The Basics: Tools

This document contains the following sections:

We recommend that you read the following documents before going forward:


This document is geared toward the beginning HP webOS developer. Here we discuss the various application development tools—what they are and when to use them.

Note: Before running these commands, start the emulator (if applicable) and ensure that you are in your application's workspace directory.

Tools to Create and View webOS Applications

The following webOS command-line tools build, package, and install your application on the emulator:

The following sections provide an introduction to each of these tools. For details, see Command Line Tools.


When you are ready to start building your application, use palm-generate to create a functional application with a standard webOS application directory structure, which you can modify as your code grows. Take a look at the new directory to see everything you get from one simple, powerful tool.

The directory structure is built by using an application or scene name as arguments. Run this tool to create new applications or new scenes for an established application directory.

The following are examples of the palm-generate command-line tool:


When you are ready to view your application on a device or the emulator, use palm-package to create an installation package file (.ipkg ) containing all of the files in the application directory.

The following are examples of the palm-package command-line tool:


To install the application's installation package file on a device or in the emulator workspace, use palm-install.

Note: If installing the application on a device, first enable Developer mode.

The following are examples of the palm-install command-line tool:


To launch, list, or close applications on a device or the emulator, use palm-launch.

The following are examples of the palm-launch command-line tool:

Tools to Test and Debug webOS Applications

The following tools are for testing and debugging webOS applications:


The emulator provides a virtual representation of a webOS device, allowing you to view and test your application. The emulator uses Oracle's® VirtualBox™. The following should get you started:

Note: For more info, see Emulator, Emulator Screencasts, and Best Practices.


The inspector lets you examine the document object model (DOM) of an application running on a device or the emulator; for more info, see Inspector. HP webOS supports the standard DOM Level 2 event model; for more info, see Wikipedia.

The following example enables the inspector:

palm-launch -i


The debugger tool allows you to use breakpoints, display variables, and trace the application stack. For more info, see Debugger.

webOS Resource Monitor

The webOS Resource Monitor evaluates an application's memory use, providing charts for your analysis. For more info, see webOS Resource Monitor.


If your application uses the Location (GPS) Service or Phone API, you can test these features on the emulator by using the luna-send command. For more info, see [Radio Simulator] (/dev-guide/tools/luna-send.html).

The following are examples of the luna-send command-line tool: