This guide will show you how to set a custom user agent header for Ruby Mechanize, or use one of the built-in browser aliases.
Setting a custom user agent
Use the Mechanize#user_agent= method to set a custom user agent. For example:
require 'mechanize' mechanize = Mechanize.new mechanize.user_agent = 'ACME-Examplebot/1.0'
By convention the user agent header should include a list of "product tokens" (product name and version), listed in order of significance.
Setting a custom user agent in Rails
Inside a Rails application you can set the user agent to the application name like this:
mechanize.user_agent = Rails.application.class.parent_name
Using a built-in user agent alias
To emulate a browser, use the Mechanize#user_agent_alias= method to specify one of the built-in user agent aliases. For example:
mechanize.user_agent_alias = 'Mac Safari'
You could also use the Array#sample method to select a random alias like this:
aliases = ['Linux Firefox', 'Windows Chrome', 'Mac Safari'] mechanize.user_agent_alias = aliases.sample
Looking for more information about Ruby Mechanize? Read the HOWTO scrape websites with Ruby & Mechanize guide, or grab yourself a copy of the Ruby Mechanize Handbook.
Need a quick reference for commonly used Mechanize methods? Sign-up below!