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Testing with Firebase Test Lab

This guide is based off of commands in Firebase Test Lab. You can always check for any changes to the official documentation at the Overview Page.


Before you can use Cloud Test Lab with CircleCI, you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Set up gcloud. Follow the instructions from Using Cloud Test Lab from the Command Line to create a Google Cloud project, request access to the Cloud Test Lab Beta program, and configure your local Google Cloud SDK environment. It’s pre-installed on CircleCI, but you’ll probably want to have it locally too.
  2. Create a service account. Using a service account causes gcloud to treat the user as a program, instead of treating the user as a person. This avoids checks for spam and prevents the account from being blocked or prompted for captchas. Service accounts are created via the Cloud Console (doc). To activate a service account, follow the instructions for using the gcloud auth activate-service-account command.
  3. Enable required APIs. In the Google Developers Console, enable the Google Cloud Testing API and Cloud Tool Results API for the project under test. To enable these APIs, type these API names into the search box at the top of the console, and then click Enable API on the on the overview page for that API.

Set up Your Repository With CircleCI

If you’re not yet a CircleCI user, you can follow our Getting Started guide to quickly get set up. For the purpose of this guide we’ll be using the Notepad example Android app.

Project Settings / Environment Variables

When creating your service account (from the previous section) you would have downloaded a .json private key. We need to give CircleCI access to this key so that it can authorize gcloud. Placing it directly in version control isn’t smart for security.

Instead we’ll utilize an environment variable set in CircleCI’s GUI for authorization. Instructions on how to do this can be found here.


    - sudo pip install -U crcmod
    - ./gradlew :app:assembleDebug -PdisablePreDex
    - ./gradlew :app:assembleDebugTest -PdisablePreDex
    - echo $GCLOUD_SERVICE_KEY | base64 --decode > ${HOME}/client-secret.json
    - sudo /opt/google-cloud-sdk/bin/gcloud config set project <PROJECT-ID>
    - sudo /opt/google-cloud-sdk/bin/gcloud --quiet components update
    - sudo /opt/google-cloud-sdk/bin/gcloud --quiet components install beta
    - sudo /opt/google-cloud-sdk/bin/gcloud auth activate-service-account <ACCOUNT> --key-file ${HOME}/client-secret.json

We start off by installing crcmod which Google’s gsutil tool needs (we’ll see this later).

In the dependencies section we build both the debug apk as well as test sdk. We then set up gcloud. Here we recreate the .json key, tell gcloud which project we’re working on, install the beta commands, and authenticate to our project. Make sure to set your own project name where appropriate.

By default the Gradle android plugin pre-dexes dependencies, converting their Java bytecode into Android bytecode. This speeds up development greatly since gradle only needs to do incremental dexing as you change code.

Because CircleCI always runs clean builds this pre-dexing has no benefit; in fact it makes compilation slower and can also use large quantities of memory. We recommend disabling pre-dexing for Android builds on CircleCI.

    - echo "y" | sudo /opt/google-cloud-sdk/bin/gcloud beta firebase test android run --app app/build/outputs/apk/app-debug.apk --test app/build/outputs/apk/app-debug-test-unaligned.apk --results-bucket cloud-test-<PROJECT-ID>
    - sudo /opt/google-cloud-sdk/bin/gsutil -m cp -r -U `sudo /opt/google-cloud-sdk/bin/gsutil ls gs://cloud-test-circle-ctl-test | tail -1` $CIRCLE_ARTIFACTS/ | true

In the test section we override CircleCI’s default action of running gradle test and instead instruct gcloud to run it in Test Lab. You’ll need to adjust the apk names to correspond to your project. Make sure to set your own Google Cloud Storage URL where appropriate.

In post, we use gsutil to download the newest files in the bucket to the CircleCI artifacts folder. This enables you to see and use those artifacts from within both Google Cloud Storage and CircleCI.