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Xcode Server: Ansible provisioning for iOS Continuous Integration


This role can be used to setup iOS Continuous Integration Service on macOS using Apple's own CI server a.k.a Xcode Server. This role also can be used for the setting up local development environment for the iOS Developer. It has all the tools required for the iOS Developers like Xcode, Swift Fastlane, Carthage, Cocoapods and lot's of homebrew packages, however you can have full control to configure your own environment with variables. Xcode installation needs pre-downloaded XIP file


  • macOS High Seirra
  • Xcode 9 +

Xcode version before 9 are not supported with this role

Xcode Setup Requirements

There are couple of ways this role can install Xcode, you can pick one that is suitable for you

  • Xcode XIP in files directory of playbook

You should place a xip in the files/ directory of your playbook or place the XIP file inside $HOME directory ~/Xcode_9.1.xip Mention the xcode_src variable with version of Xcode you wish to install

xcode_src: Xcode_9.1.xip

What's in this role:

This role comes with following softwares packages to provision iOS Continuous Integration Server.

  • Xcode 9+ Installation
  • Xcode Server Service
  • macOS defaults : Controls defaults and Software Updates
  • Homebrew : Package Manager for macOS to install packages like cartahge or cask applications (optional)
  • RVM and customised Ruby versions for Pre-installed Gems like bundler, Fastlane, Cocoapods, Xcpretty (optional)

You can customise your own playbook to override defaults and create your own playbook.

Role Variables:

This role has lot of variables which can be used to configure your own playbook. Please refer defaults/main.yml for list of all variables. You can override defaults/main.yml variables to configure your own. The main variables that you should change are

xcode_src: Xcode_{your_version}.xip

xcode_server_user: {your_xcodeserver_user}
ansible_ssh_user: {your_ansible_ssh_user}

How to use this Role:

Imagine, you have fresh Mac with fresh macOS installed. You can setup all your Xcode Server for CI by creating Playbook for this role. You can setup config variables as per your need.

Assuming you have installed Ansible, we can download the role by running command

       $ $ ansible-galaxy install Shashikant86.XcodeServer

Now that, we have to create our own playbook for this role by setting variables, We can use defaults/main.tml file here. The example playbook looks like this

Example Playbook

Make a new directory called XcodeServer also create XcodeServer/files directoty and put Xcode XIP inside files directory.

           $ mkdir xcode_server
           $ mkdir XcodeServer/files
           $ touch xcs_playbook.yml

Create xcs_playbook.yml like this inside the 'XcodeServerdirectory with following content to run playbook locally. You can replacelocalhost` with different hosts.

- hosts: localhost
  connection: local

    clean_xcode: yes
    clean_rvm: yes
    clean_homebrew: yes

    configure_xcode: yes
    configure_xcodeserver: yes
    configure_macos_defaults: yes
    configure_ruby_rvm: yes
    configure_homebrew: yes

    xcode_src: Xcode_9.1.xip

    xcode_server_user: shashi
    ansible_ssh_user: shashi

    ruby_version: 2.4.0
      - bundler
      - xcpretty

      - systemsetup -setsleep Never
      - systemsetup -setharddisksleep Never
      - systemsetup -setcomputersleep Never

      - defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool false
      - defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSWindowResizeTime -float 0.001
      - defaults write expose-animation-duration -int 0
      - defaults write launchanim -bool false

      - softwareupdate --schedule off

    homebrew_use_brewfile: true
    homebrew_brewfile_dir: '~'
    homebrew_prefix: /usr/local
    homebrew_install_path: "{{ homebrew_prefix }}/Homebrew"
    homebrew_brew_bin_path: /usr/local/bin
    homebrew_upgrade_all_packages: no

      - autoconf
      - bash-completion
      - git
      - carthage
      - gpg
      - boost
      - cmake
      - ssh-copy-id
      - openssl
      - wget
      - curl

      - homebrew/core
      - caskroom/cask
      - homebrew/binary
      - homebrew/dupes
      - homebrew/versions

      - postman

    - Shashikant86.XcodeServer

Change ansible_ssh_user and xcode_server_user with your username and Feel free to set variables as per your need. Now execute this playbook

  $ ansible-playbook xcs_playbook.yml

Watch your mac Mini servers getting setup for iOS Continuous Integration.

Setting up Continuous Intrgration with Travis

We can test this role on TravisCI by disabling the Xcode config as TravisCI has it's own Xcode images. We can test all other things on TravisCI. You can see the TravisCI config in the .travis.yml and playbook/config inside the tests directory. You can see TravisCI output here





Author Information

Shashikant Jagtap


Ansible provisioner for iOS CI using Apple's Xcode Server




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