Working with custom test environments in AWS Device Farm - AWS Device Farm

Working with custom test environments in AWS Device Farm

AWS Device Farm enables configuring a custom environment for automated testing (custom mode), which is the recommended approach for all Device Farm users. To learn more about environments in Device Farm, see Test environments.

Benefits of the Custom Mode as opposed to the Standard Mode include:

  • Faster end-to-end test execution: The test package isn't parsed to detect every test in the suite, avoiding preprocessing/postprocessing overhead.

  • Live log and video streaming: Your client-side test logs and video are live streamed when using Custom Mode. This feature isn't available in the standard mode.

  • Captures all artifacts: On the host and device, Custom Mode allows you to capture all test artifacts. This may not be possible in the standard mode.

  • More consistent and replicable local environment: When in Standard Mode, artifacts will be provided for each individual test separately, which can be beneficial under certain circumstances. However, your local test environment may deviate from the original configuration as Device Farm handles each executed test differently.

    In contrast, Custom Mode enables you to make your Device Farm test execution environment consistently in line with with your local test environment.

Custom environments are configured using a YAML-formatted test specification (test spec) file. Device Farm provides a default test spec file for each supported test type that can be used as is or customized; customizations like test filters or config files can be added to the test spec. Edited test specs can be saved for future test runs.

For more information, see Uploading a Custom Test Spec Using the AWS CLI and Create a test run in Device Farm.

Test spec syntax

This is the YAML test spec file structure:

version: 0.1 phases: install: commands: - command - command pre_test: commands: - command - command test: commands: - command - command post_test: commands: - command - command artifacts: - location - location

The test spec contains the following:


Reflects the Device Farm supported test spec version. The current version number is 0.1.


This section contains groups of commands executed during a test run.

The allowed test phase names are:



Default dependencies for testing frameworks supported by Device Farm are already installed. This phase contains additional commands, if any, that Device Farm runs during installation.



The commands, if any, executed before your automated test run.



The commands executed during your automated test run. If any command in the test phase fails, the test is marked as failed.



The commands, if any, executed after your automated test run.



Device Farm gathers artifacts such as custom reports, log files, and images from a location specified here. Wildcard characters are not supported as part of an artifact location, so you must specify a valid path for each location.

These test artifacts are available for each device in your test run. For information about retrieving your test artifacts, see Using artifacts in a custom test environment.


A test spec must be formatted as a valid YAML file. If the indenting or spacing in your test spec are invalid, your test run can fail. Tabs are not allowed in YAML files. You can use a YAML validator to test whether your test spec is a valid YAML file. For more information, see the YAML website.

Test spec example

This is an example of a Device Farm YAML test spec that configures an Appium Java TestNG test run:

