.Core libraries, as a result much of the API is used exactly the same within all three flavors. This limits code duplication and reduces the maintenance burden of adding a new feature, the only downside is the WPF version is not quite as WPF friendly as it could be (you can subclass the ChromiumWebBrowser class and implement any missing parts in your application that are required). Also you can host the WinForms version within WPF using the WindowsFormsHost, this may be required to get around some limitations of the WPF version (CEF has yet to implement full touch screen support in the OSR mode, there is an open issue on the CEF Issue Tracker, if this is something you require, get involved there).

Table of Contents

Release Notes

Release notes are available for each version at https://github.com/cefsharp/CefSharp/releases please take the time to read over them if you're having problems or curious about what's changed. Check the Known Issues section if you're having problems and there are usually notes that contain useful info about a release.

Software Requirements

CefSharp uses Visual C++(VC++) to interface with the underlying native C++ API, as a result it will only run on Windows. (There is no Windows APP Store version). CefSharp releases on every second Chromium version, e.g. 47, 49, 51 Each CefSharp release has it's own branch, see https://github.com/cefsharp/CefSharp#release-branches for details and requirements for each branch are listed there. Google recently removed support for older operating systems like Windows XP, Vista and their server counterparts. If you require your app to run on these operating systems then check the releases for more details https://github.com/cefsharp/CefSharp/releases

CefSharp requires:

Notes:

AnyCPU Support

Newer versions now support targeting AnyCPU, see cefsharp/CefSharp#1714 for details on how to implement this. The same technique can be used to move libcef.dll, etc to a different folder or common location on disk.

Need to Know/Limitations

  • Specifying a CachePath is required for persistence of cookies, saving of passwords, etc, an In-Memory cache is used by default (similar to Incogneto).
  • Not currently possible to Clear Cache see http://magpcss.org/ceforum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11992 for official response. You can define a different cache per RequestContext, see RequestContext section of this document.
  • Add an app.manifest to your app for HiDPI support, app compatibility (running on Windows 10) and tooltips in WinForms. The examples contain sample app.manifest files. This is very important (http://magpcss.org/ceforum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=14721)
  • An error in the logs similar to Check failed: fallback_available == base::win::GetVersion() > base::win::VERSION_WIN8 (1 vs. 0) is a sign your application needs a app.manifest with the relevant compatibility entries.
  • WPF version lacks touch support (not yet implement in CEF), you can use the WindowsFormsHost to host the WinForms version in WPF, you'll see a performance benefit also.
  • CEF can only be Initialized/Shutdown once per process, see the section below for full details, this is a limitation of the underlying Chromium framework.
  • Minimal designer support was added for both WPF and WinForms in version 57.0.0, see #1989 (WPF) and #1946 (WinForms) for details. Designer support requires you target x86 (In theory AnyCPU should also work, not yet tested). Visual Studio is x86 so you cannot use the x64 version. For older versions there is no designer support (designer will throw an exception).
  • Only runs in the default AppDomain, there are some workarounds like those at https://github.com/flole/CefSharp.AppDomain and https://github.com/stever/AppHostCefSharp
  • Due to limited resources only a single version is supported at a time, see https://github.com/cefsharp/CefSharp#release-branches to see which version is current. If you're using an older version and encounter a problem you'll have to upgrade to the current supported version.
  • Only runs on Windows and no App Store version.
  • There is no .Net Core version - .Net Core lacks C++/CLI support see https://github.com/dotnet/coreclr/issues/659#issuecomment-91341753
  • Sandboxing has not been implemented as it's technically infeasible to add support directly into CefSharp, see #697 for details.
  • WinForms on screen keyboard potentially can benefit from disable-usb-keyboard-detect command line argument cefsharp/CefSharp#1691 (comment)
  • Prevent browser from scaling on High DPI use settings.CefCommandLineArgs.Add("force-device-scale-factor", "1"); command line flag.
  • WPF users with High DPI monitors are recommended to install .Net 4.6 on their target machines, as there is a bug in the .Net Framework that can potentially cause a MILERR_WIN32ERROR Exception see #2035 for details
  • CEF does not currently support PNaCl which is required to load Google Earth see http://magpcss.org/ceforum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15761

Examples

The CefSharp source code contains examples of many different features. There is also the MinimalExample project which uses the latest Nuget packages to provide very simple Browser implementations. The MinimalExample is the best place to get started, download this project and get it running for a base reference to make sure everything works on your system.

https://github.com/cefsharp/CefSharp.MinimalExample

Logging

By default CEF maintains its own log file in your application's executing folder e.g. bin. To disable logging change settings.LogSeverity, and to change the file name/path use settings.LogFile.

When debugging a problem, the first place to check is this log file as it contains low level Chromium messages.

Processes

CEF runs using multiple processes. The main process which handles window creation, painting and network access is called the browser process. This is generally the same process as the host application and the majority of the application logic will run in the browser process. Blink rendering and JavaScript execution occur in a separate render process. Some application logic, such as JavaScript bindings, will also run in the render process. CefSharp uses a different process model to the default, it uses process-per-tab where as the default process model will spawn a new render process for each unique origin (scheme + domain). This is required for the javascript execution/binding features that CefSharp provides, if you don't require these features you can switch to the default process model. Other processes will be spawned as needed, such as “plugin” processes to handle plugins like Flash and “gpu” processes to handle accelerated compositing.

By default CefSharp comes with a default implementation of the render process called CefSharp.BrowserSubProcess.exe. This process will be spawned multiple times to represent separate processes as described above. It is possible as of version 51.0.0 to provide your own custom BrowserSubProcess, as the executable is now a very simple wrapper around the underlying VC++ implementation.

Threads

CEF uses multiple threads for different levels of processing. The browser process for example contains the following commonly-referenced threads:

  • UI thread is the main thread in the browser process. By default CefSharp uses setting.MultiThreadedMessageLoop = true so the CEF UI thread is different to your main application thread
  • IO thread is used in the browser process to process IPC and network messages
  • FILE thread is used in the browser process to interact with the file system
  • RENDERER thread is the main thread in the renderer process

Initialize and Shutdown

Can only called Initialize once per process (application). Running multiple instances of your app is possible, you'll need to provide unique CachePath for each instance, see CefSettings section below.

It's important to note that it's necessary to initialize the underlying CEF library. This can be achieved in one of two ways, explicitly and implicitly. When you create a new instance of ChromiumWebBrowser it will check if CEF has been initialized and if not, initialize it for you with the defaults. For those wishing to specify some custom settings then you can explicitly initialize CEF yourself like below:

public static void Init()
{
    var settings = new CefSettings();

    // Increase the log severity so CEF outputs detailed information, useful for debugging
    settings.LogSeverity = LogSeverity.Verbose;
    // By default CEF uses an in memory cache, to save cached data e.g. passwords you need to specify a cache path
    // NOTE: The executing user must have sufficient privileges to write to this folder.
    settings.CachePath = "cache";

    Cef.Initialize(settings);
}

It's important to note CEF that Initialize/Shutdown MUST be called on your main application thread (typically the UI thread). If you call them on different threads, your application will hang.

An example of calling Initialize/Shutdown manually using WinForms, the same can be applied to WPF and console applications that use the CefSharp.OffScreen package (The OffScreen example at https://github.com/cefsharp/CefSharp.MinimalExample is an excellent place to start, there is also one in the main project repository that's a little more advanced).

public class Program
{
        [STAThread]
        public static void Main()
        {
            //For Windows 7 and above, best to include relevant app.manifest entries as well
            Cef.EnableHighDPISupport();
	    
            //We're going to manually call Cef.Shutdown below, this maybe required in some complex scenarios
            CefSharpSettings.ShutdownOnExit = false;

            //Perform dependency check to make sure all relevant resources are in our output directory.
            Cef.Initialize(new CefSettings(), performDependencyCheck: true, browserProcessHandler: null);

            var browser = new BrowserForm();
            Application.Run(browser);
	    
            //Shutdown before your application exists or it will hang.
            Cef.Shutdown();
        }
}

In summary

  • Cef.Initialize and Cef.Shutdown can only called Initialize once per process(application). There is no way around this, so only call Shutdown when you're finished using CefSharp.
  • Cef.Initialize and Cef.Shutdown must be called on the same thread.
  • Cef.Initialize will be called for you implicitly if you create a new ChromiumWebBrowser instance and haven't already called Cef.Initialize.
  • For the WinForms and WPF instances of ChromiumWebBrowser the relevant Application Exit event is hooked and Cef.Shutdown() called by default. Set CefSharpSettings.ShutdownOnExit = false; to disable this behavior. This value needs to be set before the first instance of ChromiumWebBrowser is created as the event handlers are hooked in the static constructor for the ChromiumWebBrowser class.
  • In CefSharp.OffScreen you must explicitly call Cef.Shutdown() before your application exists or it will hang.

