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Uses old Rust 2015

0.2.16 Feb 5, 2018
0.2.15 Nov 23, 2017
0.2.14 Oct 5, 2017
0.2.13 Jul 4, 2017
0.1.3 Nov 29, 2016

#13 in #tests

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What ?

Send cargo test or cargo bench to your phone. Painlessly.

It is not a way to build portable apps, merely a way to run simple piece of code and grab their output. On iOS, it also allows to run lldb and debug interactively the executable.

The purpose here is to make it easier for teams to unit-test and bench their libraries on more platforms. We want to get Rust everywhere right ?

Dinghy also supports compilation for, and execution on remote devices accessible through ssh.

Getting started

Depending on what is your target (iOS or Android) and your workstation, setting up Dinghy can be more or less easy. See the setup sections for that.

If you've never used cross compiling before, you'll probaby want to pick a toolchain or two...

# a few ios devices
rustup target install aarch64-apple-ios
rustup target install armv7-apple-ios
rustup target install arm-linux-androideabi

# a suitable ios simulator
rustup target install x86_64-apple-ios

# android arm devices
rustup target install arm-linux-androideabi

# for a Raspberry Pi 2
rustup target install armv7-unknown-linux-gnueabihf

Let's install dinghy...

cargo install dinghy

And... stop here. Unfortunately, there is a bit of stuff to do by hand before the fun stuff come.

Android setup

You'll need the usual ANDROID_NDK_HOME, and adb somewhere in your path. fb-adb will be used if its available on the path, giving better error handling. Also, your phone must have developer options enabled.

iOS simulator setup

If you are on a mac, just start a simulator instance. Dinghy will detect it and pick it. If you're a mac/iOS developper, it's nice to try that before diving into the more convoluted iOS device setup that follows.

iOS setup

On iOS, things are made complicated by the fact that there is no way to run a naked executable: you need to make it an app, and sign it before sending it to your phone. Setting up app signature requires some manipulations that we could not find a way to dispense with through XCode. The good news is, this is a constant time thing: you'll have do it once in a while, but it will cover all your Rust projects.

Ho, and we don't need a paying account.

Creating a signing id

You may skip most of this section if you're already setup to ship code to your phone.

  • You'll need an Apple ID. Chances are you already have one, but you can an account there: https://appleid.apple.com/account .
  • Go to XCode > Preferences > Accounts, and make sure your Apple ID is listed, or add it (+ bottom well-hidden bottom left).
  • View Details (bottom right this time)
  • Click the "Create" button in front of "iOS Development" in the top half of this windows.
  • We're done here.

Creating a certificate

  • Plug-in your iPhone (or the device you want to run test on).
  • Fire up XCode, and /create a new XCode project/.
  • Pick /iOS/, /Single view application/.
  • Options box:
    • Make the bundle identifier some.unique.domainame.Dinghy.
    • So Product Name is Dinghy, and Organization identifier is something that will be unique and looks like a domain name in reverse.
    • Pick your team.
    • Leave the rest alone
  • Save it somewhere.
  • You should get the dreadful projects settings. The only thing that is relevant is the "Signing" bit.
    • If you see your Team there, and nothing red or yellows shows up, then you're OK. In some cases, you have to push the "repair" button to actually obtain a certificate from Apple.

If you're using a Apple ID free account, you will need to come back once a week to refresh the certificate (aka "repair"). Paying account generate longer living certificates, so you need this less often.

Trust the certificate on your phone

On top of project window, make the target "Dinghy>Your Device", and run the project (play button). Xcode should ask you to go to your phone settings and Trust the certificate. It's in the Preferences > General > [your dev account name].

At this point, we're ready to roll.

Debugging tips

If you got lost somewhere, here are a few hints to help you make sense of what is happening. This is more or less what Dinghy use when fishing for your signing identity.

security find-identity -p codesigning

Shows you the codesigning identities available where you are. You should see one or more identities line, made of a long capitalize hex identifier, followed by a "name". The name is very structured: For iOS development , its starts with the string "iPhone Developer: ", followed by an email (for an Apple Id account) or the name of your team. Then comes the developer identifier in parenthesis.

security find-certificate -a -c "name" -p | openssl x509 -text

"name" is the identity name (the string between double quotes) from the command before.

