Mobile Development

Testing the Client on a Mobile Device

If you have made changes to the client that could affect the mobile experience, it is a good idea to test them on a real device. Such changes should ideally be tested with at least current versions of iOS Safari and Chrome for Android.

  1. Make sure your development system and mobile device are on the same local network.

  2. Configure h to allow incoming connections from other systems by editing conf/development-app.ini and changing the host setting from localhost to

  3. Get the IP address or hostname of your development system (<HOSTNAME> in the steps below). You can do this using the hostname terminal command on Mac/Linux.


    If the output of hostname does not include a .home or .local suffix, you may need to append .local to get a hostname that is accessible from other devices on the network. If you have problems using the hostname, try using the IP address instead.

  4. Set the CLIENT_URL environment variable to configure h to load the client from this host and start the dev server:

    # In the h repository
    # Configure the URL that the client is loaded from in pages
    # that embed Hypothesis
    export CLIENT_URL=http://<HOSTNAME>:3001/hypothesis
    make dev
  5. Set the SIDEBAR_APP_URL and PACKAGE_SERVER_HOSTNAME environment variables to load assets from this hostname and start the dev server:

    # In the client repository
    # Set URL which sidebar app ("app.html") is loaded from
    export SIDEBAR_APP_URL=http://<HOSTNAME>:5000/app.html
    # Set hostname used when generating client asset URLs
    make dev


    When make dev runs, it will print out the URLs used for h and client assets. These should include <HOSTNAME> instead of localhost.

  6. On your mobile device, go to a page which has the client embedded such as http://<HOSTNAME>:3000 or http://<HOSTNAME>:5000/docs/help.