How to do iOS Development on Linux: Possible Ways to Build an iOS App on Linux

Peter Martinez updated on 2020-09-25 17:19:49

If you think that a Mac is needed to work on Swift or create an iOS app, then this would be a must-read guide for you. While iOS apps are extremely popular, they can be developed on other platforms like Linux or Windows as well. Due to their open-source features, Linux versions are popular in app development. The best thing is that you can work on iOS development on Linux by using the right tools. In this post, I will let you know how to develop an iOS app on Linux in different ways.

How to Work on iOS Development on Linux: 3 Possible Solutions

Even if you don't own a Mac, you can work on iOS development on Ubuntu by using third-party tools (like a sandbox or a virtual machine). I would recommend the following solutions to develop iOS apps on Linux.

Method 1: Use a Virtual Machine

In nutshell, a virtual machine is a dedicated software component that would let you load the macOS on your Linux system virtually. Two of the popular virtual machines for macOS that you can further explore are VirtualBox and VMware WorkStation.

ios development on linux

Source: Mano

Once you have installed a virtual machine supporting macOS, you can simulate it on your Linux system. Later, you can use Xcode and an iOS simulator to build an iOS app on Linux.

Method 2: Use Sandbox or a Dual Boot Machine

With the help of a Sandbox, you can install both Linux and macOS on your system. Instead of a virtual machine, you can access all the features of macOS and can easily develop Swift on Linux. A Sandbox is a trusted and sealed environment that is used to develop or text codes for a particular platform.

develop ios apps on linux

Source: Akamai

Here are some of the popular sources that can help you develop an iOS app on Linux via Sandbox (or a dual boot machine).

  • Objectivec2Swift
  • Online.SwitftPlayground.Run
  • Jdoodle

Most of these tools will let you create a restricted environment on your Linux that can be used to develop and test iOS apps easily.

Method 3: Use Cross-platform Solutions

The best way to do iOS development on Linux is by using cross-platform solutions that would run similarly on both Linux and Mac. For instance, using a reliable cross-platform tool, you can do the entire iOS development on Ubuntu and can later deploy results on a Mac.

Some of the popular options that are used to build an iOS app on Linux would be as follows:

  • React Native
  • PhoneGap
  • Ionic
  • Cordova
  • Flutter
  • Appcelerator
  • Xamarin

Out of all the options, React Native and Flutter are considered as the most reliable ways to develop Swift on Linux. Flutter is owned by Google while React Native is a resourceful tool by Facebook. These cross-platform tools have dedicated Swift code libraries that would help you develop iOS apps in your preferred language and platform.

build ios app on linux

Source: Codemagic

Later, you can even take the assistance of Apple TestFlight to test the functioning of your iOS app on Linux easily.

The Best Tool to do iOS App Designing on Linux

Now when you know about the iOS development on Linux, let's talk about the overall design of your apps. For this, you can take the assistance of a professional tool like Wondershare Mockitt. Having dedicated app designing features, it will save your time and would also yield better results.

  • On Mockitt, you can find hundreds of widgets, vectors, and templates to make your app designing job easier.
  • There is a dedicated resource for iOS widgets that you can import to your canvas and work on your app's design.
  • Since Mockitt is a web-based solution, you can use it on Linux or any other platform without any compatibility issues.
  • You can also upload your work to the cloud, share it with your team, and collaborate with them seamlessly.
  • There are dedicated options to maintain different versions of your project and even assign roles to your colleagues online.
ios development on ubuntu

To come up with the stunning design of your iOS apps via Mockitt, you can just follow these steps:

Step 1: Enter Details about your Project

To begin with, you can just go to your Mockitt dashboard and click on the "Create" button to work on a new project. You can further select the target perspective for any iOS device.

develop swift on linux

Step 2: Use the Available iOS and other Widgets

Once you get the working canvas on Mockitt, you can view a floating sidebar with a listing of widgets. You can now drag any widget, drop it on your canvas, and customize it as you like.

build ios on linux

There is also a provision to add the iOS widget library to your dashboard. For this, just go to its Libraries > Resources and add the iOS library to your resources.

ios development on linux

After the library is added, you can go to your workspace again and find the iOS widget option under the widgets section.

build ios app on linux

Step 3: Add Dynamic Elements and Links

Similarly, you can also add all kinds of transitions, effects, links, and other dynamic elements. For instance, you can drag and drop a link and connect the widget to the target page from the sidebar.

ios development on ubuntu

As you would add the link, you can go to its properties from the side and change its trigger and action effects.

develop swift on linux

Step 4: Preview and Export your Designs

There you go! Once you are satisfied with your app's design, you can go to the Preview section from the top to check it from a user's perspective.

build ios on linux

There is also a "Handoff" section that you can find at the top of the Mockitt interface. Using it, you can easily export the design of your iOS app in a preferred format.

ios development on linux

After reading this guide, you would be able to develop iOS apps on Linux pretty easily. Even though you do not have a macOS system, you can set up a virtual machine or use a cross-platform tool for iOS development on Ubuntu/Linux. Besides that, you can also take the assistance of Wondershare Mockitt to create the overall design of your iOS apps like a pro. Used by professionals, it an intuitive designing application that can help you create your app's prototype without any hassle.