Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time


An easy way to build CocoaPods with Bazel - it integrates pods end to end with an easy to use macro.

Quickstart Instructions:

In the root directory, add rules_pods to the Bazel WORKSPACE.

    name = "rules_pods",
    urls = [""],

Adding Pods

Pods are defined in the WORKSPACE file with the macro, new_pod_repository.

# Load the new_pod_repository macro - needed for `WORKSPACE` usage
load("@rules_pods//BazelExtensions:workspace.bzl", "new_pod_repository")

  name = "PINOperation",
  url = "",

The package PINOperation and the associated objc_library target, PINOperation, is available for use within Bazel. The package and target name are combined to form the label @PINOperation//:PINOperation.

Thats all! Bazel will automatically setup pods along with the build.

See the examples for end to end usage.

Vendoring Pods via Pods.WORKSPACE

By default, rules_pods supports Bazel's conventional dependency management system via the WORKSPACE / new_pod_repository macro.

However, loading external files as part of the build may have implications on stability, Xcode usage, network bandwidth, and build times. e.g. downloading dependencies from an external service ties build time and reliability to that service.

As a solution, it supports vendoring aka out of band, in tree dependency installation. Similar to CocoaPods, it can download and initialize Pods relative to the project, in the Vendor directory.

The program, bin/update_pods, installs Pods into Vendor/__POD_NAME__. This notion is similar to pod install.


Create the file Pods.WORKSPACE and add new_pod_repositorys' there - rules_pods's http_archive remains declared in the WORKSPACE.

Anytime Pods.WORKSPACE is changed, update_pods must be ran to ensure all pods are updated.

# src_root is the root workspace directory
bazel run @rules_pods//:update_pods -- --src_root $PWD

In addition to out of band updating, labels are formed via the convention //Vendor/__POD_NAME__:__TARGET__. Otherwise, the API of new_pods_repository is identical across WORKSPACE and Pods.WORKSPACE, the only difference is that the load statement isn't required in Pods.WORKSPACE.

See the Texture example for a comprehensive example.


This macro is the main point of integration for pod dependencies.

Each pod is integrated as a repository and each repository is self contained.

By declaring a new_pod_repository, the dependency is available to all Bazel targets.

Naming Convention

In Bazel a label is a build target identifier. Pod labels are all formed using the same logic. The remainder of this document uses the Vendor convention.

The first part of the label is the package name, followed by the name of the target: //Vendor/__PACKAGE__:__TARGET__

The top level target is determined by the root subspec.

For example, in PINCache, the root target's label is //Vendor/PINCache:PINCache.

Subspecs targets have the same name as the subspec. For example, the label of the subpsec Core in PINCache is //Vendor/PINCache:Core

Dependencies on Pods

Transitive dependencies must be declared in the Pods.WORKSPACE.

Dependencies between targets are resolved through an idiomatic naming convention.

For example, PINCache depends on PINOperation. In PINCache's BUILD file, the dependency on //Vendor/PINOperation:PINOperation is generated. The WORKSPACE needs to declare both PINOperation and PINCache.

Local Dependencies

Local dependencies in new_pod_repository are supported in addition to remote ones.

Instead of using a url that points to the remote repository, use a url that points to the local repository.

For example, if we wanted to depend on a local version of PINOperation:

  name = "PINOperation",
  url = "/Path/To/PINOperation",

Upon updating pods, the local files are sym-linked into the pod directory.

This can aid in local development of Pod dependencies, and was originally designed for such a use case.

Resolving issues with dependencies

Many dependencies will work with new_pod_repository without any special considerations: just add the name, and url.

Some dependencies may not. The install_script attribute is a way to resolve issues with such dependencies.

For example, in PINRemoteImage source files are in folders that have spaces in the name. This is not supported in Bazel. Please see the Known complications section for more info.

Customizing rule attributes

It may be desirable or required to change the way that a target is built. The compiler supports customizing attributes of generated targets.

For example, to add a custom copt to PINOperation we could turn on pedantic warnings just for PINOperation//:PINOperation

  name = "PINOperation",
  url = "",
  user_options = ["PINOperation.copts += -pedantic"],

On objc_library, the following fields are supported: copts, deps, sdk_frameworks

Acknowledgements Plist and Settings.bundle

Acknowledgments metadata from a Pod is supported.

A target containing acknowledgment metadata for a given target is automatically generated. Acknowledgment targets have the label of the form //Vendor/__PACKAGE__:$__POD_NAME___acknowledgment

Merge all of the dependencies into Settings.bundle

load("@rules_pods//BazelExtensions:extensions.bzl", "acknowledgments_plist")

# Example `Settings`.bundle target
    name = "Settings",
    resources = ["Root.plist", "acknowledgements"],
    visibility = ['//visibility:public'],

ALL_POD_DEPS = ["//Vendor/PINOperation:PINOperation", "//Vendor/PINCache:PINCache"]
    name = "acknowledgements",
    deps = [d + "_acknowledgement" for d in ALL_POD_DEPS],
    merger = "//Vendor/rules_pods/BazelExtensions:acknowledgement_merger"

new_pod_repository API reference

name: the name of this repo

url: the url of this repo

podspec_url: an override podspec file. Can be either a URL or a Bazel label (when used as a workspace rule) or a relative or absolute path to a file (when used in vendored mode).

