Appium iOS driver, backed by Apple XCUITest
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mykola-mokhnach Add alerts handling in web context (#739)
* Add alerts handling in web context

* /Apply better waiter

* Typo

* Tune finally

* avoid two alert handlers to be running at the same time

* Avoid race condition

* Rename the flag

* Use boolean flag

* Address comments

* Fix the error message
Latest commit d3aca5e Aug 11, 2018


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Note: Issue tracking for this repo has been disabled. Please use the main Appium issue tracker instead.

Missing functionality

Known issues

  • shake is implemented via AppleScript and works only on Simulator due to lack of support from Apple
  • Setting geo-location is implemented via AppleScript and works only on Simulator due to lack of support from Apple. In order to make it work on real devices one should have idevicelocation tool available.
  • Through multi action API, zoom works but pinch does not, due to Apple issue.

External dependencies

In addition to the git submodules mentioned below (see Development), this package currently depends on libimobiledevice to do certain things. Install it with Homebrew,

brew install libimobiledevice --HEAD  # install from HEAD to get important updates
brew install ideviceinstaller         # only works for ios 9. for ios 10, see below

There is also a dependency, made necessary by Facebook's WebDriverAgent, for the Carthage dependency manager. If you do not have Carthage on your system, it can also be installed with Homebrew

brew install carthage

ideviceinstaller doesn't work with iOS 10 yet. So we need to install ios-deploy

npm install -g ios-deploy

For real devices we can use xcpretty to make Xcode output more reasonable. This can be installed by

gem install xcpretty

Sim Resetting

By default, this driver will create a new iOS simulator and run tests on it, deleting the simulator afterward.

If you specify a specific simulator using the udid capability, this driver will boot the specified simulator and shut it down afterwards.

If a udid is provided and the simulator is already running, this driver will leave it running after the test run.

In short, this driver tries to leave things as it found them.

You can use the noReset capability to adjust this behavior. Setting noReset to true will leave the simulator running at the end of a test session.

Real devices


See real device configuration documentation.

Known problems

After many failures on real devices, there can be a state where the device will no longer accept connections. To possibly remedy this reboot the device. Read for more details. Getting full control over WDA server might help to workaround the problem.

Weird state

Note: Running WebDriverAgent tests on a real device is particularly flakey. If things stop responding, the only recourse is, most often, to restart the device. Logs in the form of the following may start to occur:

info JSONWP Proxy Proxying [POST /session] to [POST] with body: {"desiredCapabilities":{"ap..."
dbug WebDriverAgent Device: Jul 26 13:20:42 iamPhone XCTRunner[240] <Warning>: Listening on USB
dbug WebDriverAgent Device: Jul 26 13:21:42 iamPhone XCTRunner[240] <Warning>: Enqueue Failure: UI Testing Failure - Unable to update application state promptly. <unknown> 0 1
dbug WebDriverAgent Device: Jul 26 13:21:57 iamPhone XCTRunner[240] <Warning>: Enqueue Failure: UI Testing Failure - Failed to get screenshot within 15s <unknown> 0 1
dbug WebDriverAgent Device: Jul 26 13:22:57 iamPhone XCTRunner[240] <Warning>: Enqueue Failure: UI Testing Failure - App state of (null) is still unknown <unknown> 0 1

Real device security settings

On some systems there are Accessibility restrictions that make the WebDriverAgent system unable to run. This is usually manifest by xcodebuild returning an error code 65. A workaround for this is to use a private key that is not stored on the system keychain. See this issue and this Stack Exchange post.

To export the key, use

security create-keychain -p [keychain_password] MyKeychain.keychain
security import MyPrivateKey.p12 -t agg -k MyKeychain.keychain -P [p12_Password] -A

where MyPrivateKey.p12 is the private development key exported from the system keychain.

The full path to the keychain can then be sent to the Appium system using the keychainPath desired capability, and the password sent through the keychainPassword capability.