Shows you a certificate that makes the developer a part of a Team. The certificate is signed and issued by Apple (Issuer:), but the interesting part is the Subject line: CN= is the same developer name string, and OU= is the actual Team identifier.

Look for provisioning certificates

Last but not least, we need one more certificate that proves that you and your team has the right to deploy an App (identified by the bundle id we have chosen while creating the project) on one (or more) devices.

These certificates are in Library/MobileDevice/Provisioning\ Profiles.

To read them, you'll need to do

security cms -D -i  ~/Library/MobileDevice/Provisioning\ Profiles\....mobileprovision

The more interesting keys here are TeamIdentifier, ProvisionedDevices which are relatively explicit, and the Entitlements dictionary. These entitlements specify what the certificate is valid for, that is, signing an app identified by a name.

Dinghy will actually scan this directory to find one that it can use (this is where the app name being "Dinghy" plays a role).


Ssh setup

Ssh setup is useful if you want to target small-ish devices that can host an operating system but are too slow to iterate over Rust compilation/test cycles comfortably. Think... something like a Raspberry Pi or a NAS, or an old x86 box in your garage.

We will need some configuration bits here. So let's create a .dinghy.toml in your home directory:

"raspi2" = { hostname = "", username="pi", target="armv7-unknown-linux-gnueabihf" }

You must make sure that the ssh connection works without asking for a password for the user/host combination.

You will also probably have to set up a toolchain: rustc needs a working linker to be able to generate executable. On my case, for using on a RaspberryPi, I added these two lines in ~/.cargo/config:

linker = "/Users/kali/dev/armv7-rpi2-linux-gnueabihf/bin/armv7-rpi2-linux-gnueabihf-gcc"

The reason why we did not have to do that in the iOS and Android case is... there exists more or less standards ways to find out where the linker is. Most people targetting iOS will use XCode, and most people targetting Android will have a standard toolchain with a matching ANDROID_NDK_HOME. Here, we are on our own to get and setup the toolchain.

But once this is done, well, it works the same.

Sending sources files to the devices

Some tests are relying on the presence of files at relative places to be able to proceed. But we can not always control where we will be executing from (we can not always do cd someplace before running the tests).

So, the tests are "bundled" in the following way:

  • root dinghy test directory
    • test_executable
    • src/ mirrors the not-ignorable files from your sources
    • test_data is contains configurable data to be sent to the device
      • some_file
      • some_dir

So let's say your integration test is in tests/test_1.rs and uses tests/data_1.txt. It will be copied into src/tests/data_1.txt.

Anything in .gitignore or .dinghyignore will not be bundled.

To open your test file easily, you can cut and paste the following helper function:

pub fn src_path() -> path::PathBuf {
    if cfg!(any(target_os = "ios", target_os = "android")) ||
       ::std::env::var("DINGHY").is_ok() {
    } else {

Then in your test, use it accordingly.

    let data = src_path().join("tests/data_1.txt");

Sending more files to the devices

Now let's assume you have out-of-repository files to send over. You can do that by adding it in .dinghy.toml (you'll probably want this one in the project directory, or just above it if the data is shared among several cargo projects).

the_data = "../data-2017-02-05"
conf_file = "/etc/some/file"

The keys are the name under which to look for files below "test_data" in the bundles, and the values are what to be copied (from your development workstation).

By default anything in .gitignore or .dinghyignore is not copied, however if you need .gitignore'd files to be copied it can be excluded by adding copy_git_ignored = true:

the_data = { source = "../data-2017-02-05", copy_git_ignored = true }
conf_file = "/etc/some/file"

Once again, you'll need to go through an helper in your code. Something like that should do:

pub fn test_data_path() -> Option<path::PathBuf> {
    if cfg!(any(target_os = "ios", target_os = "android")) ||
       ::std::env::var("DINGHY").is_ok() {
    } else {

And use it like that:

let the_data = match test_data_path() {
    Some(p) => p.join("the_data"),
    None => path::PathBuf::from("../data-2017-02-05"),

let the_conf_file = match test_data_path() {
    Some(p) => p.join("conf_file"),
    None => path::PathBuf::from("/etc/some/file"),

We are playing with the idea of making some kind of dinghy-rtlib that you could use as a dev-dependency to help with these.


Now, you can go to your favourite Rust project. For a first try, I suggest you consider something without too many exotic external dependencies.

Then... instead of doing cargo test, try cargo dinghy test.


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Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.


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