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Chris Biscardi

Getting Started with Robolectric: Headless Android Testing with Vagrant

In this post we will go over how to set up the sample project for Robolectric, run, test and deploy to a device in a headless vagrant environment.

Sample App

Clone the sample app from the github repo

git clone git@github.com:robolectric/RobolectricSample.git


Here is our Vagrantfile. We’ll need to add the precise64 base box to our system. also availible as a Gist

vagrant box add precise64 http://files.vagrantup.com/precise64.box
# -*- mode: ruby -*-
# vi: set ft=ruby :
# Vagrantfile API/syntax version. Don't touch unless you know what you're doing!
Vagrant.configure(VAGRANTFILE_API_VERSION) do |config|
config.vm.box = "precise64"
config.vm.provision "shell", path: "vagrant-android-build.sh"
config.vm.provider :virtualbox do |vb|
vb.customize ['modifyvm', :id, '--usb', 'on']
vb.customize ['usbfilter', 'add', '0', '--target', :id, '--name', '1197123b', '--vendorid', '0x04e8']
vb.customize ['usbfilter', 'add', '0', '--target', :id, '--name', 'android', '--vendorid', '0x18d1']

and the Vagrant build script. The build script downloads and installs ADT and Maven.

apt-get update -y
apt-get install openjdk-7-jdk unzip -y
# For maven-plugin
apt-get install lib32z1-dev bison flex lib32ncurses5-dev libx11-dev gperf g++-multilib -y
# Setup Android SDK
sudo -u vagrant wget http://dl.google.com/android/adt/adt-bundle-linux-x86_64-20131030.zip
sudo -u vagrant unzip adt-bundle-linux-x86_64-20131030.zip
# Add Android SDK to PATH
sudo -u vagrant echo export PATH=/home/vagrant/adt-bundle-linux-x86_64-20131030/sdk/tools:\$PATH >> /home/vagrant/.bashrc
sudo -u vagrant echo export PATH=/home/vagrant/adt-bundle-linux-x86_64-20131030/sdk/platform-tools:\$PATH >> /home/vagrant/.bashrc
# Maven
sudo -u vagrant wget http://download.nextag.com/apache/maven/maven-3/3.2.1/binaries/apache-maven-3.2.1-bin.tar.gz
sudo -u vagrant tar -xvzf apache-maven-3.2.1-bin.tar.gz
# Add Maven to PATH
sudo -u vagrant echo export PATH=/home/vagrant/apache-maven-3.2.1/bin:\$PATH >> /home/vagrant/.bashrc
# Install API 16 (sample project needs it)
# echo "y" is a hack to accept the license
sudo -u vagrant echo "y" | /home/vagrant/adt-bundle-linux-x86_64-20131030/sdk/tools/android update sdk -t 6 --no-ui -y
# ANDROID_HOME is for Maven
sudo -u vagrant echo export ANDROID_HOME=/home/vagrant/adt-bundle-linux-x86_64-20131030/sdk/ >> /home/vagrant/.bashrc


We need a few thing on our path, all of which are included in our Vagrant build script (Android tools, Android platform-tools, Maven and ANDROID_HOME)

export PATH=/home/vagrant/adt-bundle-linux-x86_64-20131030/sdk/tools:\$PATH
export PATH=/home/vagrant/adt-bundle-linux-x86_64-20131030/sdk/platform-tools:\$PATH
export PATH=/home/vagrant/apache-maven-3.2.1/bin:\$PATH
export ANDROID_HOME=/home/vagrant/adt-bundle-linux-x86_64-20131030/sdk/

Vagrant Up

Simply copy the Vagrantfile and vagrant-android-build.sh into the sample project’s root folder. Then cd into that folder and run vagrant up to boot the machine. If you don’t have Vagrant and VirtualBox, here and here are the respective links.

Note that it may be necessary to run the command to update the Android SDK manually due to the licenses.

vagrant ssh
android update sdk -t 6 --no-ui -y

Running the Tests

We can run the tests inside the vm using maven:

vagrant ssh
cd /vagrant
mvn clean test

Which will give us output that looks like this:

Results :
Tests run: 87, Failures: 0, Errors: 0, Skipped: 0
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
[INFO] Total time: 28.917 s
[INFO] Finished at: 2014-03-06T06:19:39+00:00
[INFO] Final Memory: 23M/57M
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Run exit to get out of the vm.

Connecting Test Devices to the VM

With VBoxManage and devices connected, we can allow (all?) of them using the following usbfilter in our Vagrantfile

config.vm.provider :virtualbox do |vb|
vb.customize ['modifyvm', :id, '--usb', 'on']
vb.customize ['usbfilter', 'add', '0', '--target', :id, '--name', 'android', '--vendorid', '0x18d1']

Alternatively, we can list all connected usbhosts and select a specific device as such:

VBoxManage list usbhost

Which gives us a list of these:

UUID: 6316e123-b702-4155-9703-c2015d014237
VendorId: 0x18d1 (18D1)
ProductId: 0xd002 (D002)
Revision: 2.40 (0240)
Port: 6
USB version/speed: 0/2
Manufacturer: asus
Product: Nexus 7
SerialNumber: 07d99c71
Address: p=0xd002;v=0x18d1;s=0x000000006321cfbd;l=0x20260000
Current State: Busy

Find your Android device and use these parameters to change our Vagrantfile:

SerialNumber -> –name VendorId -> –vendorid

config.vm.provider :virtualbox do |vb|
vb.customize ['modifyvm', :id, '--usb', 'on']
vb.customize ['usbfilter', 'add', '0', '--target', :id, '--name', '1197123b', '--vendorid', '0x04e8']

Remember to vagrant reload after changing network settings in the Vagrantfile. Some devices may also need to be unplugged and plugged back in for the VM to see them.


Simply run adb inside the vm to see the connected devices:

vagrant ssh
sudo adb devices

If you see an unauthorized message like the one below, it is likely that you didn’t start the adb server as root (which will prevent the RSA authorization from popping up).

* daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *
* daemon started successfully *
List of devices attached
???????????? no permissions</pre><p>Otherwise we should see a list of devices as below after authorizing the devices when the RSA dialog pops up on each device.</p><pre><code class=">List of devices attached
07d99c71 device
2d605528 device

We can now install the app on our devices from inside the vm using maven.

cd /vagrant
mvn clean install && mvn android:deploy


That’s it. The app should be installed on your connected devices. It won’t start automatically, but you can navigate to the newly installed Robolectric Sample app and start it up.