Alon Amir Alon Amir - 1 year ago 392
iOS Question

Custom Cordova Plugin: Add framework to "Embedded Binaries"

In a custom Cordova plugin, how can I config a specific .framework file in plugin.xml such that it will be added to the "Embedded Binaries" section in Xcode?
If that's not currently possible directly in plugin.xml, I'm open to alternative suggestions.

Answer Source

I've implemented a workaround until it's supported by Cordova's plugin.xml, hopefully, in the future, once an embed property in such entries will have the same effect: <framework embed="true" src="..." />, for now, this property does not help, hence the following workaround.

The following solution worked using Cordova version 5.3.3.

First, make sure to add the framework entry to plugin.xml:

<framework src="pointToYour/File.framework" embed="true" />

embed="true" doesn't work for now, but add it anyway.

We're gonna create a hook, declare that in your plugin.xml:

<hook type="after_platform_add" src="hooks/embedframework/addEmbedded.js" />

Next, there's a specific node module we're gonna need in our hook's code, that module is node-xcode.

Install node-xcode (must be 0.8.7 version and above):

npm i node-xcode

Finally, the code for the hook is -

addEmbedded.js file:

'use strict';

const xcode = require('xcode'),
    fs = require('fs'),
    path = require('path');

module.exports = function(context) {
    if(process.length >=5 && process.argv[1].indexOf('cordova') == -1) {
        if(process.argv[4] != 'ios') {
            return; // plugin only meant to work for ios platform.

    function fromDir(startPath,filter, rec, multiple){
        if (!fs.existsSync(startPath)){
            console.log("no dir ", startPath);

        const files=fs.readdirSync(startPath);
        var resultFiles = []
        for(var i=0;i<files.length;i++){
            var filename=path.join(startPath,files[i]);
            var stat = fs.lstatSync(filename);
            if (stat.isDirectory() && rec){
                fromDir(filename,filter); //recurse

            if (filename.indexOf(filter)>=0) {
                if (multiple) {
                } else {
                    return filename;
        if(multiple) {
            return resultFiles;

    function getFileIdAndRemoveFromFrameworks(myProj, fileBasename) {
        var fileId = '';
        const pbxFrameworksBuildPhaseObjFiles = myProj.pbxFrameworksBuildPhaseObj(myProj.getFirstTarget().uuid).files;
        for(var i=0; i<pbxFrameworksBuildPhaseObjFiles.length;i++) {
            var frameworkBuildPhaseFile = pbxFrameworksBuildPhaseObjFiles[i];
            if(frameworkBuildPhaseFile.comment && frameworkBuildPhaseFile.comment.indexOf(fileBasename) != -1) {
                fileId = frameworkBuildPhaseFile.value;
                pbxFrameworksBuildPhaseObjFiles.splice(i,1); // MUST remove from frameworks build phase or else CodeSignOnCopy won't do anything.
        return fileId;

    function getFileRefFromName(myProj, fName) {
        const fileReferences = myProj.hash.project.objects['PBXFileReference'];
        var fileRef = '';
        for(var ref in fileReferences) {
            if(ref.indexOf('_comment') == -1) {
                var tmpFileRef = fileReferences[ref];
                if( && != -1) {
                    fileRef = ref;
        return fileRef;

    const xcodeProjPath = fromDir('platforms/ios','.xcodeproj', false);
    const projectPath = xcodeProjPath + '/project.pbxproj';
    const myProj = xcode.project(projectPath);

    function addRunpathSearchBuildProperty(proj) {
        const LD_RUNPATH_SEARCH_PATHS =  proj.getBuildProperty("LD_RUNPATH_SEARCH_PATHS");
            proj.addBuildProperty("LD_RUNPATH_SEARCH_PATHS", "\"$(inherited) @executable_path/Frameworks\"");
        } else if(LD_RUNPATH_SEARCH_PATHS.indexOf("@executable_path/Frameworks") == -1) {
            var newValue = LD_RUNPATH_SEARCH_PATHS.substr(0,LD_RUNPATH_SEARCH_PATHS.length-1);
            newValue += ' @executable_path/Frameworks\"';
            proj.updateBuildProperty("LD_RUNPATH_SEARCH_PATHS", newValue);


    // unquote (remove trailing ")
    var projectName = myProj.getFirstTarget();
    projectName = projectName.substr(0, projectName.length-1); //Removing the char " at beginning and the end.

    const groupName = 'Embed Frameworks ' +;
    const pluginPathInPlatformIosDir = projectName + '/Plugins/' +;

    const frameworkFilesToEmbed = fromDir(pluginPathInPlatformIosDir ,'.framework', false, true);

    if(!frameworkFilesToEmbed.length) return;

    myProj.addBuildPhase(frameworkFilesToEmbed, 'PBXCopyFilesBuildPhase', groupName, myProj.getFirstTarget().uuid, 'frameworks');

    for(var frmFileFullPath of frameworkFilesToEmbed) {
        var justFrameworkFile = path.basename(frmFileFullPath);
        var fileRef = getFileRefFromName(myProj, justFrameworkFile);
        var fileId = getFileIdAndRemoveFromFrameworks(myProj, justFrameworkFile);

        // Adding PBXBuildFile for embedded frameworks
        var file = {
            uuid: fileId,
            basename: justFrameworkFile,
            settings: {
                ATTRIBUTES: ["CodeSignOnCopy", "RemoveHeadersOnCopy"]


        // Adding to Frameworks as well (separate PBXBuildFile)
        var newFrameworkFileEntry = {
            uuid: myProj.generateUuid(),
            basename: justFrameworkFile,

            group: "Frameworks"

    fs.writeFileSync(projectPath, myProj.writeSync());
    console.log('Embedded Frameworks In ' +;

What this hook actually does:

  1. Creates a "Build Phase" named after your plugin id, configured to "Copy Files", destination of that copy is "Frameworks".
  2. Finds and adds your .framework files to the above Build Phase, in turn, embedding it.
  3. Sets an Xcode build property named LD_RUNPATH_SEARCH_PATHS to also look for embedded frameworks in "@executable_path/Frameworks" (That's were the embedded framework is going to be copied to after the "Copy Files"->"Frameworks" Build Phase
  4. Configures the ATTRIBUTES key by setting "CodeSignOnCopy" and "RemoveHeadersOnCopy" for your .framework files.
  5. Removes your .framework files from the FrameworksBuildPhase, it has to be done in order for the "CodeSignOnCopy" to mean anything, without removing it, if you open the project with Xcode, you will not find a checkmark in the build phase that says it will sign it.

Updated 1: hook code, modifications:

  1. The hook automatically finds your .framework files, no need to edit the hook.
  2. Added an important modification, setting ATTRIBUTES "CodeSignOnCopy" and "RemoveHeadersOnCopy" for your .framework files.
  3. Improved the hook to allow it to work in such a case where multiple plugins use this hook.

Update 2

  1. Since my pull request has been accepted, there's no longer a need to install my own fork.
  2. Improved hook code.