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Unit Testing with Robolectric and JUnit 4.xBack to Android Cookbook Home | Up to Chapter: Testing

Author: Ian Darwin ('idarwin')
In Published Edition? Yes
FormatLanguage: WikiFormat

Unit Testing with Robolectric and JUnit 4.x


You like unit testing, but Android's test framework is based on the ancient Android 3.8, and it runs the full emulator so it's slow.


Use Robolectric, the JUnit 4 TestRunner that is fast.


  1. Assuming you have your "main" project set up (normal Android project), create a folder called e.g., "test" in this project (do not mark it as as source folder)
  2. Create a separate project, not using the Android Test Project wizard
  3. Make this project depend on your main project (Build Path->Configure)
  4. Remove the default source folder ‘src’ from the new project's build path
  5. Still in Build Path, click “Link additional source”; browse to and select ”…/MainProject/test”
  6. Add Robolectict-2.x.jar to new project's classpath
  7. Add JUnit 4 (not 3.8!) to your new project's classpath, either explicitly, or implicitly by choosing JUnit 4 from the "New Class->JUnit Test" wizard.
  8. Annotate your JUnit 4 tests to run with the RoboLectrict test runner (example below)
  9. Use Robolectric "shadow" classes where needed
  10. Important: create an Eclipse Run Configuration with the following special attributes (this section is quoted from the RoboLectric web site):

Here is a sample Robolectric Unit Test.

import static org.junit.Assert.*;

import org.junit.*;
import org.junit.runner.*;

import com.xtremelabs.robolectric.*;
import com.xtremelabs.robolectric.shadows.*;

public class HistoryActivityTest {

	private HistoryActivity activity;
	private Button listButton;

	public void setup() {
		activity = new HistoryActivity();
		listButton = (Button) activity.findViewById(R.id.listButton);

	public void didWeGetTheRightButton() {
		assertEquals("History Log (Morning)", (String) listButton.getText());

	public void listButtonShouldLaunchListActivity() throws InterruptedException {
		boolean clicked = listButton.performClick();
		assertTrue("performClick", clicked);

		ShadowActivity shadowActivity = Robolectric.shadowOf(activity);
		Intent startedIntent = shadowActivity.getNextStartedActivity();
		assertNotNull("shadowActivity.getNextStartedActivity == null?", startedIntent);
		ShadowIntent shadowIntent = Robolectric.shadowOf(startedIntent);
		assertEquals(WeightListActivity.class.getName(), shadowIntent.getComponent().getClassName());		

See Also

Robolectric is at [1].