tools - xcode build framework from command line

Xcode “Build and Archive” from command line (12)

Updating my answer with Xcode 9 and Swift


xcodebuild -workspace <ProjectName>/<ProjectName>.xcworkspace -scheme <schemeName> clean archive -configuration release -sdk iphoneos -archivePath <ProjectName>.xcarchive

IPA Export (please note the export option plist)

xcodebuild -exportArchive -archivePath  <ProjectName>.xcarchive -exportOptionsPlist  <ProjectName>/exportOptions.plist -exportPath  <ProjectName>.ipa

For those who don't know about exportOptions.plist,

Those who were using this for building project in CI/CD tools like teamcity/jenkins, please make sure you are using the right xcode installed in the build agent for for both archive and export.

You can use either of below 2 options for this.

  1. Use the full path to xcodebuild,


  1. Use xcode-select,

xcode-select -switch /Applications/Xcode

Below is old answer

Here is command line script for creating archive and IPA example. I have an iPhone xcode project , which is located in Desktop/MyiOSApp folder.

Execute following commands one by one .

cd /Users/username/Desktop/MyiOSApp/

xcodebuild -scheme MyiOSApp archive \
    -archivePath /Users/username/Desktop/MyiOSApp.xcarchive

xcodebuild -exportArchive -exportFormat ipa \
    -archivePath "/Users/username/Desktop/MyiOSApp.xcarchive" \
    -exportPath "/Users/username/Desktop/MyiOSApp.ipa" \
    -exportProvisioningProfile "MyCompany Distribution Profile"

This is tested with Xcode 5 and working fine for me.

Xcode 3.2 provides an awesome new feature under the Build menu, "Build and Archive" which generates an .ipa file suitable for Ad Hoc distribution. You can also open the Organizer, go to "Archived Applications," and "Submit Application to iTunesConnect."

Is there a way to use "Build and Archive" from the command line (as part of a build script)? I'd assume that xcodebuild would be involved somehow, but the man page doesn't seem to say anything about this.

UPDATE Michael Grinich requested clarification; here's what exactly you can't do with command-line builds, features you can ONLY do with Xcode's Organizer after you "Build and Archive."

  1. You can click "Share Application..." to share your IPA with beta testers. As Guillaume points out below, due to some Xcode magic, this IPA file does not require a separately distributed .mobileprovision file that beta testers need to install; that's magical. No command-line script can do it. For example, Arrix's script (submitted May 1) does not meet that requirement.
  2. More importantly, after you've beta tested a build, you can click "Submit Application to iTunes Connect" to submit that EXACT same build to Apple, the very binary you tested, without rebuilding it. That's impossible from the command line, because signing the app is part of the build process; you can sign bits for Ad Hoc beta testing OR you can sign them for submission to the App Store, but not both. No IPA built on the command-line can be beta tested on phones and then submitted directly to Apple.

I'd love for someone to come along and prove me wrong: both of these features work great in the Xcode GUI and cannot be replicated from the command line.

Xcode 8:

IPA Format:

xcodebuild -exportArchive -exportFormat IPA -archivePath MyMobileApp.xcarchive -exportPath MyMobileApp.ipa -exportProvisioningProfile 'MyMobileApp Distribution Profile'

Exports the archive MyMobileApp.xcarchive as an IPA file to the path MyMobileApp.ipa using the provisioning profile MyMobileApp Distribution Profile.

APP Format:

xcodebuild -exportArchive -exportFormat APP -archivePath MyMacApp.xcarchive -exportPath MyMacApp.pkg -exportSigningIdentity 'Developer ID Application: My Team'

Exports the archive MyMacApp.xcarchive as a PKG file to the path MyMacApp.pkg using the appli-cation application cation signing identity Developer ID Application: My Team. The installer signing identity Developer ID Installer: My Team is implicitly used to sign the exported package.

Xcodebuild man page

For Xcode 7, you have a much simpler solution. The only extra work is that you have to create a configuration plist file for exporting archive.

(Compared to Xcode 6, in the results of xcrun xcodebuild -help, -exportFormat and -exportProvisioningProfile options are not mentioned any more; the former is deleted, and the latter is superseded by -exportOptionsPlist.)

Step 1, change directory to the folder including .xcodeproject or .xcworkspace file.

cd MyProjectFolder

Step 2, use Xcode or /usr/libexec/PlistBuddy exportOptions.plist to create export options plist file. By the way, xcrun xcodebuild -help will tell you what keys you have to insert to the plist file.

Step 3, create .xcarchive file (folder, in fact) as follows(build/ directory will be automatically created by Xcode right now),

xcrun xcodebuild -scheme MyApp -configuration Release archive -archivePath build/MyApp.xcarchive

Step 4, export as .ipa file like this, which differs from Xcode6

xcrun xcodebuild -exportArchive -exportPath build/ -archivePath build/MyApp.xcarchive/ -exportOptionsPlist exportOptions.plist

Now, you get an ipa file in build/ directory. Just send it to apple App Store.

By the way, the ipa file created by Xcode 7 is much larger than by Xcode 6.

