Podspec Syntax Reference


A specification describes a version of Pod library. It includes details about where the source should be fetched from, what files to use, the build settings to apply, and other general metadata such as its name, version, and description.

A stub specification file can be generated by the pod spec create command.

The specification DSL provides great flexibility and dynamism. Moreover, the DSL adopts the convention over configuration and thus it can be very simple:

Pod::Spec.new do |spec|
  spec.name         = 'Reachability'
  spec.version      = '3.1.0'
  spec.license      = { :type => 'BSD' }
  spec.homepage     = 'https://github.com/tonymillion/Reachability'
  spec.authors      = { 'Tony Million' => '[email protected]' }
  spec.summary      = 'ARC and GCD Compatible Reachability Class for iOS and OS X.'
  spec.source       = { :git => 'https://github.com/tonymillion/Reachability.git', :tag => 'v3.1.0' }
  spec.source_files = 'Reachability.{h,m}'
  spec.framework    = 'SystemConfiguration'

Root specification

A ‘root’ specification stores the information about the specific version of a library.

The attributes in this group can only be written to on the ‘root’ specification, not on the ‘sub-specifications’.

The attributes listed in this group are the only one which are required by a podspec.

The attributes of the other groups are offered to refine the podspec and follow a convention over configuration approach. A root specification can describe these attributes either directly of through ‘sub-specifications’.


The name of the Pod.


spec.name = 'AFNetworking'

Supported Keys:


The version of the Pod. CocoaPods follows semantic versioning.


spec.version = '0.0.1'

Supported Keys:


The version of CocoaPods that the specification supports.


spec.cocoapods_version = '>= 0.36'

Supported Keys:


The name and email addresses of the library maintainers, not the Podspec maintainer.


spec.author = 'Darth Vader'
spec.authors = 'Darth Vader', 'Wookiee'
spec.authors = { 'Darth Vader' => '[email protected]',
                 'Wookiee'     => '[email protected]' }

Supported Keys:


The URL for the social media contact of the Pod, CocoaPods web services can use this.

For example, the @CocoaPodsFeed notifications will include the Twitter handle (shortening the description) if the URL is relative to Twitter. This does not necessarily have to be a Twitter URL, but only those are included in the Twitter @CocoaPodsFeed notifications.


spec.social_media_url = 'https://twitter.com/cocoapods'
spec.social_media_url = 'https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/cocoapods'

Supported Keys:


The license of the Pod.

Unless the source contains a file named LICENSE.* or LICENCE.*, the path of the license file or the integral text of the notice commonly used for the license type must be specified. If a license file is specified, it either must be without a file extensions or be one of txt, md, or markdown.

This information is used by CocoaPods to generate acknowledgement files (markdown and plist) which can be used in the acknowledgements section of the final application.


spec.license = 'MIT'
spec.license = { :type => 'MIT', :file => 'MIT-LICENSE.txt' }
spec.license = { :type => 'MIT', :text => <<-LICENSE
                   Copyright 2012
                   Permission is granted to...

Supported Keys:





The URL of the homepage of the Pod.


spec.homepage = 'http://www.example.com'

Supported Keys:


The location from where the library should be retrieved.


Specifying a Git source with a tag. This is how most OSS Podspecs work.
spec.source = { :git => 'https://github.com/AFNetworking/AFNetworking.git',
                :tag => spec.version.to_s }
Using a tag prefixed with 'v' and submodules.
spec.source = { :git => 'https://github.com/typhoon-framework/Typhoon.git',
                :tag => "v#{spec.version}", :submodules => true }
Using Subversion with a tag.
spec.source = { :svn => "http://svn.code.sf.net/p/polyclipping/code", :tag => '4.8.8' }
Using Mercurial with the same revision as the spec's semantic version string.
spec.source = { :hg => "https://bitbucket.org/dcutting/hyperbek", :revision => "#{s.version}" }
Using HTTP to download a compressed file of the code. It supports zip, tgz, bz2, txz and tar.
spec.source = { :http => "http://dev.wechatapp.com/download/sdk/WeChat_SDK_iOS_en.zip" }
Using HTTP to download a file using a hash to verify the download. It supports sha1 and sha256.
spec.source = { :http => 'http://dev.wechatapp.com/download/sdk/WeChat_SDK_iOS_en.zip',
                :sha1 => '7e21857fe11a511f472cfd7cfa2d979bd7ab7d96' }

Supported Keys:

:git => :tag, :branch, :commit, :submodules

:svn => :folder, :tag, :revision

:hg => :revision

:http => :flatten, :type, :sha256, :sha1



A short (maximum 140 characters) description of the Pod.

