Simulates your Apache Cordova application in the browser.





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Cordova-Simulate Build Status

Simulates your Apache Cordova application in the browser.


npm install -g cordova-simulate



From the command line anywhere within a Cordova project, enter the following:

simulate [<platform>] [--device=<DEVICE_ID>] [--corsproxy=<true|false>] [--dir=<DIR>] [--livereload=<true|false>] [--port=<PORT>] [--forceprepare=<true|false>] [--simhostui=<SIM_HOST_UI_MODULE_PATH>] [--simulationpath=<SIMULATION_PATH>] [--target=<BROWSER>] [--lang=<LANG>] [--theme=<THEME>] [--middleware=<MIDDLEWARE_PATH>] [--generateids=<true|false>]

See parameters description in the API section.


Use require('cordova-simulate') to launch a simulation via the API:

var simulate = require('cordova-simulate');

Where opts is an object with the following properties (all optional):

  • platform - any Cordova platform that has been added to your project. Defaults to browser.
  • device - specify the id of a device to start with instead of a platform (the platform will be determined by the device). Supported android devices are Nexus4, Nexus6, Nexus7, Nexus10, OptimusL70, G5, GalaxyNote7 and GalaxyS5. Supported ios devices are iPhone4, iPhone5, iPhone6, iPhone6Plus, iPad and iPadPro. Supported windows devices are Lumia930, Lumia950 and SurfacePro. Supported generic devices (which will use the browser platform) are Generic320x480, Generic320x568, Generic360x640, Generic384x640, Generic412x732, Generic768x1024, Generic800x1280 and Generic1920x1080.
  • target - the name of the browser to launch your app in. Can be any of the following: default, chrome, chromium, edge, firefox, ie, opera, safari.
  • port - the desired port for the server to use. Defaults to 8000.
  • lang - the language to display in the interface (does not impact console output). Supported values (case-insensitive) are cs (Czech), de (German), es (Spanish), fr (French), it (Italian), ja (Japanese), ko (Korean), pl (Polish), pt (Portuguese), ru (Russian), tr (Turkish), zh-Hans (Simplified Chinese) and zh-Hant (Traditional Chinese). Additional tags are ignored (for example, de-DE is treated as de).
  • dir - the directory to launch from (where it should look for a Cordova project). Defaults to cwd.
  • simhostui - the directory containing the UI specific files of the simulation host. Defaults to the bundled simulation host files, found in src/sim-host/ui.
  • livereload - a boolean. Set to false to disable live reload. Defaults to true.
  • forceprepare - a boolean. Set to true to force a cordova prepare whenever a file changes during live reload. If this is false, the server will simply copy the changed file to the platform rather than doing a cordova prepare. Ignored if live reload is disabled. Defaults to false.
  • corsproxy - boolean indicating if XMLHttpRequest is proxied through the simulate server. This is useful for working around CORS issues at development time. Defaults to true.
  • touchevents - a boolean. Set to false to disable the simulation of touch events in App-Host. Defaults to true.
  • simulationpath - the directory where temporary simulation files are hosted. Defaults to projectRoot/simulate.
  • simhosttitle - specifies the title of the simulation window. Defaults to Plugin Simulation.
  • middleware - a path that points to express middleware. This can be used to write custom plugins that require the full power of NodeJS.
  • generateids - a boolean that generates unique ids for simulated devices at startup. Defaults to false.
  • livereloaddelay - the delay in milliseconds between saving of a modified file and the application page reloading. You can try to increase the delay in case the simulator server crashes while frequent page reloading. Defaults to 200ms.

What it does

Calling simulate() will launch your app in the browser, and open a second browser window displaying UI (the simulation host) that allows you to configure how plugins in your app respond.


  • Allows the user to configure plugin simulation through a UI.
  • Launches the application in a separate browser window so that it's not launched within an iFrame, to ease up debugging.
  • Allows user to persist the settings for a plug-in response.
  • Allows plugins to customize their own UI.
  • Reloads the simulated app as the user makes changes to source files.

Note for live reload: Changes to files such as images, stylesheets and other resources are propagated to the running app without a full page reload. Other changes, such as those to scripts and HTML files, trigger a full page reload.

Supported plugins

This preview version currently includes built-in support for the following Cordova plugins:

Adding simulation support to plugins

It also allows for plugins to define their own UI. To add simulation support to a plugin, follow these steps:

  1. Clone this repository (git clone, as it contains useful example code (see src/plugins).
  2. Add your plugin UI code to your plugin in src/simulation. Follow the file naming conventions seen in the built-in plugins.

