Creating unit tests in Uno.UI.RuntimeTests

Platform-runtime unit tests are relatively cheap (in terms of developer productivity and CI time) whilst still allowing functionality to be verified across all supported platforms and in a realistic environment. Accordingly they're appropriate for many bugfixes and new features.

Tests in Uno.UI.RuntimeTests are easy to write. There are a few special attributes and environmental helpers to know about, which this guide will cover.

For other types of automated tests used internally by Uno.UI, see here.

Running tests locally

Since the Uno.UI.RuntimeTests tests run in the platform environment using the real Uno.UI binaries, they must be run from within SamplesApp.

  1. Build and launch the SamplesApp, following the instructions here. Note: if you're testing a mobile platform, it's recommended to run on a tablet in landscape mode. On a phone-sized layout, a few tests will fail because they don't have enough space to measure properly.
  2. From the sample menu, navigate to 'Unit Tests' > 'Unit Tests Runner'.
  3. (Optional) Add a filter string; only tests matching the filter will be run. Otherwise, all tests will run.
  4. Press the 'Run' button. Tests will run in sequence, and the results will be shown.

Authoring tests

To add a new runtime test:

  1. Locate the test class corresponding to the control or class you want to create a test for. Tests are located in Uno.UI.RuntimeTests/Tests. If you need to add a new test class, create the file as Tests/Namespace_In_Snake_Case/Given_ControlName.cs. The class should be marked with the [TestClass] attribute.
  2. Create your test as a method, naming it as When_Your_Scenario and marking it with the [TestMethod] attribute. (For more information about the 'Given-When-Then' naming style, read )
  3. The runtime tests run from a background thread by default, but when testing UI-related scenarios this isn't desirable. You can use the [RunsOnUIThread] attribute, either on individual test methods or the whole test class, to configure the test (or suite of tests) to be run on the UI thread.
  4. Use the helpers described below to set up the state required to repro your bug, and use standard Assert calls and/or FluentAssertions to verify expected state.
  5. Verify your test locally by running according to the instructions above. Typically it's fine to test locally on just one target platform; the CI will take care of the others.


A number of helper methods are available to set up a state for testing common UI scenarios.


The Private.Infrastructure.TestServices.WindowHelper class exposes several static methods and properties to easily insert a control into the running visual tree, and to wait for modifications to the UI to have been fully processed, since updates to the UI typically take effect asynchronously.

  • WindowHelper.WindowContent: assigning a FrameworkElement to this static property will cause that element to be loaded into the running visual tree. Subsequently setting it to null (or another element) will cause the old element to be unloaded from the visual tree.
  • Task WindowHelper.WaitForLoaded(FrameworkElement element): returns a task that will complete once element is fully loaded into the visual tree. You'd typically await it after assigning WindowContent = element, to ensure that element has been loaded, measured, and arranged, before further manipulations or assertions.
  • Task WindowHelper.WaitForIdle(): returns a task that will complete when the idle dispatcher is raised, roughly indicating that the UI thread 'isn't doing anything'. Await this to wait for the UI thread to 'settle' without a specific condition.
  • Task WindowHelper.WaitFor(Func<bool> condition): returns a task that will complete once condition is met, or throw an exception if it times out. Await this to wait for the UI to reach a specific expected state.


  • IDisposable UseNativeStyle<T>() where T : Control: This allows you to override the style settings to use a native default style for the duration of a test. Eg, using (UseNativeStyle<Slider>()) { } will cause all Slider elements to use the native style by default.
  • IDisposable UseNativeFrameNavigation(): This is a helper which sets native styles as default for the control types implicated in frame navigation (Frame, CommandBar and AppBarButton). This is useful for testing native frame navigation.

Useful methods coming from Uno.UI itself

The FindFirstChild<T> and FindFirstParent<T> extension methods are helpful in the common case that you want to retrieve a descendant or ancestor element by traversing the visual tree. They optionally take a condition to be met.

Note that for Android/iOS/macOS, the versions of the methods that allow native views to be traversed and retrieved are located in different namespaces. The complete set of usings to conditionally include is:

using Uno.UI.Extensions;
#elif __IOS__
using UIKit;
#elif __MACOS__
using AppKit;
using Uno.UI;

Other tips

  • If you open a popup in some way (including indirectly via a ComboBox, Flyout etc), ensure to close it at the end of the test, ideally in a try/finally block. Otherwise it may interfere with the correct execution of subsequent tests.


Let's look at a complete test, from the Given_ListViewBase test class. The code is below.

The test is ignored on iOS and Android since it verifies a feature that's not yet supported on those platforms. Note that since the Uno.UI.RuntimeTests assembly is compiled separately for each platform, we use compiler conditionals to ignore a test per-platform.

The test is an async method that returns Task because we want to perform asynchronous operations on the UI thread (add the view and wait for it to be measured and arranged). Since the Given_ListViewBase class is marked with the [RunsOnUIThread] attribute, we don't need to add it again to the method.

We create a new items source, then create a ListView and assign its ItemsSource property. Then we put the ListView inside of a Border (because this is the specific measurement scenario we wish to test), and add the Border to the active visual tree by assigning it to the WindowHelper.WindowContent property.

We call await WindowHelper.WaitForIdle() to wait for the newly-added visual trees to be loaded, measured and arranged. (We could also have used the WindowHelper.WaitForLoaded() method here.)

In this test we want to check that the item containers inside the list have been properly measured and arranged. We use the ContainerFromItem() method to get each container; we wrap it inside a WaitFor() check because, on some platforms, it takes a few UI loops for the list to materialize its items. Another way to get the containers would have been to use FindFirstChild<ListViewItem>() and an appropriate predicate.

Finally we assert that the ActualWidth of each container is what we expect, and the ActualWidth of the list itself for good measure.

#if __IOS__ || __ANDROID__
		[Ignore("ListView only supports HorizontalAlignment.Stretch -")]
		public async Task When_ListView_Parent_Unstretched()
			var source = Enumerable.Range(0, 5).ToArray();
			var SUT = new ListView
				HorizontalAlignment = HorizontalAlignment.Stretch,
				ItemsSource = source

			const int minWidth = 193;
			var border = new Border
				HorizontalAlignment = HorizontalAlignment.Left,
				MinWidth = minWidth,
				Child = SUT

			WindowHelper.WindowContent = border;

			await WindowHelper.WaitForIdle();

			ListViewItem lvi = null;
			foreach (var item in source)
				await WindowHelper.WaitFor(() => (lvi = SUT.ContainerFromItem(item) as ListViewItem) != null);
				Assert.AreEqual(minWidth, lvi.ActualWidth);

			Assert.AreEqual(minWidth, SUT.ActualWidth);