The description should be short, yet informative. It represents the tag line of the Pod and there is no need to specify that a Pod is a library (they always are).

The summary is expected to be properly capitalised and containing the correct punctuation.


spec.summary = 'Computes the meaning of life.'

Supported Keys:


A description of the Pod more detailed than the summary.


spec.description = <<-DESC
                     Computes the meaning of life.
                     1. Is self aware
                     42. Likes candies.

Supported Keys:


A list of URLs to images showcasing the Pod. Intended for UI oriented libraries. CocoaPods recommends the usage of the gif format.


spec.screenshot  = "http://dl.dropbox.com/u/378729/MBProgressHUD/1.png"
spec.screenshots = [ "http://dl.dropbox.com/u/378729/MBProgressHUD/1.png",
                     "http://dl.dropbox.com/u/378729/MBProgressHUD/2.png" ]

Supported Keys:


An optional URL for the documentation of the Pod which will be honoured by CocoaPods web properties. Leaving it blank will default to a CocoaDocs generated URL for your library.


spec.documentation_url = 'http://www.example.com/docs.html'

Supported Keys:


A bash script that will be executed after the Pod is downloaded. This command can be used to create, delete and modify any file downloaded and will be ran before any paths for other file attributes of the specification are collected.

This command is executed before the Pod is cleaned and before the Pods project is created. The working directory is the root of the Pod.

If the pod is installed with the :path option this command will not be executed.


spec.prepare_command = 'ruby build_files.rb'
spec.prepare_command = <<-CMD
                        sed -i 's/MyNameSpacedHeader/Header/g' ./**/*.h
                        sed -i 's/MyNameOtherSpacedHeader/OtherHeader/g' ./**/*.h

Supported Keys:


Whether the library has been deprecated.


spec.deprecated = true

Supported Keys:


The name of the Pod that this one has been deprecated in favor of.


spec.deprecated_in_favor_of = 'NewMoreAwesomePod'

Supported Keys:


A specification should indicate the platform and the correspondent deployment targets on which the library is supported.

If not defined in a subspec the attributes of this group inherit the value of the parent.


The platform on which this Pod is supported. Leaving this blank means the Pod is supported on all platforms. When supporting multiple platforms you should use deployment_target below instead.


spec.platform = :osx, "10.8"
spec.platform = :ios
spec.platform = :osx


The minimum deployment targets of the supported platforms.

The following behavior is regarding the use of GCD and the OS_OBJECT_USE_OBJC flag. When set to 0, it will allow code to use dispatch_release() on >= iOS 6.0 and OS X >= 10.8.

  • New libraries that do not require ARC don’t need to care about this issue at all.

  • New libraries that do require ARC and have a deployment target of

    = iOS 6.0 or OS X >= 10.8:

    These no longer use dispatch_release() and should have the OS_OBJECT_USE_OBJC flag set to 1.

    Note: this means that these libraries have to specify the deployment target in their specifications in order to have CocoaPods set the flag to 1 and ensure proper behaviour.

  • New libraries that do require ARC, but have a deployment target of < iOS 6.0 or OS X < 10.8:

    These contain dispatch_release() calls and as such need the OS_OBJECT_USE_OBJC flag set to 0.

    Note: libraries that do not specify a platform version are assumed to have a deployment target of < iOS 6.0 or OS X < 10.8.

    For more information, see: http://opensource.apple.com/source/libdispatch/libdispatch-228.18/os/object.h


spec.ios.deployment_target = "6.0"
spec.osx.deployment_target = "10.8"

Build settings

In this group are listed the attributes related to the configuration of the build environment that should be used to build the library.

If not defined in a subspec the attributes of this group inherit the value of the parent.


Any dependency on other Pods or to a ‘sub-specification’.

Dependencies can specify versions requirements. The use of the optimistic version indicator ~> is recommended because it provides good control over the version without being too restrictive. For example, ~> 1.0.1 is equivalent to >= 1.0.1 combined with < 1.1. Similarly, ~> 1.0 will match 1.0, 1.0.1, 1.1, but will not upgrade to 2.0.

Pods with overly restrictive dependencies limit their compatibility with other Pods.


spec.dependency 'AFNetworking', '~> 1.0'
spec.dependency 'RestKit/CoreData', '~> 0.20.0'
spec.ios.dependency 'MBProgressHUD', '~> 0.5'


requires_arc allows you to specify which source_files use ARC. This can either be the files which support ARC, or true to indicate all of the source_files use ARC.