CefSettings and BrowserSettings

The CefSettings structure allows configuration of application-wide CEF settings. Some commonly configured members include:

  • BrowserSubprocessPath The path to a separate executable that will be launched for sub-processes. Typically there is no need to change this.
  • MultiThreadedMessageLoop the default is True in CefSharp, though it is possible to integrate CEF into your apps existing message loop see cefsharp/CefSharp#1748
  • CommandLineArgsDisabled Set to true to disable configuration of browser process features using standard CEF and Chromium command-line arguments. See the “Command Line Arguments” section for more information.
  • CachePath The location where cache data will be stored on disk. If empty an in-memory cache will be used for some features and a temporary disk cache will be used for others. HTML5 databases such as localStorage will only persist across sessions if a cache path is specified.
  • Locale The locale string that will be passed to Blink. If empty the default locale of "en-US" will be used. Also configurable using the "lang" command-line switch. Change this to set the Context menu language as well.
  • LogFile The directory and file name to use for the debug log. If empty, the default name of "debug.log" will be used and the file will be written to the application directory. Also configurable using the "log-file" command-line switch.
  • LogSeverity The log severity. Only messages of this severity level or higher will be logged. Also configurable using the "log-severity" command-line switch with a value of "verbose", "info", "warning", "error", "error-report" or "disable".
  • ResourcesDirPath The fully qualified path for the resources directory. If this value is empty the cef.pak and/or devtools_resources.pak files must be located in the module directory. Also configurable using the "resources-dir-path" command-line switch.
  • LocalesDirPath The fully qualified path for the locales directory. If this value is empty the locales directory must be located in the module directory. This value is ignored on Mac OS X where pack files are always loaded from the app bundle Resources directory. Also configurable using the "locales-dir-path" command-line switch.
  • RemoteDebuggingPort Set to a value between 1024 and 65535 to enable remote debugging on the specified port. For example, if 8080 is specified the remote debugging URL will be http://localhost:8080. CEF can be remotely debugged from any CEF or Chrome browser window. Also configurable using the "remote-debugging-port" command-line switch.

There are many settings and command line arguments that can influence the way CEF behaves. Here are some examples:

public static void Init()
{
    // Specify Global Settings and Command Line Arguments
    var settings = new CefSettings();

    // By default CEF uses an in memory cache, to save cached data e.g. passwords you need to specify a cache path
    // NOTE: The executing user must have sufficient privileges to write to this folder.
    settings.CachePath = "cache";

    // There are many command line arguments that can either be turned on or off

    // Enable WebRTC                            
    settings.CefCommandLineArgs.Add("enable-media-stream", "1");
    
    //Disable GPU Acceleration
    settings.CefCommandLineArgs.Add("disable-gpu", "1");

    // Don't use a proxy server, always make direct connections. Overrides any other proxy server flags that are passed.
    // Slightly improves Cef initialize time as it won't attempt to resolve a proxy
    settings.CefCommandLineArgs.Add("no-proxy-server", "1"); 

    Cef.Initialize(settings);
}

There are some settings which can be applied to a specific ChromiumWebBrowser instance. If you're using WPF you should be able to set BrowserSettings in XAML (been a long time since I tried it, so there is no example, please contribute one if you get it working).

var browser = new ChromiumWebBrowser(url)
{
    BrowserSettings =
    {
        DefaultEncoding = "UTF-8",
        WebGl = CefState.Disabled
    }
};

IBrowser, IFrame and IBrowserHost

The IBrowser and IFrame objects are used for sending commands to the browser and for retrieving state information in callback methods. Each IBrowser object will have a single main IFrame object representing the top-level frame and zero or more IFrame objects representing sub-frames.

For example, a browser that loads two HTML <iframe>s will have three IFrame objects (the top-level frame and the two <iframe>s).

To load a URL in the browser main frame:

browser.MainFrame.LoadUrl(someurl);

CefSharp provides many extension methods to make executing common tasks easier. See WebBrowserExtensions for the source of these methods and to get a better understanding of how common tasks are performed.

IBrowserHost represents the more low level browser methods.

Handlers

CefSharp provides some events for convenience like the following (See IWebBrowser source/doc for all common events and detailed information on their usage):

  • ConsoleMessage
  • StatusMessage
  • FrameLoadStart
  • FrameLoadEnd
  • LoadError
  • LoadingStateChanged

These are simple events that expose a small percentage of the underlying handlers that CEF provides. These events are only called for the main browser, for popup handling you can access the notifications using IDisplayHandler and ILoadHandler.

To determine when a page has finished loading I recommend using LoadingStateChanged over FrameLoadEnd. It's important to remember that finished loading is different to finished rendering. There is currently no method of determining when a web page has finished rendering (and unlikely ever will be as with features like flash, dynamic content, animations, even simple tasks like moving your mouse or scrolling will cause new frames to be rendered).

IDialogHandler, IDisplayHandler, IDownloadHandler, IContextMenuHandler, ILifeSpanHandler, ILoadHandler and IRequestHandler are some of the more common handlers (see the source/API doc for the rest). These simply wrap the underlying CEF handlers in a convenient .NET fashion. For example CEF's CefDownloadHandler is IDownloadHandler in CefSharp. Implementing these handlers will provide you access to the underlying events and callbacks that are the foundation of CEF. A number of handlers' members can be executed in an async fashion using a callback. All the handlers follow a consistent pattern: those that return a bool are asking you whether you'd like to handle this yourself. If no, then return false for the default action. Return true if you will handle it yourself.

They are basic interfaces which you implement and then assign to your ChromiumWebBrowser instance. e.g.

browser.DownloadHandler = new DownloadHandler();

Ideally you should set handlers immediately after your ChromiumWebBrowser instances have been instantiated. See the Example projects in the source for more detailed examples, there are currently no default implementations available so you have to implement every method. (If you wish to contribute default implementations then submit a pull request).

Some general notes about the handlers

It is possible to modify the response using a ResponseFilter. See section below.

Request Handling

CEF supports two approaches for handling network requests inside of an application. The scheme handler approach allows registration of a handler for requests targeting a particular origin (scheme + domain). The request interception approach allows handling of arbitrary requests at the application's discretion.

Use the HTTP(S) scheme instead of a custom scheme to avoid a range of potential issues.

If you choose to use a custom scheme (anything other than https://, https://, etc) you must register it with CEF so that it will behave as expected. If you would like your custom scheme to behave similar to HTTP (support POST requests and enforce HTTP access control (CORS) restrictions) then it should be registered as a "standard" scheme. If you are planning to perform cross-origin requests to other schemes or send POST requests via XMLHttpRequest to your scheme handler then you should use the HTTP scheme instead of a custom scheme to avoid potential issues. IsSecure and IsCorsEnabled params were added recently

For examples, search the project source for RegisterScheme.

Handlers can be used with both built-in schemes (https://, https://, etc) and custom schemes. When using a built-in scheme choose a domain name unique to your application (like myapp or internal). Implement the ISchemeHandlerFactory and IResourceHandler classes to handle the request and provide response data. See ResourceHandler for the default implementation of IResourceHandler, which has lots of useful static helper methods.

Scheme Handler

Handlers can be used with both built-in schemes (HTTP, HTTPS, etc) and custom schemes. When using a built-in scheme choose a domain name unique to your application (like “myapp” or “internal”). Implement the ISchemeHandlerFactory and IResourceHandler classes to handle the request and provide response data.

