When developing for mobile, you can get most of the way there by changing your viewport width to simulate a mobile device. But sometimes, that’s just not good enough.
Luckily, if you’re working on a Rails app, there’s an easy way to configure your local development environment so you can access it on any mobile device you need to test with.
Note: Before you try this out, make sure you’re on a secure private internet connection. Since your app will be listening on every network interface, you may be vulnerable if you’re on public or untrusted networks.
1. Find Your Internal IP
First, find out what your computer’s internal IP is behind your router. You can find this with
ifconfig in the command line, or if you’re on a Mac, you can find it in System Preferences –> Network under the Status field for your wifi connection.
2. Launch Rails & Listen
Next, launch your rails app without binding to your development machine with
rails s -binding=0.0.0.0. You can also use
rails s -b 0.0.0.0 if the first command gives you trouble.
-b flag binds the server to a specific IP, but by listening on 0.0.0.0 you allow any incoming connections to hit the app instead of only granting access to your local machine.
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3. Go To There
Finally, get your device and enter your development computer’s internal IP and the app port in whatever browser you’re testing. Now you can hit your local app as you develop!