DEV Community

Cover image for Automate Multiple Devices with AskUI
HaramChoi for AskUI

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at

Automate Multiple Devices with AskUI


This tutorial shows how to automate multiple devices on the same network by using AskUI library. After following this tutorial, you will be able to automate more than one device across different platforms, whether Linux, macOS, Windows or Android, with a single setup with AskUI library.

In fact, there are many automation tools in the wild that you can use to automate different devices, although most of them require different configurations and different test codes for different platforms. By using AskUI library, an automation tool that operates on the OS level, you can simply use the same test code for any application running on different devices even without so much change. And this makes the AskUI a powerful Cross-platform automation tool.

Let's have a look at the AskUI library and see how we can accomplish a Cross-platform/-device automation test🔥

📌 The following tutorial assumes that you have already installed and set up the AskUI library on your local device. The code for the configuration is based on the generated test code: npx askui init. See Getting Started for more details.

Image description

1. Download and Prepare the AskUI Binary for Each Device

  • If you already used the AskUI library once, then the binary for your platform already exists in the node_modules/ directory, as the binary gets automatically downloaded if an instance of UiController gets initialized. See here for more details on the AskUI UI Controller.

  • Follow this path and confirm that the binary exists:

    # Windows
    # macOS
    # Linux
  • If the remote device runs the same platform as the local device, simply copy the binary from the local device to the remote device.

  • If the remote device runs a different platform, then download the binary for the respective platform: Windows | macOS | Linux

Android Only:

  • There is no need to save the binary to Android devices. They are controlled by the AskUI UI Controller running on the local device (desktop).

  • Be sure that your Android device is discoverable by the adb from your local device:

    # Run this command to confirm that your Android device is discoverable
    adb devices
  • If you don't have the ADB installed on your local device, set it up by following this tutorial.

  • Use the commands below, if you want to connect your Android device via ADB wirelessly:

    # Make sure that the `USB Debugging Mode` is enabled in the Android device.
    # Connect the Android device with a USB cable, and run this command:
    adb devices # will print the <device-id>
    adb -s <device-id> tcpip 9000 # replace <device-id> with your device-id
    adb -s <device-id> connect <local-ip-address>:9000 # replace the <local-ip-address>
    # Run this command, if you want to check the local ip address of the android device
    adb -s <device-id> shell ip -f inet addr show wlan0
    # Now you can disconnect the USB cable from the Android device.
    # Confirm that the Android device is recognised by adb wirelessly.
    adb devices

2. Configure the jest.setup.ts

  • Figure out the local IP address of the remote device, and then change the <local-ip-address> of the jest.setup.ts:

    import { UiControlClient, UiController } from 'askui';
    let localDevice: UiControlClient;
    let remoteDevice: UiControlClient;
    jest.setTimeout(60 * 1000 * 60);
    beforeAll(async () => {
        // Get your AskUI credentials from
    const credentials = {
        workspaceId: '<your-workspace-id>',
        token: '<your-token>',
        // This client will communicate with
        // the controller running on this local device.
    localDevice = await{ 
        uiControllerUrl: "ws://",
        credentials: credentials,
    await localDevice.connect();
        // This client will communicate with
        // the controller running on the remote device.
        // Replace the <local-ip-address>
        // In case of Android device, replace it with
    remoteDevice = await{    
        uiControllerUrl: "ws://<local-ip-address>:6769", 
        credentials: credentials,
    await remoteDevice.connect();
    afterAll(async () => {
    export { localDevice, remoteDevice };

3. Run the Controller on Each Device

  • Run the binary AskUI UI Controller on the local and remote devices with the following command:

    # Windows powershell or cmd
    askui-ui-controller.exe --host -d 0 -m
    # macOS / Linux terminal
    askui-ui-controller --host -d 0 -m
  • If running successfully, you should see the logs printed on the terminal, e.g:

    [2023-01-02 17:31:19.634 +0100] DEBUG (AskuiUiController): Window is minimized.
    [2023-01-02 17:31:19.639 +0100] INFO (AskuiUiController): Selecting display number 0.
    [2023-01-02 17:31:19.641 +0100] INFO (AskuiUiController): Successfully started.

Android Only:

  • If your remote device is an Android device, run the AskUI UI Controller on the local device (desktop) with an extra option as below:

    # Windows powershell or cmd
    askui-ui-controller.exe --host -d 0 -m -r android
    # macOS / Linux terminal
    askui-ui-controller --host -d 0 -m -r android
  • Make sure that your local device (desktop) is running TWO DIFFERENT askui-ui-controller, if you want to control the local device and the Android device at the same time.

(option) Running Multiple Android Devices

  • The AskUI UI Controller considers all Android devices as a single device with multiple displays. See the screenshot below.
  • Set the -d 0 option of the binary differently for each Android device.

    # Windows
    # For the first Android device
    askui-ui-controller.exe --host -d 0 -m -r android
    # For the second Android device
    askui-ui-controller.exe --host -d 1 -m -r android
    # macOS / Linux
    # For the first Android device
    askui-ui-controller --host -d 0 -m -r android
    # For the second Android device
    askui-ui-controller --host -d 1 -m -r android

Image description

4. Write the Test Code

  • Write the test code in test/my-first-askui-test-suite.test.ts:

    import { localDevice, remoteDevice } from './helper/jest.setup';
    describe('jest with askui', () => {
        it('should work with multiple devices', async () => {
            const everyElement_remote = await remoteDevice.getAll().exec();
            await localDevice.moveMouse(500,500).exec();
            const everyElement_local = await localDevice.getAll().exec();

5. Run the Test Code

  • Run the command below to run the AskUI test code:

    npx jest test/my-first-askui-test-suite.test.ts --config ./test/jest.config.ts

6. Conclusion

Now you should be able to automate multiple devices in the network. If you got any issues while following this tutorial, don't hesitate to ask our Discord Community!

Top comments (0)