Road to Calabash Android automation setup

Calabash is open source, cross-platform automation tool, supporting Android and iOS based native application.

Ruby Installation: download ruby version greater than 1.8.7 and less than 2.0 from link “”. Install downloaded ruby setup file into your machine.

Android SDK: download and install android sdk from link: “” for more details how to setup and install Android SDK visit link “”.
After installation, setup “ANDROID-HOME” path in your system’s environment variable.
Click link "more detail" how to create android virtual device.

Calabash-Android Installation: open command prompt and run below command:

gem install calabash-android

Generate cucumber skeleton folder-structure: calabash-android automatic generate cucumber skeleton folder-structure when you run command:
 Calabash-android gen
Below are folder structure generated by running above command:
-------- step_definitions
------------------------- calabash_steps.rb
-------- support
---------------- app_installation_hooks.rb
---------------- app_life_cycle_hooks.rb
---------------- env.rb
---------------- hooks.rb
-------- my_first.feature
Resign Android application:  run below command to resign your android application with default android keystroke
Calabash-android resign $APPNAME
Note: Open android emulator before performing below action.
Steps Find App element locator detail:  run below command to install test server and android app to install on your emulator.
Calabash-android run $APPNAME

 open calabash console by running below command:
Calabash-android console $APPNAME

Start calabash test server by running command
For getting element locators detail of app, we use query () command of calabash. It is very important and powerful command; we can fetch element locator by using below approaches.

Run “query(“button”) command on calabash-android opened console you can get details of all button.

By this way you can fetch element details of android application and can use this element into your scripts.
Note: query () command fetch element detail only opened page on emulator.
How to run Test
Run command into default generated folder or your automation project to execute cucumber calabash test.
Calabash-android run $APPNAME


  1. Hi,

    Thank you for this blog. I am stuck with this error:
    irb(main):002:0> start_test_server_in_background
    RuntimeError: App did not start
    `block in start_test_server_in_background'

    I tried extracting the AndroidManifest.xml file and I do see that it has the line

    Am I supposed to keep this manifest file in any path? Please help

    Thank you

  2. Hi jo

    please make sure INTERNET permission is setup in your android application or not.

  3. Thanks for this nice post.
    Do you have any idea how to run test scenario parallel in more than two devices ?

    1. Hi Istiyak ,

      Have you done parallel tests execution??

      If yes could you please post how to do that???

      Thanks in advance,

  4. we are getting following error when run calabash-android resign app

    /java_keystore.rb:11:in `initialize': Could not list certificates in keystore. P
    robably because the password was incorrect. (RuntimeError)
    from D:/Ruby193/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/calabash-android-0.4.14/lib/cal
    abash-android/java_keystore.rb:46:in `new'
    from D:/Ruby193/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/calabash-android-0.4.14/lib/cal
    abash-android/java_keystore.rb:46:in `read_keystore_with_default_password_and_al
    from D:/Ruby193/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/calabash-android-0.4.14/lib/cal
    abash-android/java_keystore.rb:65:in `get_keystores'
    from D:/Ruby193/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/calabash-android-0.4.14/lib/cal
    abash-android/helpers.rb:88:in `sign_apk'
    from D:/Ruby193/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/calabash-android-0.4.14/lib/cal
    abash-android/helpers.rb:83:in `block in resign_apk'
    from D:/Ruby193/lib/ruby/1.9.1/tmpdir.rb:83:in `mktmpdir'
    from D:/Ruby193/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/calabash-android-0.4.14/lib/cal
    abash-android/helpers.rb:76:in `resign_apk'
    from D:/Ruby193/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/calabash-android-0.4.14/bin/cal
    abash-android:106:in `'
    from D:/Ruby193/bin/calabash-android:23:in `load'
    from D:/Ruby193/bin/calabash-android:23:in `'

  5. I resign and build android app using calabash-android but when I run test with calabash-android run command getting below error:

    Scenario: As a valid user I can log into my app # features\my_first.feature:3
    516 KB/s (553714 bytes in 1.047s)
    113 KB/s (2083080 bytes in 17.896s)
    App did not start (RuntimeError)
    id/operations.rb:505:in `block in start_test_server_in_background'
    rb:31:in `perform'
    rb:53:in `retriable'
    id/operations.rb:504:in `start_test_server_in_background'

    Please provide me solution?

    1. Update your calabash-android, and resign, build and run again your test...

  6. Hi,
    The article is very good!! As your guidance I have done all the configuration and it is working fine for my Demo application developed using Native android. And it is returning two buttons.
    irb(main):003:0> query("button")
    [0] {
    "id" => "help_btn",
    "enabled" => true,
    "contentDescription" => "help",
    "class" => "android.widget.Button",
    "text" => "?",
    "rect" => {
    "center_y" => 173.0,
    "center_x" => 420.0,
    "height" => 54,
    "y" => 146,
    "width" => 30,
    "x" => 405
    "description" => "android.widget.Button{40cfd200 VFED..C. ......I. 360,12-390,66 #7f07000c app:id/help_btn}"
    [1] {
    "id" => "login_btn",
    "enabled" => true,
    "contentDescription" => nil,
    "class" => "android.widget.Button",
    "text" => "LOGIN",
    "rect" => {
    "center_y" => 429.0,
    "center_x" => 345.0,
    "height" => 72,
    "y" => 393,
    "width" => 180,
    "x" => 255
    "description" => "android.widget.Button{40d04358 VFED..C. ......I. 255,259-435,331 #7f070010 app:id/login_btn}"

    But it is not recognizing the controls of my another application. The application is Hybrid and developed into PhoneGap. When I ran the query for button, it is returning nothing:

    irb(main):002:0> query("button")

    Please guide me to test my application developed into Phonegap. Is there any additional setting need to be done for PhoneGap??

    Any help would be appreciated.

  7. Facing same issue:

    irb(main):002:0> query("button")


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