Bazel rules to build apps for Apple platforms.
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Apple Rules for Bazel

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This repository contains rules for Bazel that can be used to bundle applications for Apple platforms. They replace the bundling rules defined in Bazel itself (such as ios_application, ios_extension, and apple_watch2_extension). This repository also contains rules that run XCTest based unit and UI tests, replacing the Bazel ios_test rule.

These rules handle the linking and bundling of applications and extensions (that is, the formation of an .app with an executable and resources, archived in an .ipa). Compilation is still performed by the existing objc_library rule in Bazel; to link those dependencies, these bundling rules use Bazel's apple_binary rule under the hood.

Reference documentation

Click here for the reference documentation for the rules and other definitions in this repository.

Quick setup

Add the following to your WORKSPACE file to add the external repositories, replacing the version number in the tag attribute with the version of the rules you wish to depend on:

load("@bazel_tools//tools/build_defs/repo:git.bzl", "git_repository")

    name = "build_bazel_rules_apple",
    remote = "",
    tag = "0.6.0",



If you're going to use ios_unit_test or ios_ui_test, you'll also need to add the following to your WORKSPACE, which is an external dependency needed to run the tests.

load("@bazel_tools//tools/build_defs/repo:http.bzl", "http_file")

    name = "xctestrunner",
    executable = 1,
    url = "",


Minimal example:

load("@build_bazel_rules_apple//apple:ios.bzl", "ios_application")

    name = "Lib",
    srcs = glob([
    resources = [

# Links code from "deps" into an executable, collects and compiles resources
# from "deps" and places them with the executable in an .app bundle, and then
# outputs an .ipa with the bundle in its Payload directory.
    name = "App",
    bundle_id = "",
    families = ["iphone", "ipad"],
    infoplists = [":Info.plist"],
    deps = [":Lib"],

See the examples directory for sample applications.

Migrating from the built-in rules

Even though the rules in this repository have the same names as their built-in counterparts, they cannot be intermixed; for example, an ios_application from this repository cannot have an extension that is a built-in ios_extension or vice versa.

The wiki for this repository contains a migration guide describing in detail the differences between the old and new rules and how to update your build targets.

Coming soon

  • Support for compiling texture atlases
  • Improved rules for creating resource bundles