Installing the PhoneGap Developer App preview for Firefox OS

The PhoneGap Developer App allows PhoneGap developers to easily run their app in multiple platforms, without the need to install SDKs or have a developer subscription. You can pair your app with multiple devices at a time and any changes you make get shown on the devices.

Even though developing for Firefox OS does not require a beefy SDK or a developer subscription, being able to have your changes propagate to multiple devices at once is pretty cool!

We have started working on support for Firefox OS and you can try it out today. In this post we’re going through the steps needed to get the preview version of the PhoneGap developer app in Firefox OS. As they say, a video is worth 1k images:

Getting the depencies

We will be using a development version of cordova combined with a development version of the PhoneGap command line interface to get it all working. Luckily, they are very compatible and work well together. Let’s first get all modules we’ll need from github:

$ git clone
$ git clone
$ git clone
$ git clone -b fxos
$ git clone -b fxos
$ git clone

Because PhoneGap development is at version 3.5 and we need 3.6, we’ll have to mix cordova and phonegap commands. Now let’s set dependencies up:

$ cd connect-phonegap
$ npm link
$ cd ../phonegap-cli
$ npm link connect-phonegap
$ npm install
$ cd ../cordova-lib/cordova-lib
$ npm link
$ cd ../../cordova-cli
$ npm link cordova-lib
$ npm install
$ cd ..

Load the app to your device

The app is available at phonegap-app-developer/platforms/firefoxos/www/, just point the app manager or webIDE to this path and load it to your device or simulator. When you load the app, you should see a screen with an IP address. That’s where you enter the address of your server. Let’s get the server going.

Starting the server

Create a new cordova app:

$ cordova-cli/bin/cordova create myapp "I Heart PhoneGap Dev App"
$ cd myapp

Now we need to use the development version of cordova-firefoxos. In your root app folder, myapp in our case, create a folder named .cordova and add a file named config.json with the following contents:

  "lib": {
    "firefoxos": {
      "uri": "/<Full/Path/To>/cordova-firefoxos",
      "version": "dev",
      "id": "cordova-firefoxos-dev"

Make sure you have the correct path to cordova-firefoxos in the uri property. To add Firefox OS platform to your project run:

$ ../cordova-cli/bin/cordova platform add firefoxos

Time to start the server:

$ ../phonegap-cli/bin/phonegap.js serve

You should see a line saying [phonegap] listening on Enter that IP in the PhoneGap Developer App and see your app start running there! Easy.