July 11, 2018

Integrating GYB with Xcode

NSHipster posted a great article on using GYB to reduce boilerplate in your Swift projects, but I found the suggestion of how to integrate with Xcode via a Build Phase a bit loose and messy (at least in terms of littering your project directory with generated files).

I’d suggest you have a look at creating a custom Build Rule instead - this will have the advantage of outputting the generated Swift files to a directory outside of your project (therefore leaving your Git status clean during CI and other automated processes).

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Do exactly as Mattt suggests in his article and download the GYB scripts into your project directory:

    $ mkdir Scripts
    $ cd Scripts
    $ wget https://github.com/apple/swift/raw/master/utils/gyb
    $ wget https://github.com/apple/swift/raw/master/utils/gyb.py
    $ chmod +x gyb
  2. In Xcode, select your project, then the target you wish to use GYB files with, then select the Build Rules tab.
  3. Use the small + button to add a new Build Rule, then configure it as follows:

    • Process Source files with names matching: *.gyb
    • Using Custom script:, using the following script:

      "${PROJECT_DIR}/Scripts/gyb" --line-directive '' -o "${DERIVED_FILE_DIR}/${INPUT_FILE_BASE}" "${INPUT_FILE_PATH}"
    • Add one entry to Output Files:

  4. Create a new GYB file in your project - remember that it must have a file extension of .swift.gyb
  5. Add the new GYB file to your target’s Compile Sources phase.
  6. Add Scripts/gyb.pyc to your .gitignore file.
  7. Build your project. You can check that the output of your GYB is as you expect by navigating to the DERIVED_FILE_DIR directory. This is usually some variation of the following:

  8. That’s it! Commit your changes and get started replacing your boilerplate with automated GYB files.

Alternatives: You could consider integrating Krzysztof Zabłocki’s Sourcery instead of GYB - it provides much the same result in a similar template format, but has a bunch of well documented examples and tutorials available.