55dfe7e Oct 29, 2015
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Running NativeScript Tests


NativeScript is a framework for building applications on mobile devices. Many of its components are UI elements which get tested most efficiently on the respective device or simulator/emulator. Thus, running the tests involves the following steps:

  • Create a NativeScript project
  • Build it to a native image
  • Start a simulator/emulator
  • Deploy the application image
  • Start the application
  • Monitor its output
  • Gather test output

These steps are automated via the run-testsapp.grunt.js grunt script, located under the build directory. It gets called by the main gruntfile.js, but is split to a separate file for simplicity.


  • Node JS
  • grunt
  • NativeScript CLI
  • Android/iOS setup
  • expect


As this is a grunt script, the arguments are passed the grunt way (--argName=argValue)

  • platform: The platform to run the tests application on: iOS or Android
  • showEmu: [Optional] Specifies whether the emulator should get launched in a window or headless mode. Defaults to false.
  • modulesPath: [Optional] The path to the tns-core-modules npm package to be tested. Defaults to the npm package, located in the current bin/dist/ folder. The modules must have been built before that.
  • tnsPath: [Optional] The path to the NativeScript executable. If not found, the globally installed tns gets called.
  • emuPId: The ID of the emulator process. This one is used to refresh the emulator process, as the emulator sometimes hangs.
  • avd: The name of the Android Virtual Device or the iOS simulator GUID to be started to run the tests.
  • logFilePath: [Optional] The path to the file, which the test app run log will get saved to. Defaults to "./TestRunResult.txt".
  • runtimePath: [Optional] The path to a custom iOS or Android Runtime package to have the tests run onto. If not specified, the newest available build on - tns-ios or tns-android.

Sample run:

grunt testsapp --platform=Android [--tnsPath="tns"] --emuPId=".*emulator64-x86"
--avd="Api19" [--logFilePath="./TestRunResult.txt"] [--androidRuntimePath="./tns-android.tgz"] --showEmu=true