A scheme handler is registered via the CefSettings.RegisterScheme function. For example, you can register a handler for “localfolder://cefsharp/” requests (there is another example below and there are working examples in the project source):

settings.RegisterScheme(new CefCustomScheme
{
	SchemeName = "localfolder",
	DomainName = "cefsharp",
	SchemeHandlerFactory = new FolderSchemeHandlerFactory(rootFolder: @"..\..\..\..\CefSharp.Example\Resources",
							hostName: "cefsharp", //Optional param no hostname/domain checking if null
							defaultPage: "home.html") //Optional param will default to index.html
});

The FolderSchemeHandlerFactory is a simple default implementation for reading files from disk using a scheme handler. You can use either a custom scheme (In other words, you can provide a URL in the form customscheme://folder/yourfile) or a standard scheme (https://, https://).

An example of implementing your own factory might look like:

public class CefSharpSchemeHandlerFactory : ISchemeHandlerFactory
{
	public const string SchemeName = "custom";

	private static readonly IDictionary<string, string> ResourceDictionary;

	static CefSharpSchemeHandlerFactory()
	{
		ResourceDictionary = new Dictionary<string, string>
		{
			{ "/home.html", Resources.home_html },
			{ "/bootstrap/bootstrap.min.css", Resources.bootstrap_min_css },
			{ "/bootstrap/bootstrap.min.js", Resources.bootstrap_min_js },
			{ "/BindingTest.html", Resources.BindingTest },
			{ "/ExceptionTest.html", Resources.ExceptionTest },
			{ "/PopupTest.html", Resources.PopupTest },
			{ "/SchemeTest.html", Resources.SchemeTest }
		};
	}

	public IResourceHandler Create(IBrowser browser, IFrame frame, string schemeName, IRequest request)
	{
		//Notes:
		// - The 'host' portion is entirely ignored by this scheme handler.
		// - If you register a ISchemeHandlerFactory for http/https schemes you should also specify a domain name
		// - Avoid doing lots of processing in this method as it will affect performance.
		// - Uses the Default ResourceHandler implementation

		var uri = new Uri(request.Url);
		var fileName = uri.AbsolutePath;

		string resource;
		if (ResourceDictionary.TryGetValue(fileName, out resource) && !string.IsNullOrEmpty(resource))
		{
			var fileExtension = Path.GetExtension(fileName);
			return ResourceHandler.FromString(resource, fileExtension);
		}

		return null;
	}
}

The ResourceHandler is provided as a default implementation of IResourceHandler and contains many static helper methods for creating classes. A few examples are below,

ResourceHandler.FromStream(stream, mimeType);
ResourceHandler.FromString(htmlString, includePreamble:true, mimeType:ResourceHandler.GetMimeType(fileExtension));
ResourceHandler.FromFilePath("CefSharp.Core.xml", mimeType);

Finally, you have to register this scheme handler using some code like this:

public static void Init()
{
	// Pseudo code; you probably need more in your CefSettings also.
	var settings = new CefSettings();

	settings.RegisterScheme(new CefCustomScheme
	{
		SchemeName = "custom",
		SchemeHandlerFactory = new CefSharpSchemeHandlerFactory()
	});

	Cef.Initialize(settings);
}

It's important that the scheme registration takes place before Cef.Initialize() is called.

Request Interception

IRequestHandlerFactory.GetResourceHandler() supports the interception of arbitrary requests. It uses the same IResourceHandler class as the scheme handler approach. The DefaultResourceHandlerFactory class is used internally and can be used as a reference for implementing your own if required.

The IWebBrowser.RegisterResourceHandler and IWebBrowser.UnRegisterResourceHandler extension methods provide a simple means of providing an IResourceHandler for a given Url without having to implement your own factory.

You could for example request a fictitious URL and provide a response just as if the site was real.

ResourceHandler

Both ISchemeHandlerFactory handlers and IResourceHandlerFactory use the IResourceHandler interface to represent the response (stream + headers + status codes, etc). There is a default implementation of IResourceHandler which is simply ResourceHandler. This class contains many static methods for convenience like FromStream, FromFile and FromString, to simplify your life. Overriding ResourceHandler will give you more control of how the underlying Stream and response is populated, this is useful for async operations. See the examples for how to implement ProcessRequestAsync. If you require complete control then implement IResourceHandler, however in most cases this is not necessary.

The source contains examples of both ISchemeHandlerFactory and IResourceHandlerFactory implementations.

Response Filtering

IRequestHandler.GetResourceResponseFilter() supports filtering of data received in response to requests. You can retrieve the raw response data, you can append data to a response, like injecting some custom CSS at the end of a file. You can rewrite a response if required. Can be used to receive the response of any request, AJAX(XHRHttpRequest)/POST/GET.

See the example for some basic implementations of IResourceFilter. This is a relatively new feature and quite complex to implement. Make sure you read over and debug the existing examples before asking any questions.

The basic workflow for obtaining raw data is

  • Provide filter in IRequestHandler.GetResourceResponseFilter()
  • Store IResponseFilter using IRequest.Identifier as key (store in dictionary etc.)
  • Copy data to some sort of buffer/stream/etc
  • Access data in IRequestHandler.OnResourceLoadComplete based on IRequest.Identifier as key

Commit demonstrates a very simple example where the response data for the example projects custom scheme is made avalaible.

Loading HTML/CSS/JavaScript/etc from disk/database/embedded resource/stream

There are a few extension methods provided as a convenience.

  • LoadHtml(this IWebBrowser browser, string html, bool base64Encode = false): Load a data encoded Uri
  • LoadHtml(this IWebBrowser browser, string html, string url): Register a ResourceHandler with the DefaultResourceHandlerFactory and calls Load
  • RegisterResourceHandler(this IWebBrowser browser, string url, Stream stream, string mimeType = ResourceHandler.DefaultMimeType): Register a resource handler with the DefaultResourceHandlerFactory
  • UnRegisterResourceHandler(this IWebBrowser browser, string url): Unregister a resource handler with the DefaultResourceHandlerFactory

For more information on data: encoded URI, which contains the body of the request in the URI iteself see https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTTP/Basics_of_HTTP/Data_URIs

Generating your own Data URI would look something like:

const string html = "<html><head><title>Test</title></head><body><h1>Html Encoded in URL!</h1></body></html>";
var base64EncodedHtml = Convert.ToBase64String(Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(html));
browser.Load("data:text/html;base64," + base64EncodedHtml);

File URI (file:///)

I strongly advise against using file:/// when loading from local disk. Different security restrictions apply and there are many limitations. I'd suggest using a Scheme handler or implementing your own IResourceHandlerFactory. (Loading a data: encoded URI is also pretty handy, specially for the OffScreen project).

If you choose to ignore this advice you'll have to resolve any issues you have using file:/// yourself. ceforum is the best resource.

Proxy Resolution

Proxy settings are configured in CEF using the same command-line flags as Google Chrome. Proxy settings can be changed at run time using the Preferences feature.

https://bitbucket.org/chromiumembedded/cef/wiki/GeneralUsage.md#markdown-header-proxy-resolution

If the proxy requires authentication the IRequestHandler.GetAuthCredentials() callback will be executed with an isProxy value of true to retrieve the username and password.

Examples of setting proxy using Preferences in CefSharp are available at http://stackoverflow.com/questions/36095566/cefsharp-3-set-proxy-at-runtime

Setting preferences must be done on the CEF UI thread (see above for threading info). It is possible to specify the proxy settings on a per Request Context basis (see below).

Request Context (Browser Isolation)

You can isolate browser instances, including providing custom cache paths, different proxy settings, different cookie managers, and many other things using a RequestContext. In newer versions loading of PPAPI plugins is governed at the RequestContext level. In CEF terms the underlying class is CefRequestContext.

