Calabash Testing Tool Tutorial for Android

What is Calabash?

Calabash is an open-source Acceptance Testing framework that allows you to write and execute tests for iOS and Android Apps.

It’s an Automated User Interface Framework that allows tests to be written in Ruby using Cucumber.

Calabash works by enabling automatic UI interactions within a Mobile application such as pressing buttons, inputting text, validating responses, etc. It can be configured to run on different Android and iOS devices, which provides real-time feedback and validations.

Why Calabash Automation?

Advantages Disadvantages
It helps to increase throughput/ productivity. Proficiency is required to write the automation test scripts.
Improved quality or increased predictability of quality Debugging the test script is a major issue.
Improved robustness (consistency) of processes or products. Test maintenance is costly in case of playback methods.
Increased consistency of output and reduce labor costs and expenses Maintenance of test data files is difficult if the test script tests more screens

Calabash and BDD

  • Calabash is Behavior Driven Development (BDD). It is same as Test Driven Development (TDD), but instead of creating tests to describe the shape of APIs, application behavior is specified.
  • BDD is a process in which multiple stakeholders weigh in to create a common understanding of what has to be built.
  • BDD is helpful in building the right software and designing from the perspective of the business owner.

Calabash And BDD

How to install Calabash

Part I) Install Java JDK – Refer to this guide – /install-java.html

Part II) Download and install Ruby.

Step 1) Download Ruby from the URL

Install Calabash

Step 2) Open the exe, follow the instructions on the screen. Once install is complete you will see the following screen. Click Finish.

Install Calabash

Start Command Prompt with Ruby on Windows 10 & type below Command.

ruby –v

Install Calabash

Part III) Download and install Android

Step 1) Download Android Studio at

Install Calabash

Step 2) Open the exe, follow the on-screen instructions and complete installation. Click the finish button once done

Install Calabash

Part IV) Install Calabash Android

Step 1) In the console type install calabash-android. The install will start and will take some time to complete

Install Calabash

Step 2) Once installation is done Type calabash-android version

Install Calabash

Working with Calabash

Open the “calabash-android-0.9.0” folder. It resides at path C:\Ruby23\lib\ruby\gems\2.3.0\gems\calabash-android-0.9.0. The folder names will change in synch with the ruby/ calabash version you install on your machine.

Open the feature skeleton folder. Look out for this basic framework.

Working With Calabash

  • The *.feature file contains scenarios that we are going to automate.
  • The method used by the feature file is written in *.rb file inside “step_definitions” folder.
  • Common methods, environment setup, app installation and hooks should be placed inside “support” folder.

Resign & Build the app

  • Calabash-android resign *.apk
  • Calabash-android build *.apk

Resign & Build The App

Attach the device to the system /Open the emulator

Check device attached. Type command

adb devices

Attached devices list should be displayed.

Attach The Device to The System /Open The Emulator

How to Find the Element Locator

  • Open the console. Type the Command.
    calabash android console "APK Path"
  • Above command launch the app on the device. To find the element locator use following command.
    query "*"

    Find The Element Locator

This will display all the element locators on the current screen.

Creating New Scripts

Open the feature file and following lines

Creating New Scripts

Feature: Login feature
  Scenario: As a valid user I can log into my app
    When I press "Login"
    And I enter my username 
    And I enter my password
    Then I see "Welcome to coolest app ever"

Open the Step Definition file & Define the method into *.rb file.

Creating New Scripts

Given /^I am on the login windows$/ do
   wait_for(:timeout =>100) { element_exists("* id:'loginInput;")}
   check_element_exists("* id:'loginInput;")

Execute the test project

To execute the test project, use command below

calabash-android run "APK Path" "feature file Path" – tags "tag name"

Execute The Test Project

Execute The Test Project


  • Calabash is a new open-source framework, which helps automate and test any iOS or Android app.
  • To work with Calabash, the test should be written in Ruby using Cucumber.
  • It uses the concept of Behavior-driven development (BDD)
  • It automates the code by dividing its job into the four following layers:
  • First Layer
  • Business Layer
  • Technology Layer
  • Final Layer