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Version: 19.x

Getting Started

Getting Started

Welcome to Detox!

In this guide, we will walk you through setting Detox up in your project, one step at a time.

You will find that some steps are longer than the others: some are just one-paragraph long, while for others we have a dedicated multistep guide worked out. Bear with us - it is all necessary, and once set-up, it is easy to move forward with writing tests very rapidly.

Step 1: Environment Setup

Install Node.js

Node.js is the JavaScript runtime Detox will run on. Install Node.js v12.0 or above.

There’s more than one way to install Node.js:

The simplest way is to use Homebrew:

brew install node

Tip: Verify installation succeeded by typing in node -v in the terminal to output current node version.

Install Detox Command Line Tools (detox-cli)

This package makes it easier to operate Detox from the command line. detox-cli should be installed globally, enabling usage of the command line tools outside your npm scripts. detox-cli is merely a script that passes commands through to a command line tool shipped inside detox package (in node_modules/.bin/detox).

npm install detox-cli --global

Install Platform-specific Dependencies, Tools and SDKs

Depending on the platform/s you’re aiming at (iOS, Android), take the time to run through these environment setup guides:

Step 2: Add Detox to Your Project

Install the Detox Node-module

If you have a React Native project, go to its root folder (where package.json is found) and type the following command:

npm install detox --save-dev

If you have a project without Node integration (such as a native project), add the following package.json file to the root folder of your project:

"name": "<your_project_name>",
"version": "0.0.1"

Name your project in package.json and then run the following command:

npm install detox --save-dev --no-package-lock

You should now have Detox available in node_modules/detox

Tip: Remember to add the node_modules folder to your git ignore file (e.g. .gitignore).

Set Up a Test Runner

Detox delegates the actual JavaScript test-code execution to a dedicated test-runner. It supports the popular Jest and Mocha out of the box. You need to choose and set up one of them now, but it is possible to switch later on, should you change your mind.

  • Jest is the recommended test runner for use with Detox, since it provides parallel test execution and a complete lifecycle integration with Detox. To set up, follow our comprehensive guide for Jest.
  • Mocha, albeit its integration is less complete, is still lightweight, and a bit easier to set up. To set up, follow our guide for Mocha.

Note: Detox is coupled to neither Mocha or Jest, nor with a specific directory structure. Both runners are just a recommendation — with some effort, they can be replaced without touching the internal implementation of Detox itself.

Apply Detox Configuration

If you’ve completed the test-runner setup successfully using detox init, you should have a .detoxrc.json file containing a skeletal configuration for Detox to use. This configuration is only half-baked and needs to be set up properly. You now need to either create or edit that file, and apply the actual configuration suitable for your specific project.

Detox scans for a configuration through multiple files. It starts from the current working directory, and runs over the following options, in this order:

  1. .detoxrc.js
  2. .detoxrc.json
  3. .detoxrc
  4. detox.config.js
  5. detox.config.json
  6. package.json ("detox" section)

If you prefer to use something other than .detoxrc.json—for example, would like to keep all project configs in one place—you can create a detox section in your package.json. If you otherwise prefer separating configs, all of the other options are valid.

For specific configuration options for each supported platform, see:

Step 3: Build Your App and Run Detox Tests

1. Build Your App

Use a convenience method in Detox command line tools to build your project easily:

detox build --configuration <your configuration name>

Note: Detox executes the build command you specified in your Detox configuration. If your build fails, make sure to provide the correct build command.

2. Run the Tests

Use the Detox command line tools to test your project easily:

detox test --configuration <your configuration name>

That’s it. Your first failing Detox test is running!

Next, we’ll go over usage and how to make this test actually pass.