Kotlin/Native is a technology for compiling Kotlin to native binaries that run without any VM. It comprises a LLVM-based backend for the Kotlin compiler and a native implementation of the Kotlin runtime library. Kotlin/Native is primarily designed to allow compilation for platforms where virtual machines are not desirable or possible (such as iOS, embedded targets), or where a developer needs to produce a reasonably-sized self-contained program that does not require an additional runtime.
Kotlin/Native fully supports interoperability with native code. For platform libraries, the corresponding interop libraries are available out of the box. For other libraries, we provide a tool to generate an interop library from a C header file, with full support for all C language features. On macOS and iOS, interoperability with Objective-C code is also supported.
Kotlin/Native is currently in development; preview releases are available for you to try. IDE support for Kotlin/Native is available as plugins for CLion and AppCode, both require the plugin to be installed via Plugins | Install JetBrains plugin… in the IDE preferences.
Kotlin/Native currently supports the following platforms:
- Windows (x86_64 only at the moment)
- Linux (x86_64, arm32, MIPS, MIPS little endian)
- MacOS (x86_64)
- iOS (arm64 only)
- Android (arm32 and arm64)
- WebAssembly (wasm32 only)
We've built a number of sample projects to showcase the possibilities of Kotlin/Native:
- The Kotlin/Native GitHub repository contains a number of sample projects;
- The KotlinConf Spinner app is a simple cross-platform
mobile multiplayer game fully built in Kotlin/Native, consisting of the following components:
- a backend, using SQLite for data storage and exposing a REST/JSON API;
- mobile clients for iOS and Android, using OpenGL;
- a WebAssembly-based browser frontend for viewing the game scores.
- The KotlinConf app is an iOS app with a UIKit-based UI, showcasing the Objective-C interop facilities of Kotlin/Native.