Here are some key points:

  • By default a Global Request Context will be used (settings shared by all browsers)
  • You can change some (not all) settings at run time using Preferences
  • Don't use the command line argument if you wish to change the value using SetPreference
  • WinForms: set the RequestContext immediately after you create your browser instance
  • OffScreen: Pass RequestContext into the constructor
  • WPF: Set in your Control/Window constructor after InitializeComponent() is called
  • Plugin load notifications are handled through the IRequestContextHandler interface
  • Set RequestContextSettings.CachePath to persist cookies, data, localStorage, etc
//WinForms Examples - WPF and OffScreen are similar, see notes above.

//Default implementation of RequestContext
//Default settings will be used, this means an in-memory cache (no data persisted)
browser = new ChromiumWebBrowser();
browser.RequestContext = new RequestContext();

//CustomRequestContextHanler needs to implement `IRequestContextHandler`
//Default settings will be used, this means an in-memory cache (no data persisted)
browser = new ChromiumWebBrowser();
browser.RequestContext = new RequestContext(new CustomRequestContextHandler());

//Custom settings and CustomRequestContextHandler
//Use the specified cache path (if empty, in memory cache will be used). To share the global
//browser cache and related configuration set this value to match the CefSettings.CachePath
//value.
var requestContextSettings = new RequestContextSettings { CachePath = cachePath };
browser = new ChromiumWebBrowser();
browser.RequestContext = new RequestContext(requestContextSettings, new CustomRequestContextHandler());

See the project source for more detailed examples.

string errorMessage;
//You can set most preferences using a `.` notation rather than having to create a complex set of dictionaries.
//The default is true, you can change to false to disable
context.SetPreference("webkit.webprefs.plugins_enabled", true, out errorMessage);

Printing

The CEF API only exposes limited support for printing. There is currently no support for printing in Kiosk Mode (printing to the default without a dialog). The suggested workaround is to print to PDF then use a 3rd party application to print the PDF.

If you need better printing support then you should discuss that on ceforum. There are already open discussions and an open issue on the CEF Issue Tracker.

High DPI Displays/Support

To enable High DPI support you'll need to add the relevant entries to your app.manifest to let Windows know your app is High DPI Aware. The relevant MSDN article is https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dn469266(v=vs.85).aspx

It's a very long MSDN article, but it's necessary reading if your app needs to be run on high DPI displays.

Note If you experience black boxes with rendering/resizing then your app likely needs changes to support High DPI

WinForms

Add the relevant app.manifest entries and call Cef.EnableHighDPISupport(). It's best make that the first call in your application entry point.

The commit where support was added to the CefSharp.MinimalExample.WinForms project is https://github.com/cefsharp/CefSharp.MinimalExample/commit/1197f37035549ad98c7682399c12e40be677426a. Check it out for a working example.

WPF

Add the relevant app.manifest entries. There is a known issue in the WPF implementation where the screen stops redrawing on resize (see cefsharp/CefSharp#1571). This issue requires someone using WPF and a high DPI display to take charge and get to the bottom of the problem. There is a hacky workaround listed.

OffScreen

Add the relevant app.manifest entries

MultiThreadedMessageLoop

CefSharp by default uses setting.MultiThreadedMessageLoop = true. This enables your application to get up and running very quickly, there are some important things to note and this may not be suitable for everyone. It is configurable.

  • Uses a different thread for the message pump.
  • The CEF UI thread is different to your application's UI thread, which can cause some disconnects in message processing. One example is opening a menu and clicking within the browser control with the menu staying open.
  • The WinForms control will not receive any of the standard mouse/keyboard events you'd typically see.

It is possible to integrate CEF into your app's existing message loop (see cefsharp/CefSharp#1748). Typically this would only be required for WinForms developers, as most of the WPF integration is forwarding WPF events to CEF, so they're basically proxied. There are working examples of integrating into your applications message loop in the source.

You can hook the message loop whilst using MultiThreadedMessageLoop, though this is quite complex. The project source contains an example at https://github.com/cefsharp/CefSharp/blob/v53.0.0/CefSharp.WinForms.Example/BrowserTabUserControl.cs#L224

Popups

A common request is to control popup creation. Implement ILifeSpanHandler.OnBeforePopup to control how popups are created. To cancel popup creation altogether simply return true;.

bool ILifeSpanHandler.OnBeforePopup(IWebBrowser browserControl, IBrowser browser, IFrame frame, string targetUrl, string targetFrameName, WindowOpenDisposition targetDisposition, bool userGesture, IPopupFeatures popupFeatures, IWindowInfo windowInfo, IBrowserSettings browserSettings, ref bool noJavascriptAccess, out IWebBrowser newBrowser)
{
    //Set newBrowser to null unless you're attempting to host the popup in a new instance of ChromiumWebBrowser
    newBrowser = null;

    return true; //Return true to cancel the popup creation
}

You can cancel popup creation and open the URL in a new ChromiumWebBrowser instance of your choosing using this method. It is important to note the parent-child relationship will not exist using this method. So in general it's not recommended.

EXPERIMENTAL OPTION 1: Allows you to host the popup using the newBrowser param in OnBeforePopup. There are some known issues (search on the GitHub project). If you use this method and experience a problem then you will have to take responsibility and get the problem resolved with the CEF project. It's also important to note that the events like LoadingStateChanged etc are not called for popups. If you use this method, implement the relevant handler.

EXPERIMENTAL OPTION 2: Use IWindowInfo.SetAsChild to specify the parent handle. To use this in WPF you would need to use the WinForms host. Using this method you would need to handle the move and resize events. This would roughly look like:

  • Grab the IBrowserHost from the newly created IBrowser instance that represents the popup then subscribe to window move notifications and call NotifyMoveOrResizeStarted
  • Call SetWindowPos on the browser HWND when the size changes (set to 0,0 when hidden to stop rendering)

There are examples in the project source though they are EXPERIMENTAL and there are no guarantees they're working. Option 2 has an incomplete example though reports suggest it works well, though the person never contributed a working example.

JavaScript Integration

1. How do you call a JavaScript method from .NET?

Simple code may look something like this:

var script = string.Format("document.body.style.background = '{0}'", colors[color_index++]);
if (color_index >= colors.Length)
{
    color_index = 0;
}
        
browser.GetMainFrame().ExecuteJavaScriptAsync(script);
When can I start executing JavaScript?

JavaScript can only be executed within a V8Context. The IRenderProcessMessageHandler.OnContextCreated and IRenderProcessMessageHandler.OnContextReleased provide a boundry for when javascript can be executed. Currently these are only called for the main frame, it's created first, so should be sufficent for 99% of cases.

It's tempting to start trying to access the DOM in OnFrameLoadStart, whilst the V8Context will have been created and you will be able to execute a script the DOM will not have finished loading. If you need to access the DOM at it's earliest possible point then subscribe to DOMContentLoaded, some examples of executing JavaScript are below.

browser.RenderProcessMessageHandler = new RenderProcessMessageHandler();

public class RenderProcessMessageHandler : IRenderProcessMessageHandler
{
  // Wait for the underlying JavaScript Context to be created. This is only called for the main frame.
  // If the page has no JavaScript, no context will be created.
  void IRenderProcessMessageHandler.OnContextCreated(IWebBrowser browserControl, IBrowser browser, IFrame frame)
  {
    const string script = "document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', function(){ alert('DomLoaded'); });";

    frame.ExecuteJavaScriptAsync(script);
  }
}

//Wait for the page to finish loading (all resources will have been loaded, rendering is likely still happening)
browser.LoadingStateChanged += (sender, args) =>
{
  //Wait for the Page to finish loading
  if (args.IsLoading == false)
  {
    browser.ExecuteJavaScriptAsync("alert('All Resources Have Loaded');");
  }
}

//Wait for the MainFrame to finish loading
browser.FrameLoadEnd += (sender, args) =>
{
  //Wait for the MainFrame to finish loading
  if(args.Frame.IsMain)
  {
    args.Frame.ExecuteJavaScriptAsync("alert('MainFrame finished loading');");
  }
};

Some notes about executing JavaScript:

  • Scripts are executed at the frame level, and every page has at least one frame (MainFrame).
  • The IWebBrowser.ExecuteScriptAsync extension method is left for backwards compatibility, you can use it as a shortcut to execute js on the main frame.
  • If a frame does not contain Javascript then no V8Context will be created.
  • For a frame that doesn't have a context executing a script once the frame has loaded it's possible to create a V8Context using IFrame.ExecuteJavaScriptAsync.
  • The DOM won't have finished loading when OnFrameLoadStart is fired
  • IRenderProcessMessageHandler.OnContextCreated/OnContextReleased are only called for the main frame.

