Xcode plug-in to automate the compilation of Slice files to C++ or Objective-C
Latest commit de0a0b9 Sep 28, 2016 @externl externl Revert "Add Ice Builder for Xcode plug-in check"
This reverts commit 792085a.


Ice Builder for Xcode

Ice Builder for Xcode is a command line program to help compile Slice files to C++ or Objective-C in Xcode. It supports recent versions of Xcode, including Xcode 8 and Xcode 7.

Note: Ice Builder for Xcode has been changed from an Xcode plug-in to a command line program due to recent Xcode developments. If you are using Xcode 7, you can still use the Ice Builder for Xcode plug-in.



You can install Ice Builder for Xcode using Homebrew by running the following commands:

brew tap zeroc-ice/tap
brew install ice-builder-xcode


Download icebuilder to any path on your system. For example: /usr/local/bin/icebuilder.



Option Description
--cpp Use slice2cpp. Default is slice2objc.
-h, --help Print usage message.
-v, --version Display Ice Builder for Xcode version.
-- ARGS Arguments passed directly to the slice compiler.

Refer to the slice2cpp and slice2objc Command Line Options documention for a description of the options you can provide through the args property.

Xcode Build Rule

To use Ice Builder for Xcode you must create a custom build rule in your Xcode project. The following settings are a good starting point; however, you may need to modify them depending on your project's needs.

  • Process: *.ice
  • Using: Custom script

    /usr/local/bin/icebuilder [options]
  • Output Files:
    • $(DERIVED_FILE_DIR)/$(INPUT_FILE_BASE).cpp (For a C++ project)
    • $(DERIVED_FILE_DIR)/$(INPUT_FILE_BASE).m (For an Objective-C project)

 Xcode Custom Build Rule

Xcode Build Settings

For Cocoa and iPhone applications, which use the IceTouch or Ice Xcode SDKs, you must add the appropriate directory to the Additional SDKs setting:

Distribution Language Location
Ice Touch 1.3 Objective-C /Library/Developer/IceTouch-1.3/SDKs/ObjC/$(PLATFORM_NAME).sdk
Ice Touch 1.3 C++ /Library/Developer/IceTouch-1.3/SDKs/Cpp/$(PLATFORM_NAME).sdk
Ice Touch 3.6 Objective-C /usr/local/lib/IceTouch/ObjC/$(PLATFORM_NAME).sdk
Ice Touch 3.6 C++ /usr/local/lib/IceTouch/Cpp/$(PLATFORM_NAME).sdk
Ice 3.7 Objective-C /usr/local/lib/IceSDK/$(PLATFORM_NAME).sdk
Ice 3.7 C++ /usr/local/lib/IceSDK/$(PLATFORM_NAME).sdk

You also need to add the following linker options to the Other Linker Flags setting:

Distribution Language Required Ice Plugins Optional Services
Ice Touch 1.3 Objective-C -ObjC
included in the
IceObjC-libc++ library
Ice Touch 1.3 C++ -lIceCpp-libc++ included in the
IceCpp-libc++ library
Ice Touch 3.6 Objective-C -ObjC
included in the
IceObjC library
Ice Touch 3.6 C++ -lIce included in the
Ice library
Ice 3.7 Objective-C -ObjC
-lIceIAP -lIceIAPObjC
-lIceSSL -lIceSSLObjC
Ice 3.7 C++ -lIce -lIceDiscovery

With Ice 3.7 (iOS and OS X) or Ice Touch (OS X only), you also need to add -lbz2 and -liconv.

You must also link with the following Frameworks:

  • Security.framework (Ice Touch all the time, Ice when linking with IceSSL)
  • CFNetwork.framework (iOS)
  • UIKit.framework (iOS)
  • ExternalAccessory.framework (iOS when linking with IceIAP)

Generating Code using Xcode

The builder will always compile a Slice file when executed by an Xcode custom build rule; however, Xcode custom build rules are only executed when either the given Output Files do not exist or are older than the file being processed. To force your Slice files to be re-compiled you need to clean (⇧⌘K) your project, then build (⌘B).

The builder automatically includes the Ice Slice files directory included with the Ice or Ice Touch SDK as well as the directory of the Slice file being compiled.

The output directory passed to the slice compiler is determined by comparing the paths of the given Output files. Exactly two files must be set and both files must share the same base directory path.