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Appium Server setup to automate android testing on real devices
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Appium Docker for Android

Why is this approach needed at first place?

  • Helps in quick & easier setup of automation environment for Appium + Android
  • Without this approach, you'll need to do each of the automation setup steps manually; which can be slow and error prone
  • Refer to Selenium Conference Youtube video for more details

Images Included:

  • appium/appium - Docker Image to run appium tests on real Android devices.
  • To execute in Android emulator's please visit docker-android

How to Build:

$ docker build -t "appium/appium:local" -f Appium/Dockerfile Appium

The following --build-args are available:


Setting up Android real device test on Docker macOSX

  1. Make sure you have latest docker installed on mac.

    $ docker-machine --version
    $ docker-machine version 0.10.0, build 76ed2a6
  2. Create a docker-machine as follows

    $ docker-machine create --driver virtualbox appium-test-machine
  3. Enable USB in created docker-machine

    $ docker-machine stop appium-test-machine
    $ vboxmanage modifyvm appium-test-machine --usb on --usbehci on
    $ docker-machine start appium-test-machine

    Note: You need to install Extension Pack depends on your virtualbox version, in case you get an Error "Implementation of the USB 2.0 controller not found"

  4. Open Virtual box, move to appium-test-machine created, select USB and add Android device and Host Controller.

    alt tag

  5. Remove your base machine's ownership over the Android device(s)

    adb kill-server
  6. SSH into the docker machine created

    $ docker-machine ssh appium-test-machine
  7. Run the docker image on the newly created docker machine

    $ docker run --privileged -d -p 4723:4723  -v /dev/bus/usb:/dev/bus/usb --name container-appium appium/appium
  8. Run following command to verify adb devices can detect the connected android device.

    $ docker exec -it container-appium adb devices
  9. Run UI Test with following test configuration

    Push the apk file into the container
    $ docker cp /Users/loacl-macosx-path-to-apk/app-debug.apk container-appium:/opt
    Desired Capabilities:
    private void androidSetup() throws MalformedURLException {
            caps.setCapability("deviceName", "Android");
            caps.setCapability("app", "/opt/app-debug.apk");
            //Get the IP Address of boot2docker
            //docker inspect $(docker ps -q) | grep IPA
            driver = new AndroidDriver<MobileElement>(new URL(""), caps);

Share Android identification key

Each time, you will (re)create container, connected to container devices will ask for authorization after first connection. To prevent that, you can share one identity through all created containers. To do that, you should:

  • Connect all devices to docker physical machine
  • Run adb devices
  • Authorize all devices (do not forget to check Always allow this computer)

Always allow this computer screenshot

  • run your containers with parameter -v ~/.android:/root/.android

For example:

$ docker run --privileged -d -p 4723:4723 -v ~/.android:/root/.android -v /dev/bus/usb:/dev/bus/usb --name container-appium appium/appium

Connect Each Device to a Separate Container

In certain use cases you may want to have a single Appium-Docker-Android container running for each device. To achieve this you must run adb kill-server and then provide the --device option to docker run:

$ docker run -d -p 4723:4723 --device /dev/bus/usb/XXX/YYY:/dev/bus/usb/XXX/YYY -v ~/.android:/root/.android --name device1 appium/appium
$ docker run -d -p 4724:4723 --device /dev/bus/usb/XXX/ZZZ:/dev/bus/usb/XXX/ZZZ -v ~/.android:/root/.android --name device2 appium/appium

Connect to Android devices by Air

Appium-Docker-Android can be connected with Android devices by Air.

To do that you need to configure android device, according to official manual

Then run docker container with following parameters:

  • REMOTE_ADB=true
  • ANDROID_DEVICES=<android_device_host>:<android_device_port> [,<android_device_host>:<android_device_port>]
  • REMOTE_ADB_POLLING_SEC=60 (default: 5, interval between polling the list of connected devices in order to connect to lost remote devices)
$ docker run -d -p 4723:4723 -e REMOTE_ADB=true -e ANDROID_DEVICES=, -e REMOTE_ADB_POLLING_SEC=60

Connect to Selenium Grid

Appium-Docker-Android can be connected with selenium grid by passing following parameters:

  • APPIUM_HOST=<ip_address_of_appium_server>
  • APPIUM_PORT=<port_of_appium_server>
  • SELENIUM_HOST=<ip_address_of_selenium_hub>
  • SELENIUM_PORT=<port_of_selenium_hub>
$ docker run --privileged -d -p 4723:4723 -e CONNECT_TO_GRID=true -e APPIUM_HOST="" -e APPIUM_PORT=4723 -e SELENIUM_HOST="" -e SELENIUM_PORT=4444 -v /dev/bus/usb:/dev/bus/usb --name container-appium appium/appium

Custom Node Config

The image generates the node config file, if you would like to provide your own config pass the following parameters:

  • -v <path_to_config>:/root/nodeconfig.json

Relaxed Security

Pass environment variable RELAXED_SECURITY=true to disable additional security check to use some advanced features.

Enable SaltStack

You can enable SaltStack to control running containers by passing environment variable SALT_MASTER=<ip_address_of_salt_master>.

Docker compose

There is an example of compose file to simulate the connection between selenium hub and appium server with connected device(s) in docker solution.

$ docker-compose up -d
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