Testing webdev on mobile devices from my laptop

While I’m developing the new UI for OurAirports.com on my laptop, I want to be able to test on various mobile devices easily, including other people’s devices (where it’s rude to root and mess around with /etc/hosts). Here’s what I did:

  • Assign my laptop a static IP address of whenever it’s connected to my home WiFi (I’ve configured DHCP not to assign addresses under .11).
  • Go to my DNS provider, and create an A record for dev.ourairports.com pointing to
  • In my laptop’s own /etc/hosts file, hard-code dev.ourairports.com to point to a 127.0.0.* IP address.

With these steps, the domain dev.ourairports.com will always work from my laptop, wherever it’s connected, and it will work from other devices when I am on my home WiFi (anywhere else, it will probably bring up something strange, like a router or printer login page).

I’ve played around with Docker a fair bit, but I’m still happy just running a bunch of VHOSTs for different webdev projects, and so far, it hasn’t caused me any grief.

Does anyone have better suggestions? Any gotchas I’ve missed?

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4 Responses to Testing webdev on mobile devices from my laptop

  1. Blake Crosby says:

    Try Amazons Device Farm?

  2. I *knew* someone would suggest something that would require actual research and work. 🙂

  3. David: I checked out your website for the airport information. This is a really cool page. What did you use to build it? does it have a sql backend?

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