Read property lists embedded inside of Mach-O executables (commonly Command Line Tools)

What's New


  • Fixes a bug where BundleVersion could be initialized with values ending in a period; this did not match CFBundleVersion semantics. Values such as 1.2. now correctly fail to initialize.

Using this framework you can read property lists embedded inside of a running executable as well as those of executables stored on disk. These types of executables are often Command Line Tools. Built-in support is provided for reading both embedded info and launchd property lists. Custom property list types can also be specified.

To see a runnable sample app using this framework, check out SwiftAuthorizationSample.


Property lists are returned as Data instances. Usually you'll want to deserialize using one of:

Example — Read Internal, Create Decodable

When running inside an executable, decode a launchd property list into a custom Decodable struct:

struct LaunchdPropertyList: Decodable {
    let machServices: [String : Bool]
    let label: String
    private enum CodingKeys: String, CodingKey {
        case machServices = "MachServices"
        case label = "Label"

let data = try EmbeddedPropertyListReader.launchd.readInternal()
let plist = try PropertyListDecoder().decode(LaunchdPropertyList.self, from: data)

Example — Read External, Create NSDictionary

For an external executable, deserialize an info property list as an NSDictionary:

let executableURL = URL(fileUrlWithPath: <# path here #>)
let data = try EmbeddedPropertyListReader.info.readExternal(from: executableURL)
let plist = try PropertyListSerialization.propertyList(from: data,
                                                       options: .mutableContainersAndLeaves,
                                                       format: nil) as? NSDictionary

Example — Create Decodable Using BundleVersion

Decode an info property list, using BundleVersion to decode the CFBundleVersion entry:

struct InfoPropertyList: Decodable {
    let bundleVersion: BundleVersion
    let bundleIdentifier: String
    private enum CodingKeys: String, CodingKey {
        case bundleVersion = "CFBundleVersion"
        case bundleIdentifier = "CFBundleIdentifier"

let data = try EmbeddedPropertyListReader.info.readInternal()
let plist = try PropertyListDecoder().decode(InfoPropertyList.self, from: data)


  • Swift Tools 5.5.0
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Last updated: Thu Nov 10 2022 09:07:03 GMT-0500 (GMT-05:00)