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A sweet and swifty YAML parser built on LibYAML.

SwiftPM xcodebuild pod lib lint Nightly codecov


Building Yams requires Xcode 12.5+ or a Swift 5.4+ toolchain with the Swift Package Manager or CMake and Ninja.


CMake 3.17.2 or newer is required, along with Ninja 1.9.0 or newer.

When building for non-Apple platforms:

cmake -B /path/to/build -G Ninja -S /path/to/yams -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -DFoundation_DIR=/path/to/foundation/build/cmake/modules
cmake --build /path/to/build

To build for Apple platforms (macOS, iOS, tvOS, watchOS), there is no need to spearately build Foundation because it is included as part of the SDK:

cmake -B /path/to/build -G Ninja -S /path/to/yams -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release
cmake --build /path/to/build

Swift Package Manager

Add .package(url: "", from: "5.0.5") to your Package.swift file's dependencies.


Add pod 'Yams' to your Podfile.


Add github "jpsim/Yams" to your Cartfile.


In your WORKSPACE file

    name = "com_github_jpsim_yams",
    urls = [
        "" % YAMS_GIT_SHA,
    strip_prefix = "Yams-%s" % YAMS_GIT_SHA,


Yams has three groups of conversion APIs: one for use with Codable types, another for Swift Standard Library types, and a third one for a Yams-native representation.

Codable types

  • Codable is an encoding & decoding strategy introduced in Swift 4 enabling easy conversion between YAML and other Encoders like JSONEncoder and PropertyListEncoder.
  • Lowest computational overhead, equivalent to Yams.Node.
  • Encoding: YAMLEncoder.encode(_:) Produces a YAML String from an instance of type conforming to Encodable.
  • Decoding: YAMLDecoder.decode(_:from:) Decodes an instance of type conforming to Decodable from YAML String or Data.
import Foundation
import Yams

struct S: Codable {
    var p: String

let s = S(p: "test")
let encoder = YAMLEncoder()
let encodedYAML = try encoder.encode(s)
encodedYAML == """
p: test

let decoder = YAMLDecoder()
let decoded = try decoder.decode(S.self, from: encodedYAML)
s.p == decoded.p

Swift Standard Library types

  • The type of Swift Standard Library is inferred from the contents of the internal Yams.Node representation by matching regular expressions.
  • This method has the largest computational overhead When decoding YAML, because the type inference of all objects is done up-front.
  • It may be easier to use in such a way as to handle objects created from JSONSerialization or if the input is already standard library types (Any, Dictionary, Array, etc.).
  • Encoding: Yams.dump(object:) Produces a YAML String from an instance of Swift Standard Library types.
  • Decoding: Yams.load(yaml:) Produces an instance of Swift Standard Library types as Any from YAML String.
// [String: Any]
let dictionary: [String: Any] = ["key": "value"]
let mapYAML: String = try Yams.dump(object: dictionary)
mapYAML == """
key: value

let loadedDictionary = try Yams.load(yaml: mapYAML) as? [String: Any]

// [Any]
let array: [Int] = [1, 2, 3]
let sequenceYAML: String = try Yams.dump(object: array)
sequenceYAML == """
- 1
- 2
- 3

let loadedArray: [Int]? = try Yams.load(yaml: sequenceYAML) as? [Int]

// Any
let string = "string"
let scalarYAML: String = try Yams.dump(object: string)
scalarYAML == """

let loadedString: String? = try Yams.load(yaml: scalarYAML) as? String


  • Yams' native model representing Nodes of YAML which provides all functions such as detection and customization of the YAML format.
  • Depending on how it is used, computational overhead can be minimized.
  • Encoding: Yams.serialize(node:) Produces a YAML String from an instance of Node.
  • Decoding Yams.compose(yaml:) Produces an instance of Node from YAML String.
var map: Yams.Node = [
    "array": [
        1, 2, 3
map.mapping?.style = .flow
map["array"]?.sequence?.style = .flow
let yaml = try Yams.serialize(node: map)
yaml == """
{array: [1, 2, 3]}

let node = try Yams.compose(yaml: yaml)
map == node

Integrating with Combine

When Apple's Combine framework is available, YAMLDecoder conforms to the TopLevelDecoder protocol, which allows it to be used with the decode(type:decoder:) operator:

import Combine
import Foundation
import Yams

func fetchBook(from url: URL) -> AnyPublisher<Book, Error> {
    URLSession.shared.dataTaskPublisher(for: url)
        .decode(type: Book.self, decoder: YAMLDecoder())


Both Yams and libYAML are MIT licensed.