HomeBlogAppium Unleashed: Unlocking iOS Test Automation On Linux

Appium Unleashed: Unlocking iOS Test Automation On Linux




In the dynamic landscape of mobile application development, ensuring the reliability and performance of iOS applications is paramount. Test automation emerges as a critical strategy in this pursuit, offering a systematic and efficient approach to validate the functionality, usability, and overall quality of iOS mobile applications. As the demand for seamless user experiences continues to rise, implementing test automation becomes not just a convenience but a necessity. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to automating iOS devices on Linux using the powerful and versatile Appium framework.

Why Choose Appium for iOS Automation on Linux?

Appium is an open-source, cross-platform framework specifically designed for mobile app testing. It offers a wide range of advantages that make it an ideal choice for automating iOS apps on Linux:

  1. Cross-Platform Compatibility: Allows you to automate iOS apps without the need for separate scripts or frameworks. It supports multiple programming languages, including JavaScript and Python, making it flexible and accessible for developers with different language preferences.
  2. No SDK Restrictions: Unlike other automation testing frameworks, it does not require an SDK (Software Development Kit). This means you have the freedom to test your iOS apps using your preferred protocols and tools, without any limitations imposed by an SDK.
  3. No Recompilation Required: With Appium, you can test your iOS apps using the same application package that will be shipped to end-users. This eliminates the need for recompilation or modification of the app specifically for testing purposes, ensuring a more reliable and accurate testing process.
  4. Rich Set of Supported Languages: This solution supports a wide range of programming languages, allowing you to write test cases in the language of your choice. Whether you prefer JavaScript, Python, or any other supported language, Appium provides the flexibility to accommodate your preferred development environment.
  5. Integration with WebDriver: Appium leverages WebDriver, a popular automation API for web applications, to bring the same rich set of features to mobile testing. This integration allows you to utilize familiar automation techniques and extend them to your iOS app testing.
Appium Stack

Setting Up Appium on Linux

Before you can start automating iOS devices on Linux using Appium, you need to set up the framework and its dependencies. There are two main methods for installing Appium: using NPM (Node Package Manager) or Appium Desktop. We will explore both options to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the installation process.

1. Installing Appium Using NPM

NPM is a command-line tool that allows you to install and manage JavaScript packages. To install required packages using NPM, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that Node.js is installed on your system. You can download and install Node.js from the official website or use a package manager like Homebrew.
  2. Open your terminal or command prompt and enter the following command to install Appium globally: npm install -g appium This command will fetch the Appium package from the npm registry and install it on your system.

2. Installing Using Appium Desktop

If you prefer a graphical interface for installing Appium, you can use Appium Desktop. Here’s how to install Appium using Appium Desktop:

  1. Download the Appium Desktop binary from the official release page.
  2. Once the download is complete, open the binary file and follow the installation instructions provided by the installer. Note: Appium Desktop may require additional dependencies to be installed on your system. Make sure to review the installation instructions and fulfill any prerequisites mentioned.

Installing the Driver Setup for Appium

After installing Appium, you need to set up the appropriate drivers for your testing needs. In the case of iOS automation, you will need the XCUITest driver. Follow these steps to set up the XCUITest driver for Appium:

  1. Install Carthage, a dependency manager for Xcode projects, by running the following command: $ brew install carthage
  2. Install libimobiledevice, a library for communicating with iOS devices, by running the following command: $ brew install libimobiledevice
  3. Install ios-deploy, a command-line utility for installing and debugging iOS applications, by running the following command: $ brew install ios-deploy These dependencies will enable Appium to communicate with real iOS devices and perform automated testing.

Starting the Appium Server

Once you have installed Appium and the necessary drivers, you can start the Appium server to begin testing your iOS apps. To start the server, follow these steps:

  1. Open your terminal or command prompt.
  2. Enter the following command to start the Appium server: appium This command will start the Appium server on the default port (4723). If you need to use a different port, you can specify it using the -p flag followed by the desired port number. appium -p 1234 Make sure to keep the terminal or command prompt window open while running your tests.

Running Your First iOS Test in Appium

With the Appium server up and running, you are ready to create and execute your first iOS test. In this section, we will demonstrate how to write a basic test case using Appium with the XCUITest driver.