Desired Capabilities

Should be the same for Appium

Differences noted here

Capability Description Values
noReset Do not destroy or shut down sim after test. Start tests running on whichever sim is running, or device is plugged in. Default false true, false
processArguments Process arguments and environment which will be sent to the WebDriverAgent server. { args: ["a", "b", "c"] , env: { "a": "b", "c": "d" } } or '{"args": ["a", "b", "c"], "env": { "a": "b", "c": "d" }}'
wdaLocalPort This value if specified, will be used to forward traffic from Mac host to real ios devices over USB. Default value is same as port number used by WDA on device. e.g., 8100
showXcodeLog Whether to display the output of the Xcode command used to run the tests. If this is true, there will be lots of extra logging at startup. Defaults to false e.g., true
iosInstallPause Time in milliseconds to pause between installing the application and starting WebDriverAgent on the device. Used particularly for larger applications. Defaults to 0 e.g., 8000
xcodeOrgId Apple developer team identifier string. Must be used in conjunction with xcodeSigningId to take effect. e.g., JWL241K123
xcodeSigningId String representing a signing certificate. Must be used in conjunction with xcodeOrgId. This is usually just iPhone Developer, so the default (if not included) is iPhone Developer e.g., iPhone Developer
xcodeConfigFile Full path to an optional Xcode configuration file that specifies the code signing identity and team for running the WebDriverAgent on the real device. e.g., /path/to/myconfig.xcconfig
updatedWDABundleId Bundle id to update WDA to before building and launching on real devices. This bundle id must be associated with a valid provisioning profile. e.g., io.appium.WebDriverAgentRunner
keychainPath Full path to the private development key exported from the system keychain. Used in conjunction with keychainPassword when testing on real devices. e.g., /path/to/MyPrivateKey.p12
keychainPassword Password for unlocking keychain specified in keychainPath. e.g., super awesome password
scaleFactor Simulator scale factor. This is useful to have if the default resolution of simulated device is greater than the actual display resolution. So you can scale the simulator to see the whole device screen without scrolling. Acceptable values for simulators running Xcode SDK 8 and older are: '1.0', '0.75', '0.5', '0.33' and '0.25', where '1.0' means 100% scale. For simulators running Xcode SDK 9 and above the value could be any valid positive float number. The capability must be of a string type.
usePrebuiltWDA Skips the build phase of running the WDA app. Building is then the responsibility of the user. Only works for Xcode 8+. Defaults to false. e.g., true
derivedDataPath Use along with usePrebuiltWDA capability and choose where to search for the existing WDA app. If the capability is not set then Xcode will store the derived data in the default root taken from preferences.
preventWDAAttachments Sets read only permissions to Attachments subfolder of WebDriverAgent root inside Xcode's DerivedData. This is necessary to prevent XCTest framework from creating tons of unnecessary screenshots and logs, which was impossible to turn off prior to XCTest@Xcode9 using programming interfaces provided by Apple. Setting the capability to true will set POSIX permissions of the folder to 555 and false will reset them back to 755. false by default if Xcode SDK is at version 9 or newer otherwise true
webDriverAgentUrl If provided, Appium will connect to an existing WebDriverAgent instance at this URL instead of starting a new one. e.g., http://localhost:8100
useNewWDA If true, forces uninstall of any existing WebDriverAgent app on device. Set it to true if you want to apply different startup options for WebDriverAgent for each session. Although, it is only guaranteed to work stable on Simulator. Real devices require WebDriverAgent client to run for as long as possible without reinstall/restart to avoid issues like The false value (the default behaviour since driver version 2.35.0) will try to detect currently running WDA listener executed by previous testing session(s) and reuse it if possible, which is highly recommended for real device testing and to speed up suites of multiple tests in general. A new WDA session will be triggered at the default URL (http://localhost:8100) if WDA is not listening and webDriverAgentUrl capability is not set. The negative/unset value of useNewWDA capability has no effect prior to xcuitest driver version 2.35.0. e.g., true
wdaLaunchTimeout Time, in ms, to wait for WebDriverAgent to be pingable. Defaults to 60000ms. e.g., 30000
wdaConnectionTimeout Timeout, in ms, for waiting for a response from WebDriverAgent. Defaults to 240000ms. e.g., 1000
resetOnSessionStartOnly Whether to perform reset on test session finish (false) or not (true). Keeping this variable set to true and Simulator running (the default behaviour since version 1.6.4) may significantly shorten the duratiuon of test session initialization. Either true or false. Defaults to true
commandTimeouts Custom timeout(s) in milliseconds for WDA backend commands execution. This might be useful if WDA backend freezes unexpectedly or requires too much time to fail and blocks automated test execution. The value is expected to be of type string and can either contain max milliseconds to wait for each WDA command to be executed before terminating the session forcefully or a valid JSON string, where keys are internal Appium command names (you can find these in logs, look for "Executing command 'command_name'" records) and values are timeouts in milliseconds. You can also set the 'default' key to assign the timeout for all other commands not explicitly enumerated as JSON keys. '120000', '{"findElement": 40000, "findElements": 40000, "setValue": 20000, "default": 120000}'
wdaStartupRetries Number of times to try to build and launch WebDriverAgent onto the device. Defaults to 2. e.g., 4
wdaStartupRetryInterval Time, in ms, to wait between tries to build and launch WebDriverAgent. Defaults to 10000ms. e.g., 20000
connectHardwareKeyboard Set this option to true in order to enable hardware keyboard in Simulator. It is set to false by default, because this helps to workaround some XCTest bugs. true or false
maxTypingFrequency Maximum frequency of keystrokes for typing and clear. If your tests are failing because of typing errors, you may want to adjust this. Defaults to 60 keystrokes per minute. e.g., 30
simpleIsVisibleCheck Use native methods for determining visibility of elements. In some cases this takes a long time. Setting this capability to false will cause the system to use the position and size of elements to make sure they are visible on the screen. This can, however, lead to false results in some situations. Defaults to false, except iOS 9.3, where it defaults to true. e.g., true, false
useCarthageSsl Use SSL to download dependencies for WebDriverAgent. Defaults to false e.g., true
shouldUseSingletonTestManager Use default proxy for test management within WebDriverAgent. Setting this to false sometimes helps with socket hangup problems. Defaults to true. e.g., false
startIWDP Set this to true if you want to start ios_webkit_debug proxy server automatically for accessing webviews on iOS. The capatibility only works for real device automation. Defaults to false. e.g., true
calendarAccessAuthorized Set this to true if you want to enable calendar access on IOS Simulator with given bundleId. Set to false, if you want to disable calendar access on IOS Simulator with given bundleId. If not set, the calendar authorization status will not be set. e.g., true
isHeadless Set this capability to true if automated tests are running on Simulator and the device display is not needed to be visible. This only has an effect since Xcode9 and only for simulators. All running instances of Simulator UI are going to be automatically terminated if headless test is started. false is the default value. e.g., true
webkitDebugProxyPort Local port number used for communication with ios-webkit-debug-proxy. Only relevant for real devices. The default value equals to 27753. e.g. 20000
useXctestrunFile Use Xctestrun file to launch WDA. It will search for such file in bootstrapPath. Expected name of file is WebDriverAgentRunner_iphoneos<platformVersion>-arm64.xctestrun for real device and WebDriverAgentRunner_iphonesimulator<platformVersion>-x86_64.xctestrun for simulator. One can do build-for-testing for WebDriverAgent project for simulator and real device and then you will see Product Folder like this and you need to copy content of this folder at bootstrapPath location. Since, this capability expects that you have already built WDA project, it neither check whether you have necessary dependencies to build WDA nor it try to build project. Defaults to false e.g., true
absoluteWebLocations This capability will direct the Get Element Location command, when used within webviews, to return coordinates which are relative to the origin of the page, rather than relative to the current scroll offset. This capability has no effect outside of webviews. Default false. e.g., true
simulatorWindowCenter Allows to explicitly set the coordinates of Simulator window center for Xcode9+ SDK. This capability only has an effect if Simulator window has not been opened yet for the current session before it started. e.g. {-100.0,100.0} or {500,500}, spaces are not allowed
useJSONSource Get JSON source from WDA and parse into XML on Appium server. This can be much faster, especially on large devices. Defaults to false. e.g., true
shutdownOtherSimulators If this capability set to true and the current device under test is an iOS Simulator then Appium will try to shutdown all the other running Simulators before to start a new session. This might be useful while executing webview tests on different devices, since only one device can be debugged remotely at once due to an Apple bug. The capability only has an effect if --relaxed-security command line argument is provided to the server. Defaults to false. e.g. true
keepKeyChains Set the capability to true in order to preserve Simulator keychains folder after full reset. This feature has no effect on real devices. Defaults to false e.g. true
keychainsExcludePatterns This capability accepts comma-separated path patterns, which are going to be excluded from keychains restore while full reset is being performed on Simulator. It might be useful if you want to exclude only particular keychain types from being restored, like the applications keychain. This feature has no effect on real devices. e.g. *keychain*.db* to exclude applications keychain from being restored
realDeviceScreenshotter Name of the alternative screenshot system to use for real devices. Defaults to the XCUITest screenshot functionality through WebDriverAgent. Possible value is idevicescreenshot to use the screenshot program from libimobiledevice. e.g., idevicescreenshot


