Fat Binaries

A fat binary (or multiarchitecture binary) is a library which contains code native to multiple instruction sets which can consequently be run on multiple processor types. In the iOS environment fat binaries contain usually the code for the armv* (iphoneos) and the i386 (iphonesimulator) architecture.

Creation of Fat Binaries

Since version 1.6.0 the Xcode Maven Plugin produces the fat binaries by default in parallel to the non-fat ones. When building a lib for the iphoneos and iphonesimulator sdks you will find besides others the following artifacts for the Release build in your binary repository:

  • myLib-1.0.0-Release-iphoneos.a (non-fat lib)
  • myLib-1.0.0-Release-iphonesimulator.a (non-fat lib)
  • myLib-1.0.0-Release-fat-binary.a (fat lib)

Consumption of Fat Binaries

For backwards compatibility reasons the non-fat binaries of a xcode-lib dependency get resolved during the initialize phase by default. The non-fat libs can be found in the target/libs/<configuration>-<sdk>/<groupId>/<artifactId> directory. The fat binaries are only used as fallback if no non-fat ones exist.

If you want to use the fat version by default you have to add the preferFatLibs element to your plugin configuration and set it to true. Alternatively, you can just set the Maven property xcode.preferFatLibs to true. Now the Xcode Maven Plugin will prefer the fat ones and copy these into the directory target/xcode-deps/libs/<configuration>-<sdk>/<groupId>/<artifactId> during dependency resolution (please note the additional xcode-deps folder in the path). The non-fat ones will only be used as fallback if no fat ones are found.

If fat libs should be used the library search path in Xcode needs to be adjusted. It must contain the \$PROJECT_DIR/../../target/xcode-deps/libs/\$BUILD_STYLE/** entry.

Fat Lib Usage Configuration Example

<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
    xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0  http://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">