Npm module for androidBootstrap, the java project which appium uses to interact with UiAutomator
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JavaScript interface, and Java code, for interacting with Android UI Automator. The system allows ad hoc commands to be sent to the device, which are executed using Android's UIAutomator testing framework.

Technical details

The system works by a placed on the Android device, which opens a SocketServer on port 4724. This server receives commands, converts them to appropriate Android UI Automator commands, and runs them in the context of the device.

The commands are sent through the JavaScript interface.


The module provides an AndroidBootstrap class, which is instantiated with an instance of appium-adb, a system port (defaults to 4724) and an optional web socket. The object then has four async methods:

async start (appPackage, disableAndroidWatchers)

Uses Appium's UI Automator interface to install the test case, and sets up socket communication.

  • appPackage - The package name for the application under test (e.g., '').
  • disableAndroidWatchers - Whether or not to watch Android events. Defaults to false.
import AndroidBootstrap from 'appium-android-bootstrap';

let androidBootstrap = new AndroidBootstrap();
await androidBootstrap.start('', false);

async shutdown ()

Shuts down all services. Stops UI Automator process on device, and kills communication.

await androidBootstrap.shutdown();

async sendCommand (type, extra, cmdTimeout)

Send a command to the device.

  • type - The type of command being sent. The two valid types are action and shutdown. These are exported as the enumeration COMMAND_TYPES
  • extra - A hash of extra parameters to send to the device.
  • cmdTimeout - The amount of time, in ms, to wait for the device to respond. Defaults to 10000.
let dataDir = await androidBootstrap.sendCommand(COMMAND_TYPES.ACTION, {action: 'getDataDir'});
// dataDir === '/data'

async sendAction (action, params)

Send an action command to the device. Equavalent to sendCommand ('action', {action: action, params: params}).

  • action - The action to be sent.
  • params - Parameters for the action.
let dataDir = await androidBootstrap.sendAction('getDataDir');
// dataDir === '/data'


An enumeration of the available types of commands, to be used for sendCommand. The members are ACTION, and SHUTDOWN.


Building the Bootstrap Jar

This package builds with an older version of the Android tools, using ant.

To build the Java system, make sure ant is installed.

In order to have both the current Android tools and the ones needed for this package, do the following:

  1. Copy your $ANDROID_HOME directory (where the Android SDK is installed) to another location.
  2. Download the Android 22 tools
  3. Replace the tools directory in the copied Android SDK directory with the Android 22 tools just downloaded
  4. Create/edit bootstrap/ file, adding
    • sdk.dir=/path/to/copied/android/sdk

Now you should be able to build the Jar file by running

npm run build:jar


npm run watch


npm run test
npm run e2e-test