This project has git submodules!

Clone with the git clone --recursive flag. Or, after cloning normally run git submodule init and then git submodule update

The git diff --submodule flag is useful here. It can also be set as the default diff format: git config --global diff.submodule log

git config status.submodulesummary 1 is also useful.


npm run watch


npm test

There are also a number of environment variables that can be used when running the tests locally. These include:

  • REAL_DEVICE - set to anything truthy, makes the tests use real device capabilities
  • _FORCE_LOGS - set to 1 to get the log output, not just spec
  • PLATFORM_VERSION - change the version to run the tests against (defaults to 9.3)
  • XCCONFIG_FILE - specify where the xcode config file is for a real device run (if blank, and running a real device test, it will search for the first file in the root directory of the repo with the extension "xcconfig")
  • UICATALOG_REAL_DEVICE - path to the real device build of UICatalog, in case the npm installed one is not built for real device

WebDriverAgent Updating

Updating FaceBook's WebDriverAgent is as simple as running updating the submodule and then committing the change:

git checkout -b <update-branch-name>
git submodule update --remote
git add WebDriverAgent
git commit -m "Updating upstream WebDriverAgent changes"

There is a chance that the update changed something critical, which will manifest itself as xcodebuild throwing errors. The easiest remedy is to delete the files, which are somewhere like /Users/isaac/Library/Developer/Xcode/DerivedData/WebDriverAgent-eoyoecqmiqfeodgstkwbxkfyagll. This is also necessary when switching SDKs (e.g., moving from Xcode 7.3 to 8).