The “iOS Development Bridge” or
idb, is a command line interface for automating iOS Simulators and Devices for development. It has three main goals:
- Remote Automation:
idbis composed of a "companion" that runs on macOS and a python client that can run anywhere. This enables scenarios such as a "Device Lab" within a Data Center or fanning out shards of test executions to a large pool of iOS Simulators.
- Simple Primitives:
idbexposes granular commands so that sophisticated workflows can be sequenced on top of them. This means you can use
idbfrom an IDE or build an automated testing scenario that isn't feasible with default tooling. All of these primitives aim to be consistent across iOS versions and between iOS Simulators and iOS Devices. All the primitives are exposed over a cli, so that it easy to use for both humans and automation.
- Exposing missing functionality: Xcode has a number of features that aren't available outside it's user interface.
idbleverages many of Private Frameworks that are used by Xcode, so that these features can be in GUI-less automated scenarios.
idb is built on top the
FBDeviceControl macOS Frameworks, contained within this repository. These Frameworks can be used independently of
idb is likely to provide the simplest install and the most sensible defaults for most users.
We've given a talk about
idb at F8, so that you can learn more about what
idb is and why we built it. A recording of the talk is available here.
idb is made up of 2 major components, each of which needs to be installed separately.
Each target (simulator/device) will have a companion process attached allowing
idb to communicate remotely.
idb companion can be installed via brew or built from source
brew tap facebook/fb brew install idb-companion
Note: Instructions on how to install brew can be found here
A cli tool and python client is provided to interact with
It can be installed via pip:
pip3.6 install fb-idb
Note: The idb client requires python 3.6 or greater to be installed.
Please refer to fbidb.io for detailed installation instructions and a guided tour of idb.
Once installed, just run the list-targets command which will show you all the simulators installed on your system:
$ idb list-targets ... iPhone X | 569C0F94-5D53-40D2-AF8F-F4AA5BAA7D5E | Shutdown | simulator | iOS 12.2 | x86_64 | No Companion Connected iPhone Xs | 2A1C6A5A-0C67-46FD-B3F5-3CB42FFB38B5 | Shutdown | simulator | iOS 12.2 | x86_64 | No Companion Connected iPhone Xs Max | D3CF178F-EF61-4CD3-BB3B-F5ECAD246310 | Shutdown | simulator | iOS 12.2 | x86_64 | No Companion Connected iPhone Xʀ | 74064851-4B98-473A-8110-225202BB86F6 | Shutdown | simulator | iOS 12.2 | x86_64 | No Companion Connected ...
list-apps will show you all the apps installed in a simulator:
$ idb list-apps --udid 74064851-4B98-473A-8110-225202BB86F6 com.apple.Maps | Maps | system | x86_64 | Not running | Not Debuggable com.apple.MobileSMS | MobileSMS | system | x86_64 | Not running | Not Debuggable com.apple.mobileslideshow | MobileSlideShow | system | x86_64 | Not running | Not Debuggable com.apple.mobilesafari | MobileSafari | system | x86_64 | Not running | Not Debuggable
launch will launch an application the application:
$ idb launch com.apple.mobilesafari
Head over to the main documentation for more details on what you can do with idb and the full list of commands.
Building from Source
idb is made up of 2 parts.
To build the python part make sure you are in the root of the repo and run:
pip3 install .
To build the objective-c/c++ part:
Make sure you have installed gRPC dependencies:
brew tap grpc/grpc && brew install grpc
This will open an Xcode project that you can build and run.
After opening the Xcode project you will need to add a
--udid argument for launch.
- Get the UDID of either your device or simulator
- Window -> Devices and Simulators
- Select the device or simulator you care about
- Copy the value in the
Identifiersection of the header
- Project -> Scheme -> Edit Scheme (or
cmd + <)
- Run -> Arguments
- Click the
Arguments Passed on Launchsection
--udid <UDID copied above>
- Run the
idb_companion has launched, search the console output for the word "port", there will be a few entries and there should be a port number on the same line. Copy that value as you will use it to attach the
idb python client to the
idb_companion gRPC server.
$ idb connect localhost <Port # from above>
Now you can execute any
idb commands and it will go through the
idb_companion started by Xcode which is now debuggable.
Find the full documentation for this project at fbidb.io
idb because it's a big part of how we scale iOS automation at Facebook. We hope that others will be able to benefit from the project where they may have needs that aren't currently serviced by the standard Xcode toolchain.
Code of Conduct
Facebook has adopted a Code of Conduct that we expect project participants to adhere to. Please read the full text so that you can understand what actions will and will not be tolerated.
Read our contributing guide to learn about our development process.