Kotlin Help

CocoaPods overview and setup

Kotlin/Native provides integration with the CocoaPods dependency manager. You can add dependencies on Pod libraries as well as use a multiplatform project with native targets as a CocoaPods dependency.

You can manage Pod dependencies directly in IntelliJ IDEA and enjoy all the additional features such as code highlighting and completion. You can build the whole Kotlin project with Gradle and not ever have to switch to Xcode.

Use Xcode only when you need to write Swift/Objective-C code or run your application on a simulator or device. To work correctly with Xcode, you should update your Podfile.

Depending on your project and purposes, you can add dependencies between a Kotlin project and a Pod library as well as a Kotlin Gradle project and an Xcode project.

Set up an environment to work with CocoaPods

Install the CocoaPods dependency manager using the installation tool of your choice:

  1. Install Ruby version manager in case you don't have it yet.

  2. Install Ruby. You can choose a specific version:

    rvm install ruby 3.0.0
  3. Install CocoaPods:

    sudo gem install -n /usr/local/bin cocoapods
  1. Install rbenv from GitHub in case you don't have it yet.

  2. Install Ruby. You can choose a specific version:

    rbenv install 3.0.0
  3. Set the Ruby version as local for a particular directory or global for the whole machine:

    rbenv global 3.0.0
  4. Install CocoaPods:

    sudo gem install cocoapods

You can install the CocoaPods dependency manager with the default Ruby that should be available on macOS:

sudo gem install cocoapods
  1. Install Homebrew in case you don't have it yet.

  2. Install CocoaPods:

    brew install cocoapods

If you use Kotlin prior to version 1.7.0

If your current version of Kotlin is earlier than 1.7.0, additionally install the cocoapods-generate plugin:

sudo gem install -n /usr/local/bin cocoapods-generate

    If you encounter problems during the installation, check the Possible issues and solutions section.

    Add and configure Kotlin CocoaPods Gradle plugin

    If your environment is set up correctly, you can create a new Kotlin Multiplatform project and choose CocoaPods Dependency Manager as the iOS framework distribution option. The plugin will automatically generate the project for you.

    If you want to configure your project manually:

    1. In build.gradle(.kts) of your project, apply the CocoaPods plugin as well as the Kotlin Multiplatform plugin:

      plugins { kotlin("multiplatform") version "1.9.10" kotlin("native.cocoapods") version "1.9.10" }
    2. Configure version, summary, homepage, and baseName of the Podspec file in the cocoapods block:

      plugins { kotlin("multiplatform") version "1.9.10" kotlin("native.cocoapods") version "1.9.10" } kotlin { cocoapods { // Required properties // Specify the required Pod version here. Otherwise, the Gradle project version is used. version = "1.0" summary = "Some description for a Kotlin/Native module" homepage = "Link to a Kotlin/Native module homepage" // Optional properties // Configure the Pod name here instead of changing the Gradle project name name = "MyCocoaPod" framework { // Required properties // Framework name configuration. Use this property instead of deprecated 'frameworkName' baseName = "MyFramework" // Optional properties // Specify the framework linking type. It's dynamic by default. isStatic = false // Dependency export export(project(":anotherKMMModule")) transitiveExport = false // This is default. // Bitcode embedding embedBitcode(BITCODE) } // Maps custom Xcode configuration to NativeBuildType xcodeConfigurationToNativeBuildType["CUSTOM_DEBUG"] = NativeBuildType.DEBUG xcodeConfigurationToNativeBuildType["CUSTOM_RELEASE"] = NativeBuildType.RELEASE } }
    3. Re-import the project.

    4. Generate the Gradle wrapper to avoid compatibility issues during an Xcode build.

    When applied, the CocoaPods plugin does the following:

    • Adds both debug and release frameworks as output binaries for all macOS, iOS, tvOS, and watchOS targets.

    • Creates a podspec task which generates a Podspec file for the project.

    The Podspec file includes a path to an output framework and script phases that automate building this framework during the build process of an Xcode project.

    Update Podfile for Xcode

    If you want to import your Kotlin project in an Xcode project, you need to make some changes to your Podfile:

    • If your project has any Git, HTTP, or custom Podspec repository dependencies, you should also specify the path to the Podspec in the Podfile.

      For example, if you add a dependency on podspecWithFilesExample, declare the path to the Podspec in the Podfile:

      target 'ios-app' do # ... other dependencies ... pod 'podspecWithFilesExample', :path => 'cocoapods/externalSources/url/podspecWithFilesExample' end

      The :path should contain the filepath to the Pod.

    • When you add a library from the custom Podspec repository, you should also specify the location of specs at the beginning of your Podfile:

      source 'https://github.com/Kotlin/kotlin-cocoapods-spec.git' target 'kotlin-cocoapods-xcproj' do # ... other dependencies ... pod 'example' end

    If you don't make these changes to the Podfile, the podInstall task will fail, and the CocoaPods plugin will show an error message in the log.

    Check out the withXcproject branch of the sample project, which contains an example of Xcode integration with an existing Xcode project named kotlin-cocoapods-xcproj.

    Possible issues and solutions

    CocoaPods installation

    Ruby installation

    CocoaPods is built with Ruby, and you can install it with the default Ruby that should be available on macOS. Ruby 1.9 or later has a built-in RubyGems package management framework that helps you install the CocoaPods dependency manager.

    If you're experiencing problems installing CocoaPods and getting it to work, follow this guide to install Ruby or refer to the RubyGems website to install the framework.

    Version compatibility

    We recommend using the latest Kotlin version. If your current version is earlier than 1.7.0, you'll need to additionally install the cocoapods-generate plugin.

    However, cocoapods-generate is not compatible with Ruby 3.0.0 or later. In this case, downgrade Ruby or upgrade Kotlin to 1.7.0 or later.

    Module not found

    You may encounter a module 'SomeSDK' not found error that is connected with the C-interop issue. Try these workarounds to avoid this error:

    Specify the framework name

    1. Look through the downloaded Pod directory [shared_module_name]/build/cocoapods/synthetic/IOS/Pods/... for the module.modulemap file.

    2. Check the framework name inside the module, for example AppsFlyerLib {}. If the framework name doesn't match the Pod name, specify it explicitly:

      pod("Alamofire") { moduleName = "AppsFlyerLib" }

    Check the definition file

    If the Pod doesn't contain a .modulemap file, like the pod("NearbyMessages"), in the generated .def file, replace modules with headers with the pointing main header:

    tasks.named<org.jetbrains.kotlin.gradle.tasks.DefFileTask>("generateDefNearbyMessages").configure { doLast { outputFile.writeText(""" language = Objective-C headers = GNSMessages.h """.trimIndent()) } }

    Check the CocoaPods documentation for more information. If nothing works, and you still encounter this error, report an issue in YouTrack.

    Last modified: 21 September 2023