2. How do you call a JavaScript method that returns a result?

If you need to evaluate code which returns a value, use the Task<JavascriptResponse> EvaluateScriptAsync(string script, TimeSpan? timeout) method. JavaScript code is executed asynchronously and as such uses the .Net Task class to return a response, which contains error message, result and a success (bool) flag.

// Get Document Height
var task = frame.EvaluateScriptAsync("(function() { var body = document.body, html = document.documentElement; return  Math.max( body.scrollHeight, body.offsetHeight, html.clientHeight, html.scrollHeight, html.offsetHeight ); })();", null);

task.ContinueWith(t =>
{
    if (!t.IsFaulted)
    {
        var response = t.Result;
        EvaluateJavaScriptResult = response.Success ? (response.Result ?? "null") : response.Message;
    }
}, TaskScheduler.FromCurrentSynchronizationContext());

For a more detailed example check out this Gist

Notes

  • Scripts are executed at the frame level, and every page has at least one frame (MainFrame)
  • Only trivial values can be returned (like int, bool, string etc) - not a complex (user-defined) type which you have defined yourself. This is because there is no (easy) way to expose a random JavaScript object to the .NET world, at least not today. However, one possible technique is to turn the JavaScript object you wish to return to your .NET code into a JSON string with the JavaScript JSON.toStringify() method and return that string to your .NET code. Then you can decode that string into a .NET object with something like JSON.NET. See this MSDN link for more information. (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ie/cc836459(v=vs.94).aspx)

3. How do you expose a .NET class to JavaScript?

JavaScript Binding (JSB) allows for communication between JavaScript and .Net. There are two distinct implementations avaliable currently, the Async version and the older Sync version.

NOTE This document has been updated and is relevant for version 63 and greater, for older versions see https://github.com/cefsharp/CefSharp/wiki/General-Usage/156732a0d567915551b9e162d93067fa23cf89e3#3-how-do-you-expose-a-net-class-to-javascript

Async JavaScript Binding (JSB)
  • Uses Native Chromium IPC to pass messages back and forth between the Browser Process and Render Process., and as such is very fast.
  • Only methods are supported as the Native Chromium IPC is message based (Property get/sets cannot be done in an async fashion)
  • Methods can return simple objects, structs and classes are supported, only a copy of the Properties is transferred to JavaScript. Think of it like making a webservice/ajax call, you get a response object.
  • Supports JavaScript callbacks, thorugh the IJavascriptCallback interface, example below
  • Non blocking, calls return a standard JavaScript Promise (await is supported)

If your not familar with all Chromium has to offer when it comes to async programming here are some very useful articles

Binding an object in JavaScript

Binding is initiated by JavaScript, the CefSharp.BindObjectAsync method returns a Promise that is resolved when bound objects are available. Objects are created in the global context (properties of the window object). If you call CefSharp.BindObjectAsync without any params then all registered objects will be bound. Binding by name is the more descriptive options.

The simple workflow would look like:

  • Step 1 Create a class that you wish to expose to javascript (don't use your Form/Window or Control)
  • Step 2 Call CefSharp.BindObjectAsync with the name of the object you wish to register, e.g. CefSharp.BindObjectAsync("myObject"); (Objects will only be avaliable after the Promise has resolved.
  • Step 3 Regiter your object with the JavaScriptObjectRepository

Remember Only Methods are supported. If you need to set a property, then create Get/Set methods. You can use a IJavascriptCallback to pass a function pointer into a method. See the Sync JavaScript Binding section below for an example. This feature can be used in both methods. The async feature uses Promises, you can throw an exception and pass that to your function. For more details on Promise check https://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Global_Objects/Promise

Step 1

A simple class would look like this:

public class BoundObject
{
    public class AsyncBoundObject
    {
    	//We expect an exception here, so tell VS to ignore
        [DebuggerHidden]
        public void Error()
        {
            throw new Exception("This is an exception coming from C#");
        }
	
        //We expect an exception here, so tell VS to ignore
        [DebuggerHidden]
        public int Div(int divident, int divisor)
        {
            return divident / divisor;
        }
    }
}

Step 2 Call CefSharp.BindObjectAsync, Some examples below of Binding an object look like:

NOTE This is a two part process, see below the examples for details

<script type="text/javascript">
(async function()
{
	await CefSharp.BindObjectAsync("boundAsync");
	
	boundAsync.div(16, 2).then(function (actualResult)
	{
		const expectedResult = 8
		assert.equal(expectedResult, actualResult, "Divide 16 / 2 resulted in " + expectedResult);
	});
	
	boundAsync.error().catch(function (e)
    	{
        	var msg = "Error: " + e + "(" + Date() + ")";
    	});
})();

(async () =>
{
	await CefSharp.BindObjectAsync("boundAsync");
	
	boundAsync.hello('CefSharp').then(function (res)
	{
		assert.equal(res, "Hello CefSharp")
	});
})();

CefSharp.BindObjectAsync("boundAsync2").then(function(result)
{
	boundAsync2.hello('CefSharp').then(function (res)
	{
		assert.equal(res, "Hello CefSharp")
                // NOTE the ability to delete a bound object
		assert.equal(true, CefSharp.DeleteBoundObject("boundAsync2"), "Object was unbound");
		assert.ok(window.boundAsync2 === undefined, "boundAsync2 is now undefined");
	});
});
</script>

Step 3

The second part of the process is registering the object with the JavascriptObjectRepository (accessible though the browser.JavascriptObjectRepository property). You have two options for registering an object in .Net, the first is registered in advance, this is usually done immediately after you create a ChromiumWebBrowser instance. The second options is more flexible and allows objects to be Resolved when required.

When a CefSharp.BindObjectAsync call is made, the JavascriptObjectRepository is queries to see if an object with the given name is specified is already registered, if no matching object is found then the ResolveObject event is raised. For calls to CefSharp.BindObjectAsync without any params, then if objects have already been registered then they will all be bound, if no objects have been registered then ResolveObject will be called with the ObjectName set to All.

//When a 
browser.JavascriptObjectRepository.ResolveObject += (sender, e) =>
{
	var repo = e.ObjectRepository;
	if (e.ObjectName == "boundAsync2")
	{
		BindingOptions bindingOptions = null; //Binding options is an optional param, defaults to null
		bindingOptions = BindingOptions.DefaultBinder //Use the default binder to serialize values into complex objects, CamelCaseJavascriptNames = true is the default
		bindingOptions = new BindingOptions { CamelCaseJavascriptNames = false, Binder = new MyCustomBinder() }); //No camelcase of names and specify a default binder
		repo.Register("boundAsync2", new AsyncBoundObject(), isAsync: true, options: bindingOptions);
	}
};

To register objects in advance simply use the following

//For async object registration (equivalent to the old RegisterAsyncJsObject)
browser.JavascriptObjectRepository.Register("boundAsync", new BoundObject(), true, options);

To be notified in .Net when objects have been bound in JavaScript then you can subscribe to the ObjectBoundInJavascript event

browser.JavascriptObjectRepository.ObjectBoundInJavascript += (sender, e) =>
{
	var name = e.ObjectName;

	Debug.WriteLine($"Object {e.ObjectName} was bound successfully.");
};    

For reference the set of QUnit test cases used are https://github.com/cefsharp/CefSharp/blob/master/CefSharp.Example/Resources/BindingTest.html

Sync JavaScript Binding (JSB)
  • Uses a WCF service for communication
  • Supports both methods and properties
  • Calls are executed in a sync fashion and are blocking, long running calls will block the Render Process and make your app appear slow or become unresponsive.
  • Supports semi complex object structures
  • Occasionally the WCF service doesn't shutdown cleanly and slows down application shutdown
  • It's reccomended that anyone creating a new application use the Async version as it's under active development.
Binding an object in JavaScript

Binding is initiated by JavaScript, the CefSharp.BindObjectAsync method returns a Promise that is resolved when bound objects are available. Objects are created in the global context (properties of the window object). If you call CefSharp.BindObjectAsync without any params then all registered objects will be bound. Binding by name is the more descriptive options.

