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Binding to native code via FFI

sjindel-google edited this page Aug 27, 2019 · 3 revisions

iOS & MacOS

Dynamically linked libraries are automatically loaded by the dynamic linker when the App starts. Their constituent symbols can be resolved via DynamicLibrary.process. It is also possible to get a handle for the library via to restrict the scope of symbol resolution, but it's unclear how Apple's review process treats this.

Symbols statically linked into the application binary can be resolved via DynamicLibrary.executable or DynamicLibrary.process.

Platform library

To link against a platform library, open Runner.xcodeproj in Xcode, select the target, click "+" in the "Linked Frameworks and Libraries" section, and select the platform library to link against.

First-party library

A first-party native library can be included either as source or as a (signed) .framework. It's probably possible to include statically linked archives as well, but I did not attempt this.


Add the C/C++/Objective-C/Swift sources to the Xcode project and add the following prefix to the exported symbol declarations to ensure they are visible to Dart:


extern "C" /* <= C++ only */ __attribute__((visibility("default"))) __attribute((used))



Compiled (dynamic library)

If a (properly signed) Framework file is present, add it to the "Embedded Binaries" and "Linked Frameworks & Libraries" section of the target in Xcode.

Open-source third-party library

Simply add the native code to the source_files field of the .podspec in the Flutter plugin. The native code will be statically linked into application binary of any downstream app.

Closed-source third-party library

Add a vendored_frameworks field to the .podspec of the Flutter plugin. See the Cocoa Pods Example.

Note that binary code should not be uploaded to Pub directly but rather downloaded from a trusted third-party as in the example.


Platform library

See the Android documentation for a list of stable native APIs. can be used to load one provided the library name from the above list. For example, to load OpenGL ES (v3):"");

You may need to update the Android manifest file of the app or plugin if indicated by the documentation.

First-party library

The process for including native code in source or binary form is the same for an app or plugin.

Open-source third-party library

Follow the Android documentation for adding native code and support for the native code toolchain (either CMake or ndk-build).

Closed-source third-party library

Add the AAR artifact as a dependency in your build.gradle. It should be downloaded from a repository such as JCenter, not included in your Flutter package.

Flutter Wiki


Framework repo

Engine repo


Experimental features

Release Notes

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