What is CocoaPods

CocoaPods is a dependency manager for Swift and Objective-C Cocoa projects. It has over eighteen thousand libraries and can help you scale your projects elegantly.

Installation and update

If you need to install or update CocoaPods on a machine, please refer to the official documentation. Nonetheless, here is the most useful command line:

$> sudo gem install cocoapods


First you need to create a simple file named Podfile. Here is an example for the BDG project containing two targets: DBG-Alpha-InHouse and DBG-Beta-InHouse`:

$> cat Podfile

source ''

platform :ios, '8.0'

def corePods
	pod 'DKHelper', '~> 2.1.4'
	pod 'UIImage+Autoresize', '~> 1.1.1'
	pod 'HockeySDK', '~> 3.8.6'
	pod 'Appirater', '~> 2.0.5'
target 'DBG-Alpha-InHouse' do

target 'DBG-Beta-InHouse' do

Make sure that the platform version written (here '8.0') is the same as the minimum deployment target set in your project. After this, run the command pod install. It will download the libraries and integrate them into your project by creating a Xcode workspace.

$> pod install

Once done, be sure to always open and use the generated .xworkspace in xcode!

Pod versioning

As you can see in the previous example, the installed pods are followed by '~> 3.8.5'. This is very important as it controls which version of the library your code is using, but most important, which is version it is ready to use.

If you do not specify a version, Cocoapods will install the latest one. It be a very big problem if some big changes occurred in the library and your code is not ready for them. The Continuous Integration process could fail and, unless you know the version you need, you might never be able to release a new beta to the customers… oops. :unamused:

Read the official documentation to learn more about using CocoaPods and the Podfile.

Git ignore

Cocoapods generates a folder called Pods containing all source code for every single library.

This folder does not need to be either committed or pushed to your git server. To avoid this add Pods to your .gitignore.

But, to avoid some rare edge cases, you might need to keep the Pods directory under source control. The pros and cons are listed on this greate article.

Outdated Pods

A small note about pods. While maintaining an app, bugs often comes from outdated libraries.

When starting to code or debug make sure to run pod outdated to see which ones are deprecated or have a new version.

When updating some libraries take care of any breaking changes, new warnings, etc. You should understand what’s new in the update.

$> pod outdated

Adding Swift pods

Pods as frameworks

Through Cocoapods, the Swift libraries must be integrated as frameworks. To do so, make sure to add the following into your Podfile:


Be careful, once this is done not only the Swift libraries but also the Obj-C ones will be integrated as frameworks. You will need to import them using the swift import @import MyLibrary in your files instead of #import "MyLibrary.h in the bridging header file.

Code signing issue

When integrating the pods as frameworks, Jenkins will build the pods and expect a code signing identity for each pod. Of course, this is not a normal behaviour and you might get an error like this one:


Check dependencies
[BEROR]Code Sign error: No code signing identities found: No valid signing identities (i.e. certificate and private key pair) matching the team ID (null) were found.
[BEROR]CodeSign error: code signing is required for product type 'Framework' in SDK 'iOS 8.1'

This error is related to how CocoaPods expects code signing configurations for frameworks. You should add the following script as a Post script to your Podfile:

post_install do |installer|
	installer.pods_project.targets.each do |target|
		target.build_configurations.each do |config|
			config.build_settings['EXPANDED_CODE_SIGN_IDENTITY'] = ""
			config.build_settings['CODE_SIGNING_REQUIRED'] = "NO"
			config.build_settings['CODE_SIGNING_ALLOWED'] = "NO"

Pods Acknowledgements

Whenever you run `pod install, Cocoapods will automatically generate an acknowledgements file containing the license of all used libraries. By respect for the original developers, it is very much appreciated to grant them credits and let the final users know you are using their code.

To do so, add a Settings.bundle to your project and add the following to your Podfile:

post_install do |installer|
	installer.pods_project.targets.each do |target|
			require 'fileutils'
			FileUtils.cp_r('Pods/Target Support Files/' + + '/' + + '-acknowledgements.plist',
			'Resources/Settings.bundle/Pods-acknowledgements.plist', :remove_destination => true)

To learn more about this, see this official page.

Now open the ngs.bundle in Xcode and make sure the Root.plist file is configured like this:

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

Of course depending on your project, you can/should add other entries in this plist to let the final user configures the app.

Remark: Do not forget to pod install again :]

Thanks for reading !