The simple workflow would look like:

  • Step 1 Create a class that you wish to expose to javascript (don't use your Form/Window or Control)
  • Step 2 Call CefSharp.BindObjectAsync with the name of the object you wish to register, e.g. CefSharp.BindObjectAsync("myObject"); (Objects will only be avaliable after the Promise has resolved.
  • Step 3 Regiter your object with the JavaScriptObjectRepository

Step 1

public class BoundObject
{
    public string MyProperty { get; set; }
    public void MyMethod()
    {
        // Do something really cool here.
    }
    
    public void TestCallback(IJavascriptCallback javascriptCallback)
    {
        const int taskDelay = 1500;

        Task.Run(async () =>
        {
            await Task.Delay(taskDelay);

            using (javascriptCallback)
            {
                //NOTE: Classes are not supported, simple structs are
                var response = new CallbackResponseStruct("This callback from C# was delayed " + taskDelay + "ms");
                await javascriptCallback.ExecuteAsync(response);
            }
        });
    }
}

Step 2 Call CefSharp.BindObjectAsync, Some examples below of Binding an object look like:

NOTE This is a two part process, see below the examples for details

<script type="text/javascript">
(async function()
{
	await CefSharp.BindObjectAsync("boundAsync");
	
	boundAsync.div(16, 2).then(function (actualResult)
	{
		const expectedResult = 8
		assert.equal(expectedResult, actualResult, "Divide 16 / 2 resulted in " + expectedResult);
	});
	
	boundAsync.error().catch(function (e)
    	{
        	var msg = "Error: " + e + "(" + Date() + ")";
    	});
})();

(async () =>
{
	await CefSharp.BindObjectAsync("boundAsync");
	
	boundAsync.hello('CefSharp').then(function (res)
	{
		assert.equal(res, "Hello CefSharp")
	});
})();

CefSharp.BindObjectAsync("boundAsync2").then(function(result)
{
	boundAsync2.hello('CefSharp').then(function (res)
	{
		assert.equal(res, "Hello CefSharp")
                // NOTE the ability to delete a bound object
		assert.equal(true, CefSharp.DeleteBoundObject("boundAsync2"), "Object was unbound");
		assert.ok(window.boundAsync2 === undefined, "boundAsync2 is now undefined");
	});
});
</script>

Step 3

The second part of the process is registering the object with the JavascriptObjectRepository (accessible though the browser.JavascriptObjectRepository property). You have two options for registering an object in .Net, the first is registered in advance, this is usually done immediately after you create a ChromiumWebBrowser instance. The second options is more flexible and allows objects to be Resolved when required.

When a CefSharp.BindObjectAsync call is made, the JavascriptObjectRepository is queries to see if an object with the given name is specified is already registered, if no matching object is found then the ResolveObject event is raised. For calls to CefSharp.BindObjectAsync without any params, then if objects have already been registered then they will all be bound, if no objects have been registered then ResolveObject will be called with the ObjectName set to All.

//When a 
browser.JavascriptObjectRepository.ResolveObject += (sender, e) =>
{
	var repo = e.ObjectRepository;
	if (e.ObjectName == "boundAsync2")
	{
		BindingOptions bindingOptions = null; //Binding options is an optional param, defaults to null
		bindingOptions = BindingOptions.DefaultBinder //Use the default binder to serialize values into complex objects, CamelCaseJavascriptNames = true is the default
		bindingOptions = new BindingOptions { CamelCaseJavascriptNames = false, Binder = new MyCustomBinder() }); //No camelcase of names and specify a default binder
		repo.Register("bound", new BoundObject(), isAsync: false, options: bindingOptions);
	}
};

In the actual JS code, you would use the object like this (default is to CamelCaseJavascriptNames, this is controllable via binding options, see above for an example).

bound.myProperty; // use this syntax to access the property
bound.myMethod(); // use this to call the method.
bound.testCallback(callback); //Pass a function in to use as a callback

Please note:

  • DO NOT REGISTER YOUR FORM/WINDOW/CONTROL. Create a class and proxy calls if required.
  • By default, methods and properties are changed into camelCase (i.e. the first letter is lower-cased) to make its usage be natural in JavaScript code. For 39.0.1 and greater this is optional and this behavior can be specified.
  • Complex objects are supported for properties (where applicable) so you can now do bound.subObject.myFunction() and bound.subObject.myProperty = 1.
  • Complex object support for functions is now possible thorugh the IBinder interface, you can implement your own or use the DefaultBinder e.g. repo.Register("bound", new BoundObject(), BindingOptions.DefaultBinder);
RegisterAsyncJsObject

Due to Chromium changes the older RegisterAsyncJsObject method of registering an object no longer works as it previously did, bound objects are no longer available after cross-site navigation.

RegisterAsyncJsObject is only avaliable using the legacy behavior which will still work for Single Page Applications and where only a single domain is used. You will need to set CefSharpSettings.LegacyJavascriptBindingEnabled = true before you register your first object. Objects are bound to a V8Context upon creation and as such are immediately avaliable

//For legacy biding set the following before your create a `ChromiumWebBrowser` instance
CefSharpSettings.LegacyJavascriptBindingEnabled = true;

browser.RegisterAsyncJsObject("boundAsync", new BoundAsyncObject());

For full details see https://github.com/cefsharp/CefSharp/wiki/General-Usage/156732a0d567915551b9e162d93067fa23cf89e3#registerasyncjsobject

RegisterJsObject

Due to Chromium changes the older RegisterJsObject method of registering an object no longer works as it previously did, bound objects are no longer available after cross-site navigation.

RegisterJsObject is only avaliable using the legacy behavior which will still work for Single Page Applications and where only a single domain is used. You will need to set CefSharpSettings.LegacyJavascriptBindingEnabled = true before you register your first object. Objects are bound to a V8Context upon creation and as such are immediately avaliable

//For legacy biding set the following before your create a `ChromiumWebBrowser` instance
CefSharpSettings.LegacyJavascriptBindingEnabled = true;

browser.RegisterJsObject("bound", new BoundObject());

This method is old and uses WCF to communicate between the Browser Process and Render Process. Calls are made in a synchronous fashion, so long running method calls will block the render process and must be avoided. You can use a IJavascriptCallback to execute in an async fashion.

For full details see https://github.com/cefsharp/CefSharp/wiki/General-Usage/156732a0d567915551b9e162d93067fa23cf89e3#RegisterJsObject

Adobe Flash Player (Pepper Flash)

A system-wide installation of Pepper Flash that will be automatically discovered and loaded by CefSharp can be downloaded from Adobe. Choose the FP for Opera and Chromium -- PPAPI version from the drop down list. To test flash is working, simply load http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/.

Technically it's possible to load the Pepper Flash DLL directly using command line arguments. I'm only providing the example below as a reference. I make no guarantees that it works or will continue to work. If you experience problems, switch to using the system-wide installer as per above.

//Load the pepper flash player that comes with Google Chrome - may be possible to load these values from the registry and query the DLL for it's version info (Step 2 not strictly required it seems)
var cefSettings = new CefSettings();
cefSettings.CefCommandLineArgs.Add("ppapi-flash-path", @"C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\47.0.2526.106\PepperFlash\pepflashplayer.dll"); //Load a specific pepper flash version (Step 1 of 2)
cefSettings.CefCommandLineArgs.Add("ppapi-flash-version", "20.0.0.228"); //Load a specific pepper flash version (Step 2 of 2)

It's also technically possible to obtain the pepflashplayer.dll from the system-wide installer and include that with your app, using the command line arguments above. Before you go down this path, contact Adobe to make sure you're not breaching their licensing requirements for distribution.

