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Selecting an iOS Simulator for Local Xamarin.UITests

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last updated: 2016-10

This guide will discuss how to identify and select an iOS simulator that should be used to run Xamarin.UITests locally.


It may be desirable to run UITest locally on a specific iOS simulator - this is done using the DeviceIdentifier method and passing it the identifier of the simulator to use. This guide will discuss how to identify what iOS simulators are installed and how to configure Xamarin.UITest to use a specific iOS simulator.


This guide does not apply to selecting devices in Xamarin Test Cloud - it is only applicable for UITests that are run locally. It is not possible to run local iOS tests on Windows.

Running Tests on iOS Simulators

It is possible to run UITests locally on a simulator of your choosing by using the method DeviceIdentifier as shown in the following code snippet:

IApp app = ConfigureApp.iOS.AppBundle("/path/to/")

The value DEVICE_ID_OF_SIMULATOR is a UUID that Xcode will assign to each simulator that is installed on the computer. There are two ways to list the simulators and device IDs, both of which are described in the following section.

Identifying Available Simulators

The first way to identify available simulators is to start up Terminal and type xcrun instruments -s devices. This will display a list of known devices, similar to the following:

$ xcrun instruments -s devices
Known Devices:
bushmaster [5A4B28A1-392A-59FB-81C5-137E881D61E9]
Resizable iPad (8.1 Simulator) [B3BF8A06-2938-4B74-BF87-16C223F8690C]
Resizable iPhone (8.1 Simulator) [E712409B-CFCC-409A-8162-627B6254EB3C]
iPad 2 (7.1 Simulator) [E8572F8F-227B-4DB0-8C92-590DC770360D]
iPad 2 (8.1 Simulator) [1F425263-3F96-4DAB-B843-0D041C3C71EA]
iPad Air (7.1 Simulator) [2863AFF6-D9FC-45E8-8385-E2A548F19002]
iPad Air (8.1 Simulator) [BBCF5CF2-20A4-4C47-9FA5-EBFF7311B071]
iPad Retina (7.1 Simulator) [B7CBB024-E1D3-4B24-8C20-3E9F7B54CF61]
iPad Retina (8.1 Simulator) [3E21ECD3-397A-4251-AEB6-2ADCF29AEE89]
iPhone 4s (7.1 Simulator) [D36354DD-D6A3-4E08-A25B-276620D844B8]
iPhone 4s (8.1 Simulator) [5C8FE602-8BA7-494D-A113-66C8B9AB3CB7]
iPhone 5 (7.1 Simulator) [C696E83D-F9FE-4DBC-8C67-FA0FC533246E]
iPhone 5 (8.1 Simulator) [9A8A5D92-A7D9-4A3C-81AA-97A9924F7D09]
iPhone 5s (7.1 Simulator) [6CDF5B5C-A315-4A8C-9D38-29437FE59C6D]
iPhone 5s (8.1 Simulator) [3F1C286F-3D5D-47B2-92B8-66B673BD0236]
iPhone 6 (8.1 Simulator) [995FF713-9DE4-460B-800E-F5A20FD93AA7]
iPhone 6 Plus (8.1 Simulator) [AB1C20F6-BFFC-4C80-879C-F19A7E3F0B5C]

Xcode provides another way to obtain a list of devices and their device identifiers. Once Xcode is running, select Window > Devices:

Xcode will present a window showing the simulators installed on the computer. When a simulator is selected the device identifier can be seen in the right hand side of the window:

Once the device ID has been obtained, the device identifier can be passed to ConfigureApp using the DeviceIdentifier method. Using the example above, the following code snippet will run the tests on an iPhone 4S simulator with iOS 7.1:

IApp app  = ConfigureApp.iOS.AppBundle("/path/to/")


In this guide we saw how to use the DeviceIdentifier method to run UITests on a specific iOS simulator.

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