Detailed steps

In your plugin project, add a simulation folder under src, then add any of the following files:


Simulation Host Files


This defines panels that will appear in the simulation host UI. At the top level, it should contain one or more cordova-panel elements. The cordova-panel element should have an id which is unique to the plugin (so the plugin name is one possibility, or the shortened version for common plugins (like just camera instead of cordova-plugin-camera). It should also have a caption attribute which defines the caption of the panel.

The contents of the cordova-panel element can be regular HTML, or the various custom elements which are supported (see the existing plugin files for more details).

This file shouldn't contain any JavaScript (including inline event handlers), nor should it link any JavaScript files. Any JavaScript required can be provided in the standard JavaScript files described below, or in additional JavaScript files that can be included using require().


This defines any dialogs that will be used (dialogs are simple modal popups - such as used for the Camera plugin). At the top level it should contain one or more cordova-dialog elements. Each of these must have id and caption attributes (as for sim-host-panels.html). The id will be used in calls to dialog.showDialog() and dialog.hideDialog() (see cordova-simulate/src/plugins/cordova-plugin-camera/sim-host.js for example code).

Other rules for this file are the same as for sim-host-panels.html.


This file should contain code to initialize your UI. For example - attach event handlers, populate lists etc. It should set module.exports to one of the following:

  1. An object with an initialize method, like this:
module.exports = {
    initialize: function () {
        // Your initialization code here.
  1. A function that returns an object with an initialize method. This function will be passed a single parameter - messages - which is a plugin messaging object that can be used to communicate between sim-host and app-host. This form is used when the plugin requires that messages object - otherwise the simple form can be used. For example:
module.exports = function (messages) {
    return {
        initialize: function () {
            // Your initialization code here.

In both cases, the code currently executes in the context of the overall simulation host HTML document. You can use getElementById() or querySelector() etc to reference elements in your panel to attach events etc. In the future, this will change and there will be a well defined, limited, asynchronous API for manipulating elements in your simulation UI.


This file defines handlers for plugin exec calls. It should return an object in the following form:

    service1: {
        action1: function (success, error, args) {
            // exec handler
        action2: function (success, error, args) {
            // exec handler
    service2: {
        action1: function (success, error, args) {
            // exec handler
        action2: function (success, error, args) {
            // exec handler

It can define handlers for any number of service/action combinations. As for sim-host.js, it can return the object either by;

  1. Setting module.exports to this object.
  2. Setting module.exports to a function that returns this object (in which case the messages parameter will be passed to that function).

App Host Files


This file is injected into the app itself (as part of a single, combined, app-host.js file). Typically, it would contain code to respond to messages from sim-host code, and as such module.exports should be set a function that takes a single messages parameter. It doesn't need to return anything.


This file is to provide app-host side handling of exec calls (if an exec call is handled on the app-host side, then it doesn't need to be handled on the sim-host side, and in fact any sim-host handler will be ignored). The format is the same as sim-host-handlers.js.


This file provides support for "clobbering" built in JavaScript objects. It's form is similar to app-host-handlers.js, expect that the returned object defines what you are clobbering. For example, the built-in support for the geolocation plugin uses this to support simulating geolocation even when the plugin isn't present in the app (just like Ripple does), by returning the following:

    navigator: {
        geolocation: {
            getCurrentPosition: function (successCallback, errorCallback, options) {
                // Blah blah blah
            watchPosition: function (successCallback, errorCallback, options) {
                // Blah blah blah

The "messages" Object

A messages object is provided to all standard JavaScript files on both the app-host and sim-host side of things. It provides the following methods:, param1, param2 ...): Calls a method implemented on "the other side" (that were registered by calling messages.register()) and returns a promise for the return value, that is fulfilled when the method returns.

messages.register(method, handler): Registers a method handler, which can be called via

messages.emit(message, data): Emits a message with data (scalar value or JavaScript object) which will be received by any code that registers for it (in both app-host and sim-host).

messages.on(message, handler): Register interest in a particular message., handler): Un-register interest in a particular message.

Note that:

  • All the above methods are isolated to the plugin - that is, they can only be used to communicate within the plugin's own code. For example, when you emit a message, it will only be received by code for the same plugin that registers to hear it. So different plugins can use the same method and message names without conflict.
  • A method call is always sent from app-host to sim-host or vice versa (that is, a call from app-host can only be handled by a method registered on sim-host, and vice versa).
  • Emitted messages, on the other hand, are sent both "locally" and across to the "other side".

Code of conduct

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact with any additional questions or comments.

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alireza abyariiran , tehran13 Ratings0 Reviews
Web & Mobile Dev and Designer
1 month ago