Example of how to use SPM v4 to manage iOS dependencies

Swift Package Manager with iOS

This project demonstrates a working method for using Swift Package Manager (SPM) to manage the dependencies of an iOS project. It has been tested with Xcode 9.1, using Swift 4 and the SPM v4 description format.

Note: At this time there is no official support for iOS targets or the related system libraries in SPM.

To get started:

  1. Install the xcodeproj ruby library: sudo gem install xcodeproj

  2. Run ruby generate-project-dependencies.rb in the project root directory. This will pull down dependencies as defined in Package.swift and then generate and modify a Dependencies project which is then included as a sub-project by the example project.

  3. Open SwiftPackagesWithiOS.xcodeproj in Xcode

  4. Build the main target (you may need to manually build the target for the Dependencies sub-project).

This will build a simple app that depends on RxSwift. RxSwift was chosen because it shows how to handle modules generated from Objective-C.

The end result will be a standard iOS application, with Static Frameworks for each of its dependencies embedded within the bundle.

You can link the dependencies dynamically if you prefer, by removing the config.build_settings['MACH_O_TYPE'] = 'staticlib' line in generate-project-dependencies.rb. If you do this you will need to embed the dependencies in your main app target.

You can step through the commits to see what steps were taken, with a brief overview of the process below.


(This process hasn't been tested with Xcode 8.3 & Swift 3.1)

  1. Generate iOS App project with Xcode
  2. Generate swift package for Dependencies
  3. Create dummy source file for Dependencies (I've chosen to put this in .deps-sources but does not necessarily need to be hidden)
  4. Modify build settings in generated xcodeproj (this is done in generate-project-dependencies.rb)
  5. Add Dependencies.xcodeproj as subproject of the main app xcodeproj
  6. Add a dependency (to RxSwift in this example) in Package.swift
  7. Link our App with the new Rx*.frameworks
  8. Write some sample code to verify that the import works
  9. Override MODULEMAP_FILE setting for non-Swift modules


  • Swift Tools 4.0.0
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Last updated: Tue Mar 21 2023 17:46:42 GMT-0500 (GMT-05:00)