Files which do not use ARC will have the -fno-objc-arc compiler flag.

The default value of this attribute is true.

Defaults to:

spec.requires_arc = true


spec.requires_arc = false
spec.requires_arc = 'Classes/Arc'
spec.requires_arc = ['Classes/*ARC.m', 'Classes/ARC.mm']

Supported Keys:


A list of system frameworks that the user’s target needs to link against.


spec.ios.framework = 'CFNetwork'
spec.frameworks = 'QuartzCore', 'CoreData'

Supported Keys:


A list of frameworks that the user’s target needs to weakly link against.


spec.weak_framework = 'Twitter'

Supported Keys:


A list of system libraries that the user’s target (application) needs to link against.


spec.ios.library = 'xml2'
spec.libraries = 'xml2', 'z'

Supported Keys:


A list of flags which should be passed to the compiler.


spec.compiler_flags = '-DOS_OBJECT_USE_OBJC=0', '-Wno-format'

Supported Keys:


Any flag to add to the final private pod target xcconfig file.


spec.pod_target_xcconfig = { 'OTHER_LDFLAGS' => '-lObjC' }

Supported Keys:


Specifies flags to add to the final aggregate target xcconfig file, which propagates to non-overridden and inheriting build settings to the integrated user targets.

This attribute is not recommended as Pods should not pollute the build settings of the user project and this can cause conflicts.

Multiple definitions for build settings that take multiple values will be merged. The user is warned on conflicting definitions for custom build settings and build settings that take only one value.

Typically clang compiler flags or precompiler macro definitions go in here if they are required when importing the pod in the user target. Note that, this influences not only the compiler view of the public interface of your pod, but also all other integrated pods alongside to yours. You should always prefer pod_target_xcconfig, which can contain the same settings, but only influence the toolchain when compiling your pod target.


spec.user_target_xcconfig = { 'MY_SUBSPEC' => 'YES' }

Supported Keys:


Any content to inject in the prefix header of the pod project.

This attribute is not recommended as Pods should not pollute the prefix header of other libraries or of the user project.


spec.prefix_header_contents = '#import <UIKit/UIKit.h>'
spec.prefix_header_contents = '#import <UIKit/UIKit.h>', '#import <Foundation/Foundation.h>'

Supported Keys:


A path to a prefix header file to inject in the prefix header of the pod project.

This attribute is not recommended as Pods should not pollute the prefix header of other libraries or of the user project.


spec.prefix_header_file = 'iphone/include/prefix.pch'

Supported Keys:


The name to use for the framework / clang module which will be generated for this specification instead of the default (header_dir if set, otherwise the specification name).


spec.module_name = 'Three20'

Supported Keys:


The directory where to store the headers files so they don't break includes.


spec.header_dir = 'Three20Core'

Supported Keys:


A directory from where to preserve the folder structure for the headers files. If not provided the headers files are flattened.


spec.header_mappings_dir = 'src/include'

Supported Keys:

File patterns

Podspecs should be located at the root of the repository, and paths to files should be specified relative to the root of the repository as well. File patterns do not support traversing the parent directory ( .. ). File patterns may contain the following wildcard patterns:

Pattern: *

Matches any file. Can be restricted by other values in the glob.

  • * will match all files
  • c* will match all files beginning with c
  • *c will match all files ending with c
  • *c* will match all files that have c in them (including at the beginning or end)

Equivalent to /.*/x in regexp.

Note this will not match Unix-like hidden files (dotfiles). In order to include those in the match results, you must use something like {*,.*}.

Pattern: **

Matches directories recursively.

Pattern: ?

Matches any one character. Equivalent to /.{1}/ in regexp.

Pattern: [set]

Matches any one character in set.

Behaves exactly like character sets in Regexp, including set negation ([^a-z]).

Pattern: {p,q}

Matches either literal p or literal q.

Matching literals may be more than one character in length. More than two literals may be specified.

Equivalent to pattern alternation in regexp.

Pattern: \

Escapes the next meta-character.


Consider these to be evaluated in the source root of JSONKit.

