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What is this?

This repository shows an example of how to set up mixed modules (i.e., Swift + Obj-C) which compile down to static libraries. Do note that module is used to denote a named collection of source code, not a Clang Module.

You must be running Xcode 9 beta 4 or later as Swift static libraries were not previously supported.


The approach presented fulfils the following requirements:

  • Module header files are publicly exposed through imports such as #import <Module/File.h>.
  • The same source code can be compiled through the command line or Xcode without any modifications or preprocessing steps.
  • Static libraries are produced by both Xcode and through command line compilation.
  • Obj-C code is not required to be compiled as modular (i.e., -fmodules).
  • Module maps are not required.
  • Swift and Obj-C can be freely mixed, within and across modules.

How do I use it?

  • Run to manually compile the source code. You will find relevant output files in build/foo/output and build/bar/output.
  • Open Swift-Static-Libs.xcworkspace, select the Bar target from the toolbar and build the library.

How does it work?

The setup almost works out of the box except for one aspect: you cannot import another module's Obj-C Generated Interface Header through an import like <Module/Module-Swift.h>. The reason is that Module-Swift.h is placed inside a module's own DerivedSources.

To workaround the above issue, there is a custom Run Script build phase which exposes the generated header so that it can be imported using the desired syntax. The code snippet below shows the relevant parts:


if [ ! -f "$FOO_HEADER_DIR" ]; then
  mkdir -p "$FOO_HEADER_DIR"

if [ ! -f "${FOO_HEADER_DIR_FOO_SWIFT_H}" ]; then

Alternative 1

There's an alternative way to achieve the ability to refer to another module's Obj-C Generated Interface Header through an import like <Module/Module-Swift.h>.

  • Map <Module/Module-Swift.h> to Module-Swift.h. This can be achieved using a header map.
  • Add a module's DerivedSources directory to the include path.

The last part can be achieved in one of the following ways:

  • Guess where all artifacts will be stored. This is usually ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/DerivedData/Name-HASH. The way the hashes are constructed has been reverse engineered but this approach is fragile due to relying on private behaviour.
  • You can just set SYMROOT (Build Products Path) in the project settings so that all artifacts are placed in a predictable location.

If you want to find out more about build locations, check out Xcode Build Locations.

Alternative 2

This is a simpler variation of the previous alternative:

  • Set DERIVED_FILE_DIR in an xcconfig file for a particular target. DERIVED_FILE_DIR is not shown in Xcode's Build Settings pane but it does work.
  • Directly map <Module/Module-Swift.h> to $DERIVED_FILE_DIR/Module-Swift.h using a header map. You will be able to do so because your tool which generates the Xcode project will have knowledge of the DERIVED_FILE_DIR for each target (by definition).


  • Daniel Dunbar for advice about the best way to make the cross-module import syntax work for the generated Obj-C header.
  • Robbert van Ginkel for detailed conversations about the Swift compilation process and Xcode project generation.
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