Go to the folder where's your project root and:

xcodebuild -project projectname -activetarget -activeconfiguration archive

I found how to automate the build and archive process from the comand line, I just wrote a blog article explaining how you can achieve that.

The command you have to use is xcrun:

/usr/bin/xcrun -sdk iphoneos PackageApplication \
--sign "${DEVELOPER_NAME}" \

You will find all the details in the article. If you have any questions dont hesitate to ask.

I found some of the other answers here hard to get going. This article did if for me. Some paths may need to be absolute, as mentioned in the other answers.

The Command:

xcrun -sdk iphoneos PackageApplication \
    "/path/to/build/" \
    -o "output/path/to/MyApp.ipa" \
    --sign "iPhone Distribution: My Company" \
    --embed "/path/to/something.mobileprovision"

I've been using my own build script to generate the ipa package for ad hoc distribution.

die() {
    echo "$*" >&2
    exit 1

config='Ad Hoc Distribution'

echo using configuration $config

echo updating version number
agvtool bump -all
fullversion="$(agvtool mvers -terse1)($(agvtool vers -terse))"
echo building version $fullversion

xcodebuild -activetarget -configuration "$config" -sdk $sdk build || die "build failed"

echo making ipa...
# packaging
cd build/"$config"-iphoneos || die "no such directory"
rm -rf Payload
rm -f "$appname".*.ipa
mkdir Payload
cp -Rp "$" Payload/
if [ -f "$project_dir"/iTunesArtwork ] ; then
    cp -f "$project_dir"/iTunesArtwork Payload/iTunesArtwork

ipaname="$appname.$fullversion.$(date -u +%Y%m%d%H%M%S).ipa"
zip -r $ipaname Payload

echo finished making $ipaname

The script also increment the version number. You can remove that part if it's not needed. Hope it helps.

Improving on Vincent's answer, I wrote a script to do that: xcodearchive
It allows you to archive (generate an ipa) your project via the command line. Think of it like the sister of the xcodebuild command, but for archiving.

Code is available on github:

One option of the script is to enable the archiving of the dSYM symbols in a timestamped archive. No excuse to not keep the symbols anymore, and not be able to symbolicate the crash log you might later receive.

We developed an iPad app with XCode 4.2.1 and wanted to integrate the build into our continuous integration (Jenkins) for OTA distribution. Here's the solution I came up with:

# Unlock keychain
security unlock-keychain -p jenkins /Users/jenkins/Library/Keychains/login.keychain

# Build and sign app
xcodebuild -configuration Distribution clean build

# Set variables
VERSION=`defaults read $APP_PATH/Info CFBundleShortVersionString`
REVISION=`defaults read $APP_PATH/Info CFBundleVersion`
DATE=`date +"%Y%m%d-%H%M%S"`
ITUNES_LINK="<a href=\"itms-services:\/\/?action=download-manifest\&url=https:\/\/\/iPadApp-$VERSION.$REVISION-$DATE.plist\">Download iPad2-App v$VERSION.$REVISION-$DATE<\/a>"

# Package and verify app
xcrun -sdk iphoneos PackageApplication -v build/Distribution-iphoneos/ -o $PWD/iPadApp-$VERSION.$REVISION-$DATE.ipa

# Create plist
cat iPadApp.plist.template | sed -e "s/\${VERSION}/$VERSION/" -e "s/\${DATE}/$DATE/" -e "s/\${REVISION}/$REVISION/" > iPadApp-$VERSION.$REVISION-$DATE.plist

# Update index.html
curl -o index.html.$DATE
cat index.html.$DATE | sed -n '1h;1!H;${;g;s/\(<h3>Aktuelle Version<\/h3>\)\(.*\)\(<h3>&Auml;ltere Versionen<\/h3>.<ul>.<li>\)/\1\
<li>/g;p;}' | sed -e "s/\${ITUNES_LINK}/$ITUNES_LINK/" > index.html

Then Jenkins uploads the ipa, plist and html files to our webserver.

This is the plist template:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">

To set this up, you have to import the distribution certificate and provisioning profile into the designated user's keychain.

With Xcode 4.2 you can use the -scheme flag to do this:

xcodebuild -scheme <SchemeName> archive

After this command the Archive will show up in the Xcode Organizer.

You mean the validate/share/submit options? I think those are specific to Xcode, and not suited for a command-line build tool.

With some cleverness, I bet you could make a script to do it for you. It looks like they're just stored in ~/Library/MobileDevice/Archived Applications/ with a UUDI and a plist. I can't imagine it would be that hard to reverse engineer the validator either.

The process I'm interested automating is sending builds to beta testers. (Since App Store submission happens infrequently, I don't mind doing it manually, especially since I often need to add new description text.) By doing a pseudo Build+Archive using Xcode's CLI, I can trigger automatic builds from every code commit, create IPA files with embedded provisioning profiles, and email it to testers.

if you use next tool:

then this task is very easy:

which ipa 1>/dev/null 2>&1 || echo 'no shenzhen. to install use: sudo gem install shenzhen --no-ri --no-rdoc'
ipa build --verbose --scheme "${schemeName}"