Xcode 13 regression: Archiving of projects referencing binary packages fails with increasing number of packages

The iOS / tvOS project I am working on could always be successfully archived on our continuous integration / delivery servers running Xcode 12.x, both for internal nightly / beta distribution as well as for TestFlight and App Store Connect. These servers have run all versions of Xcode 12.x and now run 12.5. After our servers were updated to Xcode 13 RC, though, archiving of our application started to fail almost all the time.

By looking at the compilation logs we discovered that this archiving problem occurs when compiling one of our SPM source packages A, which itself uses a binary SPM package B as transitive dependency. The line on which compilation fails is a line in the source code of A where the B.framework is imported, with the error message "Module 'B' not found", indicating that Xcode failed to locate B.framework. I first suspected B.XCFramework might not be available from the local SPM cache for some reason but after verification everything looked normal.

Investigations

To investigate this issue I started from a simple project (Xcode iOS app template), just adding A as SPM dependency (and thus transitively B). To my surprise this simple project could successfully be archived, and reliably. I then started adding other random SPM dependencies from GitHub to this simple project until I found that, when a sufficiently large number of dependencies have been added (~6 additional packages in my case), archiving starts to fail.

The difference can be seen in the compilation logs. When everything works fine (Xcode 12.5 or small number of SPM dependencies), the ProcessXCFramework operation is performed early in the compilation cycle for each involved SPM binary package, making the binaries available to compile packages depending on them. This is what ensures that B.framework is available when the A package is compiled. When too many SPM dependencies are added to the project, though, the ProcessXCFramework step does not appear in the log anymore for some obscure reason, which is why compilation of the A package fails.

Remarks

  • When using Build & run the problem does not seem to happen (this is why we discovered it on our CI servers first, though archiving on a development Mac suffers from the same issues).
  • Similar issues have been reported on the Swift forums (e.g. Use xcodebuild swift package with binaryTarget logic flaw) and might be related.

Workarounds

Enabling Manual order instead of Dependency order in the application scheme build settings fixes the issue. This setting is not recommended, though (a warning sign is displayed) and might not be an option for some projects.

Feedback

This issue was reported to Apple as FB9639952.

Summary

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4 Likes

It's interesting that you didn't have these issues prior to Xcode 13. Multiple people already had issues with binaries and SPM in Xcode 12.5 and earlier. See here: Headers not found for an XCFramework packaging a static lib for iOS (critical). This thread also contains a link to a Bug report.

Your issue seems to be the same or at least related.

Note, the release notes of Xcode 13 contain this in the known issue section:

  • Using Swift packages with binary targets may result in a “no such module” error when attempting to import the module of a binary target. (77465707)

We had "no such module" issues with Xcode 12.x, mostly when building and running the project after switching branches, but usually cleaning Xcode caches would fix them. Otherwise things were running pretty smoothly.

This time, though, the issue was found during the archiving phase only, and cache cleaning workarounds did not help. But I agree with you, all these issues are probably related.

1 Like

We had the unfixable archive errors also in Xcode 12.5 but where able to fix those by moving the binary target in its own standalone Swift package (a package only containing a Package.swift file actually).
Did not try this workaround in Xcode 13 yet tho.

I have a similar issue, but with plain swift packages.
#52271

As written in the Xcode 13.2 beta 2 release notes, issue 77465707 has been fixed.

I checked the issue I reported (9639952) and I can confirm my project is archiving correctly with Xcode 13.2 beta 2.

A great thanks to the SPM team for the fix, you really are doing an awesome job.

2 Likes
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