By default, we will look in the root of the repository, and read a .podspec file. This requires having CocoaPods installed on build nodes. If a JSON podspec is provided here, then it is not required to run CocoaPods.

strip_prefix: a directory prefix to strip from the extracted files. Many archives contain a top-level directory that contains all of the useful files in archive.

For most sources, this is typically not needed.

user_options: an array of key value operators that act on code generated targets.

Supported operators: PlusEquals ( += ). Add an item to an array

Implemented for: objc_library. Supported fields: copts, deps, features, sdk_frameworks

Example usage: add a custom define to the target, Texture's copts field

user_options = [ "Texture.copts += -DTEXTURE_DEBUG " ]

install_script: a script used for installation.

The placeholder __INIT_REPO__ indicates at which point the BUILD file is generated, if any.

repo_tools may be provided as a label. The names provided in repo_tools are substituted out for the respective tools.

note that the script is ran directly after the repository has been fetched.

repo_tools: a mapping of executables in Bazel to command names. If we are running something like "mv" or "sed" these binaries are already on path, so there is no need to add an entry for them.

inhibit_warnings: whether compiler warnings should be inhibited.

trace: dump out useful debug info for a given repo.

generate_module_map: whether a module map should be generated.

enable_modules: set generated rules enable_modules parameter

header_visibility: DEPRECATED: This is replaced by headermaps: bazelbuild/bazel#3712

is_dynamic_framework: set to True if the pod uses prebuilt dynamic framework(s)

is_xcframework: set to True if the pod uses prebuilt xcframework

Known Complications

Incompatible file paths

Apple File systems support different characters than Linux ones do. Bazel uses the least common denominator, the Linux convention. For now, use an install_script to resolve differences.

__has_include directive

Some code, like Texture, uses __has_include to conditionally include code.

In Bazel, if that include is not explicitly added, then this feature will not work. In this case, use a user_option to add dependencies available on the system.

Incompatible Target Names

Some targets may contain characters that are not valid Bazel targets.

The target should be renamed to a compatible name. The easiest way to achieve this is to declare the dependency with a valid name. All references should be replaced in the podspec file before the BUILD file is generated.

For example SPUserResizableView+Pion exbibits this issue.

    name = "SPUserResizableView_Pion",
    url = "",
    user_options = ["SPUserResizableView_Pion.sdk_frameworks += UIKit, CoreGraphics, Foundation"],
    inhibit_warnings = True,
    install_script = """
        /usr/bin/sed -i "" 's,SPUserResizableView+Pion,SPUserResizableView_Pion,g' 'SPUserResizableView+Pion.podspec'
        mv 'SPUserResizableView+Pion.podspec' 'SPUserResizableView_Pion.podspec'

    generate_module_map = False

Now, in Bazel, the target is accessible via SPUserResizableView_Pion instead of SPUserResizableView+Pion.

This should eventually be handled by default.


How can I find the archive URL of a Pod?

Generally, this is provided by the Vendor in question. If the URL is not available, do a search on CocoaPods for the pod, and locate the source from the Pod.

For GitHub dependencies, it's possible to get the zip archive of the repository in question directly off Github.

Github archive and release URLs follows the convention:${organization,user}/${repo}/archive/${commit,branch,tag}.zip

So to get a zip archive of Pinterest's PINRemoteImage for the commit ebe69fb9880ca6afe5e954caaf150d2ac7607c3b use the URL:

How many pods are supported?

Most ObjC/C++/C Pods should work out of the box and the goal is support all CocoaPods. Please do file issues and PRs for pods that don't work.

Does it work with Swift?

The short answer is yes, but probably not. Swift support in rules_pods, and Bazel ( swift_library / rules_swift ) is still under development.

Should I do source builds of rules_pods?

The short answer is probably not. Consider that building rules_pods along with an iOS application ties the build environment of rules_pods to that of the iOS application. This includes the Bazel rules version and swift version. In addition to coupling the environment, it may be slow overall.

However, update_pods automatically does source builds of rules_pods with Bazel if it is checked out as such. Simply use git_repository instead of http_archive as mentioned in the quickstart guide. building with Bazel isn't well supported in repository_rules, and isn't supported at the moment.

How do I update rules_pods?

See the quickstart instructions.

How can I generate an Xcode project for Bazel built pods?

Please find info in the Bazel documentation.

How can I build an iOS application with Bazel with CocoaPod dependencies?

The documentation of building an iOS application resides in the Bazel documentation. This README and examples are intended to cover the rest.

How can I develop rules_pods?

make is the canonical build system of rules_pods - see the Makefile for up to date development workflows.

The examples are intended to be tested, minimal, end to end, use cases of rules_pods. The examples do a source build of rules_pods, and setup pods. Simply cd into an example, and run make.

For developing the BUILD file compiler, use make run EXAMPLE=_some pod_

Additionally, Xcode development is supported via Swift Package Manager. To generate an Xcode project, run:

swift package generate-xcodeproj

PRs welcome :)!