Note When opening flash for the first time a console window will appear for a split second that says NOT SANDBOXED. There is an Issue on the Chromium issue tracker, though unfortunately Google have marked it as WontFix. A few clever people have hacked together some workarounds. They're complex and I've never tried them. Follow the link in cefsharp/CefSharp#1259 for details.

Offscreen Rendering (OSR)

The WPF and OffScreen versions use the OffScreen Rendering (OSR) rendering mode. In OSR mode each frame is rendered to a buffer and then either drawn on the screen as in the case of WPF, or made available as a Bitmap in the OffScreen.

WPF

For the WPF control, user input (mouse clicks/moves and key presses) is forwarded to the underlying browser though methods on the IBrowserHost interface. It is possible to obtain access to each Bitmap as it's rendered.

A special note should be made about hosting the ChromiumWebBrowser within a ViewBox. This is far from ideal, as every frame is rendered then post-processing happens to resize/scale the image. This is a huge performance hit and often reduces quality (it's usually quite blurry). You can adjust the resize quality using RenderOptions.SetBitmapScalingMode. It's best to avoid using a ViewBox. You can scale the content contained within the browser by adjusting the ZoomLevel, which is by far the most performant option.

OffScreen

For the CefSharp.OffScreen package, each frame is rendered to a Bitmap and exposed for use. If you wish to interact with the browser via keyboard or mouse, you can use methods on the IBrowser host interface. Simulating key presses and mouse clicks/moves can be quite complex. You can use the WPF control as a starting example as it uses the same methods (add debugging to see what sequence of events is required). Key presses and mouse clicks/moves are often made up of multiple parts, up/down with a number of other possible combinations.

UserAgent

The UserAgent can only be set globally and is not changeable at run-time. See http://magpcss.org/ceforum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=14685&p=33024 for the official response from the CEF maintainer. You can modify the User-Agent HTTP header in IRequestHandler.OnBeforeResourceLoad, which would need to be done for every request. What it doesn't do is change the UserAgent the browser reports to JavaScript.

cefsharp/CefSharp#534 (comment)

DevTools

You can open DevTools from within CefSharp. Not all features work. Anything that's missing needs to be implemented in CEF.

browser.ShowDevTools();

You can connect Chrome to a running instance. This will likely give you more options (not all that exist within Chrome unfortunately).

var settings = new CefSettings();
settings.RemoteDebuggingPort = 8088;
Cef.Initialize(settings);

Open http://localhost:8088 in Chrome.

Screenshots

The underlying CEF web browser is not particularly well suited to taking screenshots. Here are some notes and caveats:

OffScreen/WPF

Both Offscreen and WPF use Offscreen Rendering (OSR) where every frame is rendered to a bitmap. It is still a web browser under the hood and not particularly well suited for this scenario. Here are some notes:

  • Lower frame rate, to make it easier to capture frames may be worth considering
  • You'll need to wait a period of time after the page has finished loading to allow the browser to render
  • There is currently no method of determining when a web page has finished rendering (and unlikely ever will be as with features like flash, dynamic content, animations, even simple tasks like moving your mouse or scrolling will cause new frames to be rendered).
  • A hack method to determine when rendering has approximately finished is to have a timer that's reset every time a frame is rendered, when no additional frames are rendered then the timer will file (not ideal)

WinForms

Here are some examples of taking screen shots under windows

Win32 Out of Memory

When using the 32bit version make sure your application is large address aware (handle addresses larger than 2gb)

As per suggestion in http://magpcss.org/ceforum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15120#p34802 it appears that setting The Large Address Aware linker setting on your application executable when running as a 32bit application may now be necessary where high memory load is experienced.

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/wz223b1z.aspx

The default x86 SubProcess shipped with CefSharp is large address aware, you should make your application aware as well.

After applying the Large Address Aware linker setting to your executable, if your still experiencing the exact same problem then discuss your issue at http://magpcss.org/ceforum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15120

Load URL with PostData

Use IFrame.LoadRequest, here is a basic example

public void LoadCustomRequestExample()
{
	var frame = WebBrowser.GetMainFrame();

	//Create a new request knowing we'd like to use PostData
	var request = frame.CreateRequest(initializePostData:true);
	request.Method = "POST";
	request.Url = "custom://cefsharp/PostDataTest.html";
	request.PostData.AddData("test=123&data=456");

	frame.LoadRequest(request);
}

Spellchecking

By default CefSettings.Locale will dictate which dictionary is used, the default being en-US. It is possible to configure many aspects of spell checking enable/disable on the fly, change dictionary on the fly, even enable multiple dictionaries. Use RequestContext.SetPreference (See the RequestContext section of this document for details on how to set a preference).

Spellcheck can only be changed dynamically using spellcheck.dictionaries preference (important to use the plural version) https://bitbucket.org/chromiumembedded/cef/issues/2222/spell-checking-language-cannot-be-changed#comment-38338016

Here are some userful links

http://magpcss.org/ceforum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=14911&p=33882&hilit=spellcheck#p33882 https://cs.chromium.org/chromium/src/components/spellcheck/browser/pref_names.cc?type=cs&q=%22spellcheck.dictionary%22&l=11 https://cs.chromium.org/chromium/src/components/spellcheck/browser/pref_names.cc?type=cs&q=%22spellcheck.dictionary%22&l=15

WebAssembly

Is enabled by default in newer builds see https://www.chromestatus.com/feature/5453022515691520

For older versions you need to manually enable WebAssembly see https://bitbucket.org/chromiumembedded/cef/issues/2101/add-webassembly-support

settings.javascript_flags translates to settings.JavascriptFlags = "--expose-wasm";

Exception Handling

Capturing unmanaged exceptions is difficult and CEF could potentially be in a corrupted state requiring your application to terminate and restart. As this is a general programming topic and outside the scope of CefSharp specifically here are some resources to get you started researching this for yourself.

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/233255/how-does-setunhandledexceptionfilter-work-in-net-winforms-applications https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ms680634(v=vs.85).aspx https://referencesource.microsoft.com/#System.Windows.Forms/winforms/Managed/System/WinForms/Application.cs,8243b844777a16c3 https://referencesource.microsoft.com/#System.Windows.Forms/winforms/Managed/System/WinForms/Application.cs,3192

Capturing unhandled exceptions in a mixed native/CLR environment http://www.ikriv.com/blog/?p=1440

Dependency Checking

Has a very simple class that checks to see if the all the relevant unmanaged resources are present.

  • Cef.Initialize
  • Call it directly yourself

It's not 100% foolproof, if your having problems and all resources exist then disable dependency checking. There are certain scenarios when it's not going to work.

https://github.com/cefsharp/CefSharp/wiki/Output-files-description-table-%28Redistribution%29

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amaitland commented Dec 19, 2016

  • Browser Isolation - Request Context
  • Handler Details (and some of the limited events that are exposed). list handlers, menu, lifespan, request, download
  • Little bit about WPF, OffScreen and WinForms all using the same core code.
  • Some guidance about Initialize/Shutdown
  • Setting proxy - example of preferences
  • Everyone must read the release notes, has known issues and relevant info for each release
  • Some very basic pointers on handling popups
  • Javascript binding and execution - import from FAQ
  • CefSettings and BrowserSettings - Include some command line args like media stream and disable gpu
  • LoadHtml from Disk - Scheme Handler, ResourceHandler and Data encoded Uri
  • Printing - Limited support, currently best bet is to export to PDF and do what you will with the output
  • AnyCPU support - moving dependencies to sub directory
  • Add some ResourceHandler and SchemeHandlerFactory examples
  • Add comments about MultiThreadedMessageLoop and messages being processed in a different thread.
  • Add reference to logging and default log file.
  • Add more about IBinder and async object rego (switch the example to using async)
  • App manifest section
  • Expand on LoadingStateChanged/BrowserInitialized
  • Expand on Preferences (Add more examples)
  • Add a subsection for IJavascriptCallback
  • Improve handlers section - could be cleaner and link to a basic example

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amaitland commented Dec 19, 2016

Support has been added for chrome:// built in scheme, so can now load things like chrome://gpu
https://bitbucket.org/chromiumembedded/cef/commits/7a2765f89c083d6f087aa7d4ef489bc554573f0d?at=2883

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amaitland commented Dec 21, 2016

Integrate a more detailed example of EvaluateScriptAsync

https://gist.github.com/amaitland/9d354376960b0cd9305a

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amaitland commented Dec 22, 2016

Add section about debugging and downloading symbols - enable VS native code debugging for project, download the pdb, adapt following instructions

  • Firstly identity which version of CEF your actually using, easiest way is to check your packages.config file, look for the cef.redist.x86 package, it's version will be something like 3.2526.1362, that's the exact version of CEF you'll need to download for comparison. You can also open chrome://version in the browser to determine the version.
  • Open http://opensource.spotify.com/cefbuilds/index.html (http://cefbuilds.com for older version) in a web browser
  • Locate the exact Branch you require, for the example above the branch is 2526, all the versions follow a similar pattern
  • Locate the Windows 32bit or Windows 64bit item, if you don't see the exact version, then click more revisions
  • Download Release Symbols e.g. cef_binary_3.2883.1539.gd7f087e_windows32_release_symbols.tar.bz2
  • Extract libcef.dll.pdf and place next to libcef.dll (typically in your executing folder).

