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Robocop provides UI-level testing for Firefox for Android. It is based on Google's Robotium test automation framework for Android. Robocop uses Robotium to inject events into the Java front-end of Firefox for Android and to monitor and verify Firefox events and UI views.

The source code for the Robocop harness, and the test source code, is maintained on mozilla-central in mobile/android/tests/browser/robocop.

Robocop-based UI functionality tests are run with the mochitest test harness and appear on Treeherder under the symbol tc(rc).


Step one: Build Fennec

Follow the instructions at to build, package, and install Fennec on your device.

Running tests

Running all the tests

From the root directory:

 mach build mobile/android/tests/browser/robocop
 mach robocop

Some notes for running tests:

  • Your device screen should be turned on — otherwise some tests may fail.
  • To run tests that load a page from the desktop host without timing out, both the test device and desktop host must be on the same network (e.g., device can't be on 3G).

Running a single test

From the root directory:

./mach robocop <test-name>

where <test-name> would be a test name such as "testLoad":

./mach robocop testLoad

See also for advanced options.

Updating your test directory

It is not always necessary to rebuild Fennec to use new tests. If you are updating the build with your own test, ensure that your test has been added to the manifest in mobile/android/tests/browser/robocop/robocop.ini.

Otherwise, you can retrieve tests from the repository by executing:

 hg pull
 hg update

Now you can build the robocop part of Fennec by executing:

mach build mobile/android/tests/browser/robocop

Frequently found errors

If you do not see your specific error below, it can sometimes help to uninstall and reinstall. To do this (and run the tests):

 adb uninstall org.mozilla.roboexample.test
 mach build mobile/android/tests/browser/robocop
 mach robocop testLoad

Infrequent Runtime Errors

Two have been known to occur: One, where Fennec freezes when loading a page, the other where the page loads, but has 0 content. These are worked around by restarting the test.

What happens when a test is run

Our tests are run from the script, which relies on devicemanager and other scripts/tools in the harness directory. Here is what happens:

  • create a [fresh profile] and copy it to the device (/mnt/sdcard/tests/profile)
  • we generate robotium.config and push it to the device
$ adb shell cat /mnt/sdcard/tests/robotium.config
profile=/mnt/sdcard/tests/profile            # from the first step
logfile=/mnt/sdcard/tests/logs/mochitest.log # where robocop will write logs to
host=http://mochi.test:8888/tests            # mochi.test is defined in the profile proxy auto config
rawhost=       # used for some tests
  • for each test case, in [robocop.ini] we launch fennec. Here is an example of the first test case testallpagesTab:
am instrument -w -e deviceroot /mnt/sdcard/tests -e class org.mozilla.fennec.tests.testAllPagesTab org.mozilla.roboexample.test/org.mozilla.fennec.FennecInstrumentationTestRunner


  • If you are writing tests for Robocop, see Writing Tests for more general API information and UITest for details on using the current testing framework
  • We are using [NativeUI Messages] to talk between Robocop and gecko
  • There has been interest in using a record/replay tool similar to [testdroid]. Most likely this will allow for people to record something and then we can hand edit it into a proper test case.
  • adb shell am instrument -w org.mozilla.roboexample.test/android.test.InstrumentationTestRunner
  • Trevor's Presentation on it can be found in [This zip]