Lightweight Remote Browser with Dockerized Firefox

A brief on setting up a lightweight remote browser environment with Dockerized Firefox.

Using a remote web browser can offer significant privacy advantages compared to traditional browsing methods - enhanced anonymity, protection from malware and tracking, and browser data isolation. It also allows you to create disposable browsing sessions for enhanced privacy and confidentiality. Also, running the browser inside a Docker container makes it easy to deploy and launch environments, unlocking a multitude of benefits for users. As with other forms of technology though, such an approach could be prone to abuse, but I believe the benefits outweigh the cons enough to discuss it here.

For this brief, we'll deploy a Firefox Docker container on Railway, a modern app hosting platform that makes it easy to deploy production-ready apps quickly. If you don't already have an account, sign up using GitHub, and click Authorize Railway App when redirected. Review and agree to Railway's Terms of Service and Fair Use Policy if prompted. Railway does not offer an always-free plan anymore, but the free trial is good enough to try this. Launch the Firefox one-click starter template (or click the button below) to deploy it instantly on Railway.

Deploy on Railway

We're using the jlesage/firefox:latest Docker image for deployment; review the default settings and click Deploy; the deployment will kick off immediately.

Deploy Firefox using one-click starter on Railway
Deploy Firefox using one-click starter on Railway

Once the deployment completes, Firefox will be remotely available at a default domain - launch this URL to access the web interface. If you are interested in setting up a custom domain, I covered it at length in a previous post - see the final section here.

Firefox remote browser environment on Railway
Firefox remote browser environment on Railway

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