Preparing the Desired Capabilities

Before writing your test code, you need to define the desired capabilities for your test. Desired capabilities are key-value pairs that specify the characteristics and behavior of the test environment. For example, you need to specify the platform name, platform version, device name, and the path to your app file. Here’s an example of how to set the desired capabilities:

DesiredCapabilities capabilities = new DesiredCapabilities();
capabilities.setCapability(MobileCapabilityType.PLATFORM_NAME, "iOS");
capabilities.setCapability(MobileCapabilityType.PLATFORM_VERSION, "14.5");
capabilities.setCapability(MobileCapabilityType.DEVICE_NAME, "iPhone 12");
capabilities.setCapability(MobileCapabilityType.APP, "/path/to/your/app.ipa");

Make sure to replace the platform version, device name, and app path with the appropriate values for your test environment.

Initializing the Appium Driver

To interact with the iOS app and perform automated actions, you need to initialize an instance of the Appium driver. Here’s an example of how to initialize the driver using the desired capabilities:

IOSDriver<MobileElement> driver = new IOSDriver<>(new URL("https://localhost:4723/wd/hub"), capabilities);

This code initializes the driver and establishes a connection to the Appium server running on the local machine.

Writing Your Test Code

Now that you have set up the desired capabilities and initialized the Appium driver, you can start writing your test code. Here’s an example of a simple test that locates an element and performs a click action:

public void testLocateElement() {
    MobileElement element = driver.findElement(By.id("com.example.app:id/button"));

In this example, we use the findElement method to locate an element with the specified ID and perform a click action on it. You can modify this code to suit your specific testing needs.

Executing Your Test

To execute your test, you can use your preferred test runner or IDE that supports running JUnit tests. Make sure to include the necessary dependencies and configurations in your project to enable the execution of Appium tests.

After executing your test, you can analyze the test results and make any necessary adjustments to improve the quality and reliability of your iOS app.

Automating iOS Apps on a Real Device Cloud

While Appium provides a powerful framework for automating iOS apps on Linux, acquiring and maintaining physical iOS devices for testing purposes can be challenging and expensive. This is where real device clouds come into play. Real device clouds offer a scalable and cost-effective solution for testing iOS apps on real devices without the need for physical devices.

One such real device cloud provider is Testsigma. Testsigma allows you to access real iOS devices for testing directly from their platform. With Testsigma, you can write tests in plain English using their codeless testing paradigm, eliminating the need for extensive programming knowledge. The platform also offers integrations with various tools and provides features like a mobile recorder to simplify the test creation process.

By utilizing a real device cloud like Testsigma, you can streamline your iOS app testing process, reduce infrastructure costs, and ensure the compatibility and performance of your app across different iOS devices.

Best Practices for Running Appium Tests on iOS Devices

To ensure the success of your iOS automation testing on Linux using Appium, it is essential to follow best practices. Here are some key recommendations:

  1. Use Real iOS Devices: Whenever possible, test your iOS apps on real devices rather than simulators or emulators. Real devices provide a more accurate representation of user experience and device behavior.
  2. Plan and Manage Dependencies: Make a list of all the necessary dependencies for your testing environment, including libraries, drivers, and tools. Keep track of their versions and compatibility to avoid conflicts and ensure a smooth testing process.
  3. Install Apps Before Testing: To optimize testing efficiency, pre-install the apps you intend to test on the iOS devices before starting the testing process. This eliminates the need for manual app installation during each test run.
  4. Consider Cloud Infrastructure: If managing physical iOS devices is not feasible or cost-effective for your testing needs, consider using a real device cloud provider like Testsigma. Cloud infrastructure offers scalability, flexibility, and reduced maintenance overhead.

Wrapping Up

Automating iOS devices on Linux using Appium can significantly improve the efficiency and reliability of your iOS app testing process. By leveraging the power of Appium’s cross-platform compatibility and extensive language support, you can streamline your automation efforts and ensure the quality of your iOS apps.

In this guide, we covered the installation process for Appium on Linux, including the necessary drivers and dependencies. We also provided a step-by-step overview of creating and executing your first iOS test using Appium. Additionally, we explored the benefits of leveraging a real device cloud like Testsigma for iOS app testing.

By following best practices and utilizing the right tools and frameworks, you can achieve efficient and effective iOS automation testing on Linux, ultimately delivering high-quality iOS apps to your users.

Mehdi Shokoohi

Software Quality Engineer

Recent posts

Recent comments