Update section in Troubleshooting Guide
https://github.com/cefsharp/CefSharp/wiki/Trouble-Shooting#unmanaged-crashes-when-the-process-dies

Then reference that instead of adding to general usage.

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amaitland commented Dec 29, 2016

Load URL with PostData

Use IFrame.LoadRequest, here is a basic example

public void LoadCustomRequestExample()
{
	var frame = WebBrowser.GetMainFrame();

	//Create a new request knowing we'd like to use PostData
	var request = frame.CreateRequest(initializePostData:true);
	request.Method = "POST";
	request.Url = "custom://cefsharp/PostDataTest.html";
	request.PostData.AddData("test=123&data=456");

	frame.LoadRequest(request);
}

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amaitland commented Jan 16, 2017

Add section about crash reporting (new in 55.0.0)

  • Doesn't work when spawning from within VS using the VS Host Process. Running from outside of VS works fine.

https://bitbucket.org/chromiumembedded/cef/wiki/CrashReporting.md

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amaitland commented Jan 23, 2017

Add link to cefsharp/CefSharp#601 - loading unmanaged dlls from different folder and cefsharp/CefSharp#1753 for directory where cefsharp copies files

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amaitland commented Feb 23, 2017

Spellchecking

By default CefSettings.Locale will dictate which dictionary is used, the default being en-US. It is possible to configure many aspects of spell checking enable/disable on the fly, change dictionary on the fly, even enable multiple dictionaries. Use RequestContext.SetPreference (See the RequestContext section of this document for details on how to set a preference).

Spellcheck can only be changed dynamically using spellcheck.dictionaries preference (important to use the plural version)
https://bitbucket.org/chromiumembedded/cef/issues/2222/spell-checking-language-cannot-be-changed#comment-38338016

Here are some userful links

http://magpcss.org/ceforum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=14911&p=33882&hilit=spellcheck#p33882
https://cs.chromium.org/chromium/src/components/spellcheck/browser/pref_names.cc?type=cs&q=%22spellcheck.dictionary%22&l=11
https://cs.chromium.org/chromium/src/components/spellcheck/browser/pref_names.cc?type=cs&q=%22spellcheck.dictionary%22&l=15

WebAssembly

You need to manually enable WebAssembly see https://bitbucket.org/chromiumembedded/cef/issues/2101/add-webassembly-support

settings.javascript_flags translates to settings.JavascriptFlags = "--expose-wasm";

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amaitland commented Mar 2, 2017

private async void BrowserLoadingStateChanged(object sender, LoadingStateChangedEventArgs e)
{
	//We check to see if the page is Loading (if false, then it's finished loading and we can execute some js)
	//It's important to NOTE that finished loading is very different to finished rendering. There is no
	//event that signifies when rendering has finished as it's indeterminate.
	if(e.IsLoading == false)
	{
		//We're running on the CEF UI Thread initially (by default this is different to your apps UI thread)
		var isCefUiThread = Cef.CurrentlyOnThread(CefThreadIds.TID_UI);

		//Scripts are executed at the frame level, every page has at least one frame (MainFrame)
		var result = await e.Browser.MainFrame.EvaluateScriptAsync("1 + 1");
		// The ChromiumWebBrowser class has quite a few extensions methods to simplify some basic tasks
		//Executing the following would be the same as above, see WebBrowsrExtensions.cs for more helpful
		//extensions methods
		//var result = await browser.EvaluateScriptAsync("1 + 1");

		//After awaiting we're on a ThreadPool Thread (CEF Threads have no default SynchronizationContext, so the
		// default Thread Pool SynchronizationContext is used).
		//For more details on SynchronizationContext https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/gg598924.aspx
		//If you were to await EvaluateScriptAsync on the UI thread, then the
		//DispatcherSynchronizationContext/WindowsFormsSynchronizationContext would be used in WPF/WinForms respectively.
		var isThreadPoolThread = Thread.CurrentThread.IsThreadPoolThread;

		//To Access the UI thread you need to use the Dispatcher.BeginInvoke (WPF) or Control.BeginInvoke(WinForms)
	}
}

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amaitland commented Mar 7, 2017

Add example of Cef.IsInitialized to initialize/shutdown section

http://cefsharp.github.io/api/55.0.0/html/P_CefSharp_Cef_IsInitialized.htm

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amaitland commented Mar 21, 2017

Exception Handling

Capturing unmanaged exceptions is difficult and CEF could potentially be in a corrupted state requiring your application to terminate and restart. As this is a general programming topic and outside the scope of CefSharp specifically here are some resources to get you started researching this for yourself.

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/233255/how-does-setunhandledexceptionfilter-work-in-net-winforms-applications
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ms680634(v=vs.85).aspx
https://referencesource.microsoft.com/#System.Windows.Forms/winforms/Managed/System/WinForms/Application.cs,8243b844777a16c3
https://referencesource.microsoft.com/#System.Windows.Forms/winforms/Managed/System/WinForms/Application.cs,3192

Capturing unhandled exceptions in a mixed native/CLR environment
http://www.ikriv.com/blog/?p=1440

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amaitland commented Mar 24, 2017

Dependency Checking

Has a very simple class that checks to see if the all the relevant unmanaged resources are present.

  • Cef.Initialize
  • Call it directly yourself

It's not 100% foolproof, if your having problems and all resources exist then disable dependency checking. There are certain scenarios when it's not going to work.

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amaitland commented Mar 28, 2017

Add reference to Proprietary Codec support and using http://html5test.com/ to see what browser is capable of.

MP3 patent has expired, Google have decided not to support MP3 in Chromium builds (the open source browser, as opposed to Chrome which does). Official response is https://groups.google.com/a/chromium.org/forum/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer#!msg/embedder-dev/qnT2A5q9soM/oDwGRjdOAQAJ

There is a discussion on how to just enable MP3 support, see https://groups.google.com/a/chromium.org/forum/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer#!topic/embedder-dev/47j5xiMwjoY

Updated Google have stated as of M62 they'll include MP3 in the non-proprietary codec list and will be include by default see https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=746579

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amaitland commented Apr 3, 2017

Add additional comment to Initialize/Shutdown section about limitation being imposed by design choices made by Chromium developers and is a hard limitation with the only workaround being to use multiple processes and remoting/IPC.

https://bitbucket.org/chromiumembedded/cef/issues/421#comment-16410312

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amaitland commented May 12, 2017

Additional proxy links - when setting through preferences there are different modes that can be set.
https://developer.chrome.com/extensions/proxy#type-Mode
These can be translated to proxy settings when set through preferences.

You can dig through the Chromium source if you require more information see https://cs.chromium.org/chromium/src/components/proxy_config/proxy_prefs.h?q=fixed_server+package:%5Echromium$&l=31

Add chrome://net-internals/#proxy link as can be used to determine current proxy settings.

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amaitland commented Aug 31, 2017

OSR Rendering WebGL

  • v59 (3071) and newer uses swiftshader to support WebGL with software rendering.

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