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What it is

A sample project to check XcodeArchiveCache in action.

Before you start

Install XcodeArchiveCache using bundle install command.

Archive builds require signing, so you'll need to specify the team to sign Test target. Commit that change locally because we're going to use git reset --hard numerous times to test caching.


XcodeArchiveCache has a simple DSL to describe what to put in the cache. That configuration is stored in a file named Cachefile. cat Cachefile will show you the configuration that our sample project uses:

workspace "Test" do
  configuration "release" do
    build_configuration "Release"
    xcodebuild_args "SOME_FLAG='1' -UseModernBuildSystem=NO"

  derived_data_path "build"

  target "Test" do
    cache "Pods_Test.framework"
    cache "libStaticDependency.a"

First, we need to tell the tool which workspace or project it should operate upon - that's done in either workspace "<workspace name>" or project "<project name>" part. Inside that main block we describe what we need to cache and the way to build cached products.

configuration parts are about the way we invoke xcodebuild to build cached products. You can have as many of those as you want, and specify the one to use with --configuration flag during XcodeArchiveCache invocation.

  • build_configuration tells XcodeArchiveCache which build configuration should be used. By default, Xcode generates Debug and Release.
  • xcodebuild_args are passed to xcodebuild - note that these are the same flags we passed to xcodebuild in "Build it" part.

derived_data_path is obviously the path where xcodebuild should store it's derived data during dependency builds. target part defines which dependencies should be cached - Test is our main app's target, and it links Pods_Test.framework and libStaticDependency.a. They, and their direct and transitive dependencies are going to be cached.

Build without cache

Simply run:

pod install && time xcodebuild -workspace Test.xcworkspace -configuration Release -destination generic/platform=ios -scheme Test -derivedDataPath build SOME_FLAG=1 -UseModernBuildSystem=NO -archivePath build/test.xcarchive archive | xcpretty

Build using cache


git reset --hard && git clean -fdx && pod install && time xcode-archive-cache inject --configuration=release --storage="$HOME/build_cache"

Since it's the first time we run XcodeArchiveCache, our cache directory is empty, so XcodeArchiveCache is going to build every dependency and put products into cache. Run git diff - some targets vanished from project files, and those are the targets that were parts of build graphs for Pods_Test.framework and libStaticDependency.a. We replaced these targets with cached build products.

Let's check how cache affects app build time:

time xcodebuild -workspace Test.xcworkspace -configuration Release -destination generic/platform=ios -scheme Test -derivedDataPath build SOME_FLAG=1 -UseModernBuildSystem=NO -archivePath build/test.xcarchive archive | xcpretty

Rebuild using cache

Run the same two commands once again. This time, cache directory contains some zipped build products, and XcodeArchiveCache is going to rely on them.

Does it really work?

We've built our sample app using the cache, but does it really work? Since the app was archived, it's not going to run in a simulator - archive builds only produce ARM binaries. Still, we can install the app on a real device and check if it actually runs as intended.

  1. We need to create an ipa:
cd build/test.xcarchive/Products/Applications && mkdir Payload && mv Payload/ && zip -r Test.ipa Payload && cp Test.ipa ~/Desktop && cd -
  1. We need to install that ipa to a device: go to Xcode - Window - Devices and Simulators, select the device which you want to install the app to in the left pane, press "plus" button at the bottom, below "Installed Apps" table, and select Test.ipa that's on your Desktop.

Finally, we can launch the app. Contents of the UILabel on top of the screen come from StaticDependency, which in turn takes these strings from its own dependencies - you can see it viewDidLoad method of ViewController. Tap the "Tap me" button - what does it say?


XcodeArchiveCache example






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