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Building for Apple Platforms

build_xcframework.py creates an xcframework supporting a variety of Apple platforms.

You'll need the following to run these steps:

You can then run build_xcframework.py, as below:

cd ~/<my_working_directory>
python opencv/platforms/apple/build_xcframework.py --out ./build_xcframework

Grab a coffee, because you'll be here for a while. By default this builds OpenCV for 8 architectures across 4 platforms:

If everything's fine, you will eventually get opencv2.xcframework in the output directory.

The script has some configuration options to exclude platforms and architectures you don't want to build for. Use the --help flag for more information.

How it Works

This script generates a fat .framework for each platform you specify, and stitches them together into a .xcframework. This file can be used to support the same architecture on different platforms, which fat .frameworks don't allow. To build the intermediate .frameworks, build_xcframework.py leverages the build_framework.py scripts in the ios and osx platform folders.

Passthrough Arguments

Any arguments that aren't recognized by build_xcframework.py will be passed to the platform-specific build_framework.py scripts. The --without flag mentioned in the examples is an example of this in action. For more info, see the --help info for those scripts.


You may override the defaults by specifying a value for any of the *_archs flags. For example, if you want to build for arm64 on every platform, you can do this:

python build_xcframework.py --out somedir --iphoneos_archs arm64 --iphonesimulator_archs arm64 --macos_archs arm64 --catalyst_archs arm64

If you want to build only for certain platforms, you can supply the --build_only_specified_archs flag, which makes the script build only the archs you directly ask for. For example, to build only for Catalyst, you can do this:

python build_xcframework.py --out somedir --catalyst_archs x86_64,arm64 --build_only_specified_archs

You can also build without OpenCV functionality you don't need. You can do this by using the --without flag, which you use once per item you want to go without. For example, if you wanted to compile without video or objc, you'd can do this:

python build_xcframework.py --out somedir --without video --without objc

(if you have issues with this, try using =, e.g. --without=video --without=objc, and file an issue on GitHub.)