version: 0.1 # This flag enables your test to run using Device Farm's Amazon Linux 2 test host when scheduled on # Android devices. By default, iOS device tests will always run on Device Farm's macOS test hosts. # For Android, you can explicitly select your test host to use our Amazon Linux 2 infrastructure. # For more information, please see: # android_test_host: amazon_linux_2 # Phases represent collections of commands that are executed during your test run on the test host. phases: # The install phase contains commands for installing dependencies to run your tests. # For your convenience, certain dependencies are preinstalled on the test host. # For Android tests running on the Amazon Linux 2 test host, many software libraries are available # from the test host using the devicefarm-cli tool. To learn more, please see: # # For iOS tests, you can use the Node.JS tools nvm, npm, and avm to setup your environment. By # default, Node.js versions 16.20.2 and 14.19.3 are available on the test host. install: commands: # The Appium server is written using Node.js. In order to run your desired version of Appium, # you first need to set up a Node.js environment that is compatible with your version of Appium. - |- if [ $DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_PLATFORM_NAME = "Android" ]; then devicefarm-cli use node 16; else # For iOS, use "nvm use" to switch between the two preinstalled NodeJS versions 14 and 16, # and use "nvm install" to download a new version of your choice. nvm use 16; fi; - node --version # Use the devicefarm-cli to select a preinstalled major version of Appium on Android. # Use avm or npm to select Appium for iOS. - |- if [ $DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_PLATFORM_NAME = "Android" ]; then # For Android, the Device Farm service automatically updates the preinstalled Appium versions # over time to incorporate the latest minor and patch versions for each major version. If you # wish to select a specific version of Appium, you can instead use NPM to install it: # npm install -g appium@2.1.3; devicefarm-cli use appium 2; else # For iOS, Appium versions 1.22.2 and 2.2.1 are preinstalled and selectable through avm. # For all other versions, please use npm to install them. For example: # npm install -g appium@2.1.3; # Note that, for iOS devices, Appium 2 is only supported on iOS version 14 and above using # NodeJS version 16 and above. avm 2.2.1; fi; - appium --version # For Appium version 2, for Android tests, Device Farm automatically updates the preinstalled # UIAutomator2 driver over time to incorporate the latest minor and patch versions for its major # version 2. If you want to install a specific version of the driver, you can use the Appium # extension CLI to uninstall the existing UIAutomator2 driver and install your desired version: # - |- # if [ $DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_PLATFORM_NAME = "Android" ]; # then # appium driver uninstall uiautomator2; # appium driver install uiautomator2@2.34.0; # fi; # For Appium version 2, for iOS tests, the XCUITest driver is preinstalled using version 5.7.0 # If you want to install a different version of the driver, you can use the Appium extension CLI # to uninstall the existing XCUITest driver and install your desired version: # - |- # if [ $DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_PLATFORM_NAME = "iOS" ]; # then # appium driver uninstall xcuitest; # appium driver install xcuitest@5.8.1; # fi; # We recommend setting the Appium server's base path explicitly for accepting commands. - export APPIUM_BASE_PATH=/wd/hub # Install the NodeJS dependencies. - cd $DEVICEFARM_TEST_PACKAGE_PATH # First, install dependencies which were packaged with the test package using npm-bundle. - npm install *.tgz # Then, optionally, install any additional dependencies using npm install. # If you do run these commands, we strongly recommend that you include your package-lock.json # file with your test package so that the dependencies installed on Device Farm match # the dependencies you've installed locally. # - cd node_modules/* # - npm install # The pre-test phase contains commands for setting up your test environment. pre_test: commands: # Device farm provides different pre-built versions of WebDriverAgent, an essential Appium # dependency for iOS devices, and each version is suggested for different versions of Appium: # DEVICEFARM_WDA_DERIVED_DATA_PATH_V8: this version is suggested for Appium 2 # DEVICEFARM_WDA_DERIVED_DATA_PATH_V7: this version is suggested for Appium 1 # Additionally, for iOS versions 16 and below, the device unique identifier (UDID) needs # to be slightly modified for Appium tests. - |- if [ $DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_PLATFORM_NAME = "iOS" ]; then if [ $(appium --version | cut -d "." -f1) -ge 2 ]; then DEVICEFARM_WDA_DERIVED_DATA_PATH=$DEVICEFARM_WDA_DERIVED_DATA_PATH_V8; else DEVICEFARM_WDA_DERIVED_DATA_PATH=$DEVICEFARM_WDA_DERIVED_DATA_PATH_V7; fi; if [ $(echo $DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_OS_VERSION | cut -d "." -f 1) -le 16 ]; then DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_UDID_FOR_APPIUM=$(echo $DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_UDID | tr -d "-"); else DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_UDID_FOR_APPIUM=$DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_UDID; fi; fi; # Appium downloads Chromedriver using a feature that is considered insecure for multitenant # environments. This is not a problem for Device Farm because each test host is allocated # exclusively for one customer, then terminated entirely. For more information, please see # # We recommend starting the Appium server process in the background using the command below. # The Appium server log will be written to the $DEVICEFARM_LOG_DIR directory. # The environment variables passed as capabilities to the server will be automatically assigned # during your test run based on your test's specific device. # For more information about which environment variables are set and how they're set, please see # - |- if [ $DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_PLATFORM_NAME = "Android" ]; then appium --base-path=$APPIUM_BASE_PATH --log-timestamp \ --log-no-colors --relaxed-security --default-capabilities \ "{\"appium:deviceName\": \"$DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_NAME\", \ \"platformName\": \"$DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_PLATFORM_NAME\", \ \"appium:app\": \"$DEVICEFARM_APP_PATH\", \ \"appium:udid\":\"$DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_UDID\", \ \"appium:platformVersion\": \"$DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_OS_VERSION\", \ \"appium:chromedriverExecutableDir\": \"$DEVICEFARM_CHROMEDRIVER_EXECUTABLE_DIR\", \ \"appium:automationName\": \"UiAutomator2\"}" \ >> $DEVICEFARM_LOG_DIR/appium.log 2>&1 & else appium --base-path=$APPIUM_BASE_PATH --log-timestamp \ --log-no-colors --relaxed-security --default-capabilities \ "{\"appium:deviceName\": \"$DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_NAME\", \ \"platformName\": \"$DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_PLATFORM_NAME\", \ \"appium:app\": \"$DEVICEFARM_APP_PATH\", \ \"appium:udid\":\"$DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_UDID_FOR_APPIUM\", \ \"appium:platformVersion\": \"$DEVICEFARM_DEVICE_OS_VERSION\", \ \"appium:derivedDataPath\": \"$DEVICEFARM_WDA_DERIVED_DATA_PATH\", \ \"appium:usePrebuiltWDA\": true, \ \"appium:automationName\": \"XCUITest\"}" \ >> $DEVICEFARM_LOG_DIR/appium.log 2>&1 & fi; # This code will wait until the Appium server starts. - |- appium_initialization_time=0; until curl --silent --fail "${APPIUM_BASE_PATH}/status"; do if [[ $appium_initialization_time -gt 30 ]]; then echo "Appium did not start within 30 seconds. Exiting..."; exit 1; fi; appium_initialization_time=$((appium_initialization_time + 1)); echo "Waiting for Appium to start on port 4723..."; sleep 1; done; # The test phase contains commands for running your tests. test: commands: # Your test package is downloaded and unpackaged into the $DEVICEFARM_TEST_PACKAGE_PATH directory. # When compiling with npm-bundle, the test folder can be found in the node_modules/*/ subdirectory. - cd $DEVICEFARM_TEST_PACKAGE_PATH/node_modules/* - echo "Starting the Appium NodeJS test" # Enter your command below to start the tests. The command should be the same command as the one # you use to run your tests locally from the command line. An example, "npm test", is given below: - npm test # The post-test phase contains commands that are run after your tests have completed. # If you need to run any commands to generating logs and reports on how your test performed, # we recommend adding them to this section. post_test: commands: # Artifacts are a list of paths on the filesystem where you can store test output and reports. # All files in these paths will be collected by Device Farm. # These files will be available through the ListArtifacts API as your "Customer Artifacts". artifacts: # By default, Device Farm will collect your artifacts from the $DEVICEFARM_LOG_DIR directory. - $DEVICEFARM_LOG_DIR