How to export "fat" Cocoa Touch Framework (for Simulator and Device)?

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With Xcode 6 we get ability to create own Dynamic Cocoa Frameworks.

Because of:

  • Simulator still use 32-bit library

  • beginning June 1, 2015 app updates submitted to the App Store must include 64-bit support and be built with the iOS 8 SDK (

We have to make fat library to run project on devices and simulators. i.e. support both 32 and 64 bit in Frameworks.

But I didn't find any manuals, how to export universal fat Framework for future integration with other projects (and share this library with someone).

Here is my steps to reproduce:
  1. Set ONLY_ACTIVE_ARCH=NO in the Build Settings

  2. Add support armv7 armv7s arm64 i386 x86_64 to Architectures (for sure)

  1. Build Framework and open it in Finder:

  1. Add this framework to another project
Actual result:

But in the end I still have problem with running project with this framework on devices and simulator at once.

  • if I take framework from Debug-iphoneos folder - it works on devices and gets error on simulators: ld: symbol(s) not found for architecture i386

    xcrun lipo -info CoreActionSheetPicker

    Architectures in the fat file: CoreActionSheetPicker are: armv7 armv7s arm64

  • if I take framework from Debug-iphonesimulator folder - it works on simulators. and I have error on device: ld: symbol(s) not found for architecture arm64

    xcrun lipo -info CoreActionSheetPicker

    Architectures in the fat file: CoreActionSheetPicker are: i386 x86_64

So, how to create a dynamic framework that works on devices and simulators?

This answer related to Xcode 6 iOS Creating a Cocoa Touch Framework - Architectures issues but it's not duplicate.


I found a "dirty hack" for this case. See my answer below. If someone knows more convenient way - please, let me know!

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@Stainlav answer was very helpful but what I did instead was to compile two versions of the framework (one for the device and one for simulator) and then added the following Run Script Phase to automatically copy the precompiled framework required for the running architecture

echo "Copying frameworks for architecture: $CURRENT_ARCH"
if [ "${CURRENT_ARCH}" = "x86_64" ] || [ "${CURRENT_ARCH}" = "i386" ]; then
  cp -af "${SRCROOT}/Frameworks/Simulator/." "${SRCROOT}/Frameworks/Active"
  cp -af "${SRCROOT}/Frameworks/Device/." "${SRCROOT}/Frameworks/Active"

This way I don't have use lipo to create a fat framework neither the Realm's to remove the unnecessary slices when submitting to the App Store.

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I just want to update this great answer by @odm. Since Xcode 10, the CURRENT_ARCH variable doesn't reflect the build architecture anymore. So I changed the script to check the platform instead:

echo "Copying frameworks for platform: $PLATFORM_NAME"
rm -R "${SRCROOT}/Frameworks/Active"
if [ "${PLATFORM_NAME}" = "iphonesimulator" ]; then
    cp -af "${SRCROOT}/Frameworks/Simulator/." "${SRCROOT}/Frameworks/Active"
    cp -af "${SRCROOT}/Frameworks/Device/." "${SRCROOT}/Frameworks/Active"

I also added a line to clear the target directory before copying, because I noticed that additional files in subdirectories wouldn't be overwritten otherwise.

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  • duplicate issue…
  • @AndriusSteponavičius this questions was asked 2 months earlier.
  • Yes, but there are much more detailed answers there, that I think users should know about
  • Set ONLY_ACTIVE_ARCH=NO in the Build Settings is an important step.
  • your framework needs both i386 x86_64 slices in the fat binary if you want to run it on the simulator EVEN IF YOUR COMPUTER HAS A 64 BIT ARCHITECTURE!!! Learnt that the hard way.
  • I used lipo but when framework is building in simulator it's showing unresolved identifier with class name but in device it works. If use simulator version of binary then it's working ..any idea?
  • I haven't found any evidence this has changed by Xcode 8.2 in December 2016. :/
  • @Geoffrey, has this changed in Xcode 9.2 or is anything different? This is my first time creating a binary framework for distribution, and I'm already scared...
  • Haven't done this in a bit, sadly -- can't say. Good luck.
  • I thought Apple doesn't accept fat binaries anymore.…