👩‍💻 The "low code" way for professional developers to create NativeScript apps. Introducing Kinvey Studio.

NativeScript Core


Custom Appium Capabilities

When installed, the nativescript-dev-appium plugin creates e2e folder containing sample test file and configuration folder config where your custom capabilities reside. The existence of such capabilities is a runner's requirement which comes from Appium. Additional locations where the runner will search for the config file are:

├── app
├── assets
├── package.json
└── appium.capabilities.json

If the file structure assembles plugin repo structure like for example nativescript-plugin-seed the suggested location is:

├── demo
├── demo-angular
├── src
└── appium.capabilities.json

Thus, the same configuration can be used by both apps without duplication of files.

If you wish to use another location of the capapabilities file instead default ones, you can specify it with --appiumCapsLocation option. Remember that the path provided has to be relative to the root directory.

Notice that once custom capabilities are provided you will be able to pick any of them using the --runType option (e.g. --runType android25). See sample content of appium.capabilities.json file below. For more details regarding the Appium Capabilities read Appium documentation about Desired Capabilities:

    "android21": {
            "browserName": "",
            "platformName": "Android",
            "platformVersion": "5.0",
            "deviceName": "Android Emulator",
            "noReset": false,
            "app": ""

    "android25": {
            "browserName": "",
            "platformName": "Android",
            "platformVersion": "7.0",
            "deviceName": "Android Emulator",
            "noReset": false,
            "app": ""

    "sim.iPhone8.iOS110": {
            "browserName": "",
            "platformName": "iOS",
            "platformVersion": "11.0",
            "deviceName": "iPhone 8 110",
            "app": ""


As you can see, the app property can be left an empty string which will force the plugin to search for an app package in platforms folder. However, this search functionality depends on runType option so if you think of using it add android, device, sim strings as part of your runType option which in fact is your capability key in the config file. E.g --runType android23, --runType sim.10iPhone6. Thus, the runner will manage to look in the right location in order to search for app package.

It is important to build your app in advance as explained in the Getting Started section, because the runner expects to provide app package to it or such to exists in the search location.

For faster testing when working on an app with livesync it would be better to use --devMode option or start a new session using --startSession option and run tests using --attachToDebug option and specify appium --port. Or simply start session with appium desktop application


Option Description Value
runType Select the capabilities from your config file appium.capabilities.json Consider using android, device, sim strings as part of your runType option if you haven't provided app capability. Thus, the runner will look for app package in the right location for the current run.
e.g. --runType ios-device10iPhone6
appPath Provide location of the app package to be tested. This will overwrite all provided capabilities for app Possible values are:
- app build package name (in case --sauceLab option is set it will prepend sauce-storage: in front of the app name so app has to be uploaded to Sauce Labs before execution starts)
- path e.g. platforms/android/build/outputs/apk/demo.apk.
Example: --appPath demo-debug.apk
imagesPath Provide the relative path to e2e/resources/images folder of the images location required by the image comparison feature --imagesPath "osPlatformName/iPhone X"
reuseDevice Reuse the device specified in the runType capabilities. If the emulator/simulator is not running, it will launch, execute tests and remain running. The next execution of npm run e2e with the reuseDevice option will attach to the already running emulator/simulator, execute tests and keep it running. e.g. --reuseDevice
devMode devMode capabilities. Skipping application instalation and will automatically reuse device. e.g. --devMode
sauceLab Enable tests execution in Sauce Labs. As a prerequisite you will have to define SAUCE_USER and SAUCE_KEY as environment variable e.g. --sauceLab
appiumCapsLocation Change the location where appium.capabilities.json config file can be. It should be relative to the root directory e.g. --appiumCapsLocation /e2e-tests
port Appium server port
storage Specify remote image storage
ignoreDeviceController Setting this option you will use default appium device controller which is recommended when tests are executed on cloud based solutions
sessionId In order to attach to already started session Option --port is mandatory in this case. It will automatically set --devMode to true. Provides the ability to nativescript-dev-appium to be used with appium desktop client
attachToDebug Same as sessionId but no need to provide session id. Option --port is mendatory in this case. It will automatically resolve --sessionId. Provides ability nativescript-dev-appium to be used with appium desktop client
startSession Start new appium server and initialize appium driver.
cleanApp Remove application from device on server quit.


Let say that we have a script in package.json like this

 "scripts": {
    "e2e": "tsc -p e2e && mocha --opts ./config/mocha.opts --recursive e2e --appiumCapsLocation ./config/appium.capabilities.json"

Run tests in SauceLabs. Before that you have to upload the package in test specified by --appPath option to SauceLab

$ npm run e2e -- --runType android25 --sauceLab --appPath demo.apk

Run tests locally

$ npm run e2e -- --runType android25

Starting new session will console log appium server port and session id

$ node ./node_modules/.bin/ns-appium --runType android23 --startSession --port 8300

Run tests with already started session. Specify session id and server port. Default value for server port is 8300

$ npm run e2e -- --sessionId e72daf17-8db6-4500-a0cf-59a66effd6b9 --port 8300 

or simply use --attachToDebug which will attached to first available session. This is not recommended when more than one session is available.

$ npm run e2e -- --attachToDebug --port 8300