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google / ios-webkit-debug-proxy


A DevTools proxy (Chrome Remote Debugging Protocol) for iOS devices (Safari Remote Web Inspector).


iOS WebKit Debug Proxy

The ios_webkit_debug_proxy (aka iwdp) allows developers to inspect MobileSafari and UIWebViews on real and simulated iOS devices via the Chrome DevTools UI and Chrome Remote Debugging Protocol. DevTools requests are translated into Apple's Remote Web Inspector service calls.


Linux and OS X are currently supported. The fantastic ios-webkit-debug-proxy-win32 project implements Windows support.

On a Mac, it's easiest to install with homebrew:

brew install ios-webkit-debug-proxy

On Linux or Mac:

sudo apt-get install autoconf automake libusb-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev libplist-dev libplist++-dev usbmuxd libtool libimobiledevice-dev

git clone
cd ios-webkit-debug-proxy

sudo make install


On Linux, you must run the usbmuxd daemon. The above install adds a /lib/udev rule to start the daemon whenever a device is attached. To verify that usbmuxd can list your attached device(s), run idevice_id -l

Start the simulator or device

The iOS Simulator is supported, but it must be started before the proxy. The simulator can be started in XCode, standalone, or via the command line:

# Xcode changes these paths frequently, so doublecheck them
$SIM_APP -SimulateApplication $SDK_DIR/iPhoneSimulator8.4.sdk/Applications/

Enable the inspector

Your attached iOS devices must have ≥1 open browser tabs and the inspector enabled via: Settings > Safari > Advanced > Web Inspector = ON

Start the proxy

  • --debug for verbose output.
  • --frontend to specify a frontend
  • --help for more options.
  • Ctrl-C to quit. Also, the proxy can be left running as a background process.

View and inspect debuggable tabs

Navigate to localhost:9221. You'll see a listing of all connected devices.

Click through to view tabs available on each, and click through again to open the DevTools for a tab.


Setting the DevTools UI URL

By default, the DevTools UI frontend that iwdp uses is from:

You can use the -f argument to specify different frontend source, like Chrome's local DevTools, a local Chromium checkout or another URL:

# examples:
ios_webkit_debug_proxy -f chrome-devtools://devtools/bundled/inspector.html
ios_webkit_debug_proxy -f ~/chromium/src/third_party/WebKit/Source/devtools/front_end/inspector.html
ios_webkit_debug_proxy -f

If you use -f chrome-devtools://devtools/bundled/inspector.html, you won't be able to click the links shown in localhost:9222 as Chrome blocks clicking these URLs. However, you can copy/paste them into the address bar.

Just the same, you can apply the appropriate port (9222) and page (2) values below.


The -f value must end in ".html". Due to security reasons, https URLs will not work; use http or force-allow with the URL bar's shield icon. As of Chrome 45, the primary URL changed from devtools.html to inspector.html.

To disable the frontend proxy, use the --no-frontend argument.

Port assigment

The default configuration works well for most developers. The device_id-to-port assignment defaults to:

:9221 for the device list
:9222 for the first iOS device that is attached
:9223 for the second iOS device that is attached
:9322 for the max device

If a port is in use then the next available port will be used, up to the range limit.

The port assignment is first-come-first-serve but is preserved if a device is detached and reattached, assuming that the proxy is not restarted, e.g.:

  1. start the proxy
  2. the device list gets :9221
  3. attach A gets :9222
  4. attach B gets :9223
  5. detach A, doesn't affect B's port
  6. attach C gets :9224 (not :9222)
  7. reattach A gets :9222 again (not :9225)

The port assignment rules can be set via the command line with -c. The default is equivalent to:

ios_webkit_debug_proxy -c null:9221,:9222-9322

where "null" represents the device list. The following example restricts the proxy to a single device and port:

ios_webkit_debug_proxy -c 4ea8dd11e8c4fbc1a2deadbeefa0fd3bbbb268c7:9227


undefined reference to symbol 'log10@@GLIBC_2.2.5'
/usr/bin/ld: ios_webkit_debug_proxy-char_buffer.o: undefined reference to symbol 'log10@@GLIBC_2.2.5'
//lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ error adding symbols: DSO missing from command line

Run this before make: ./configure LIBS="-lm"

error while loading shared libraries:
ios_webkit_debug_proxy: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Run sudo ldconfig

idevice_id not found

The idevice_id executable may be found as part of the libimobiledevice-utils package.

could not start! success

Remove and rebuild libimobiledevice.

Could not connect to lockdownd

Could not connect to lockdownd. Exiting.: No such file or directory. Unable to attach inspector ios_webkit_debug_proxy

Check the device for a prompt to trust the connected computer. Choose "Trust" and try again.

If no luck so far...

Lastly, always try replugging in the USB cable.

IWDP Clients

JSON-formatted APIs are provided for programmatic clients.

See the examples/README for example clients: NodeJS, C, clientside JS, websocket and more.


Alt overview

View the design document for an overview of the source layout and architecture.

License and Copyright

Google BSD license Copyright 2012 Google Inc.

The proxy uses the following open-source packages: