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Appium and Selenium Grid

Using Selenium Grid 4+

The relay feature in Grid 4 allows you to proxy Appium requests to an Appium server instance. Here is an example walkthrough of how you would connect two different Appium instances to a Selenium Grid.

Define the Appium configs

Each Appium instance should have a config file that can be easily updated. It should contain any information which needs to be unique to that particular server (e.g., ports its drivers should use that others should not). We are going to have 2 Appium servers, so we will need 2 config files:

# appium1.yml
  port: 4723
    - xcuitest
    wdaLocalPort: 8100
    mjpegServerPort: 9100
    mjpegScreenshotUrl: "http://localhost:9100"

In the above YAML config file, we specify the Appium server port, the driver used, and parameters for the driver that will be sent in as default capabilities. Our goal is to ensure that any other drivers running on this host will not compete with system ports or other resources. The second config file could look like the following, where we simply adjust a few ports to prevent clashes:

# appium2.yml
  port: 4733
    - xcuitest
    wdaLocalPort: 8110
    mjpegServerPort: 9110
    mjpegScreenshotUrl: "http://localhost:9110"

Define the Grid node configs

We will be launching one Grid "node" per Appium server, to manage relaying commands and determining capacity and online status, etc... So we should have one config file per Grid node as well. Each node config should include the address of the Appium server it will target, as well as a list of capability "configs" it should accept to relay a session request to Appium. Here is what the config could look like for the two nodes:

# node1.toml
port = 5555

detect-drivers = false

url = "http://localhost:4723"
status-endpoint = "/status"
configs = [
    "1", "{\"platformName\": \"iOS\", \"appium:platformVersion\": \"15.5\", \"appium:deviceName\": \"iPhone 13\", \"appium:automationName\": \"XCUITest\"}"
# node2.toml
port = 5565

detect-drivers = false

url = "http://localhost:4733"
status-endpoint = "/status"
configs = [
    "1", "{\"platformName\": \"iOS\", \"appium:platformVersion\": \"15.5\", \"appium:deviceName\": \"iPhone 12\", \"appium:automationName\": \"XCUITest\"}"

Note that each node config also specifies a different port itself for the node to run on.

Putting it together

The Grid nodes aren't enough--you'll also want a Grid "hub" that acts as a load balancer and manager for all the nodes. So in the end we'll have 5 processes running at once: 2 Appium servers, 2 Grid nodes, and 1 Grid hub. It's best to run each of these in a separate terminal window to avoid confusion of logs. Here is how you'd start each process:

  1. appium --config appium1.yml
  2. appium --config appium2.yml
  3. java -jar /path/to/selenium.jar node --config node1.toml
  4. java -jar /path/to/selenium.jar node --config node2.toml
  5. java -jar /path/to/selenium.jar hub

Once you wait a few moments for the nodes to detect their Appium servers, and to register with the hub, you'll be able to send all your Appium traffic via the single hub endpoint (defaulting to http://localhost:4444).

And of course, you're able to link up Appium servers and nodes running on different machines in your network to form a larger grid.

Using Selenium Grid 3

It is possible to register your Appium server with a local Selenium Grid 3 (setup docs) instance by using the --nodeconfig server argument.

appium server --nodeconfig /path/to/nodeconfig.json --base-path=/wd/hub

In the referenced config file you have to define the browserName, version and platform capabilities and based on these parameters the grid will re-direct your test to the right device. You will also need to configure your host details and the Selenium Grid details. For a full list of all parameters and descriptions see here.

Once you start the Appium server it will register with the grid, and you will see your device on the grid console page:


Example Grid Node Configuration JSON

          "browserName": "<e.g._iPhone5_or_iPad4>",
          "maxInstances": 1,
    "proxy": "org.openqa.grid.selenium.proxy.DefaultRemoteProxy",
    "host": "<host_name_appium_server_or_ip-address_appium_server>",
    "port": <appium_port>,
    "maxSession": 1,
    "register": true,
    "registerCycle": 5000,
    "hubPort": <grid_port>,
    "hubHost": "<Grid_host_name_or_grid_ip-address>",
    "hubProtocol": "<Protocol_of_Grid_defaults_to_http>"

If url, host, and port are not given, the config will be auto updated to point to localhost:<appium-port>.

If your Appium server is running on a different machine to your Selenium Grid server, make sure you use an external name/IP address in your host and url configuration; localhost and will prevent Selenium Grid from connecting correctly.