"JSONKit.?"    #=> ["JSONKit.h", "JSONKit.m"]
"*.[a-z][a-z]" #=> ["CHANGELOG.md", "README.md"]
"*.[^m]*"      #=> ["JSONKit.h"]
"*.{h,m}"      #=> ["JSONKit.h", "JSONKit.m"]
"*"            #=> ["CHANGELOG.md", "JSONKit.h", "JSONKit.m", "README.md"]


The source files of the Pod.


spec.source_files = "Classes/**/*.{h,m}"
spec.source_files = "Classes/**/*.{h,m}", "More_Classes/**/*.{h,m}"

Supported Keys:


A list of file patterns that should be used as public headers.

These are the headers that will be exposed to the user’s project and from which documentation will be generated. If no public headers are specified then all the headers in source_files are considered public.


spec.public_header_files = "Headers/Public/*.h"

Supported Keys:


A list of file patterns that should be used to mark private headers.

These patterns are matched against the public headers (or all the headers if no public headers have been specified) to exclude those headers which should not be exposed to the user project and which should not be used to generate the documentation.


spec.private_header_files = "Headers/Private/*.h"

Supported Keys:


The paths of the framework bundles that come shipped with the Pod.


spec.ios.vendored_frameworks = 'Frameworks/MyFramework.framework'
spec.vendored_frameworks = 'MyFramework.framework', 'TheirFramework.framework'

Supported Keys:


The paths of the libraries that come shipped with the Pod.


spec.ios.vendored_library = 'Libraries/libProj4.a'
spec.vendored_libraries = 'libProj4.a', 'libJavaScriptCore.a'

Supported Keys:


This attribute allows to define the name and the file of the resource bundles which should be built for the Pod. They are specified as a hash where the keys represent the name of the bundles and the values the file patterns that they should include.

We strongly recommend library developers to adopt resource bundles as there can be name collisions using the resources attribute.

The names of the bundles should at least include the name of the Pod to minimise the chance of name collisions.

To provide different resources per platform namespaced bundles must be used.


spec.ios.resource_bundle = { 'MapBox' => 'MapView/Map/Resources/*.png' }
spec.resource_bundles = {
    'MapBox' => ['MapView/Map/Resources/*.png'],
    'OtherResources' => ['MapView/Map/OtherResources/*.png']

Supported Keys:


A list of resources that should be copied into the target bundle.

We strongly recommend library developers to adopt resource bundles as there can be name collisions using the resources attribute. Moreover, resources specified with this attribute are copied directly to the client target and therefore they are not optimised by Xcode.


spec.resource = "Resources/HockeySDK.bundle"
spec.resources = ["Images/*.png", "Sounds/*"]

Supported Keys:


A list of file patterns that should be excluded from the other file patterns.


spec.ios.exclude_files = "Classes/osx"
spec.exclude_files = "Classes/**/unused.{h,m}"

Supported Keys:


Any file that should not be removed after being downloaded.

By default, CocoaPods removes all files that are not matched by any of the other file pattern.


spec.preserve_path = "IMPORTANT.txt"
spec.preserve_paths = "Frameworks/*.framework"

Supported Keys:


The module map file that should be used when this pod is integrated as a framework.

By default, CocoaPods creates a module map file based upon the public headers in a specification.


spec.module_map = "source/module.modulemap"

Supported Keys:


A library can specify a dependency on either another library, a subspec of another library, or a subspec of itself.


Represents specification for a module of the library.

Subspecs participate on a dual hierarchy.

On one side, a specification automatically inherits as a dependency all it children ‘sub-specifications’ (unless a default subspec is specified).

On the other side, a ‘sub-specification’ inherits the value of the attributes of the parents so common values for attributes can be specified in the ancestors.

Although it sounds complicated in practice it means that subspecs in general do what you would expect:

pod 'ShareKit', '2.0'

Installs ShareKit with all the sharers like ShareKit/Evernote, ShareKit/Facebook, etc, as they are defined as subspecs.

pod 'ShareKit/Twitter',  '2.0'
pod 'ShareKit/Pinboard', '2.0'

Installs ShareKit with only the source files for ShareKit/Twitter, ShareKit/Pinboard. Note that, in this case, the ‘sub-specifications’ to compile need the source files, the dependencies, and the other attributes defined by the root specification. CocoaPods is smart enough to handle any issues arising from duplicate attributes.


Subspecs with different source files.
subspec "Twitter" do |sp|
  sp.source_files = "Classes/Twitter"

subspec "Pinboard" do |sp|
  sp.source_files = "Classes/Pinboard"
Subspecs referencing dependencies to other subspecs.
Pod::Spec.new do |s|
  s.name = 'RestKit'

  s.subspec 'Core' do |cs|
    cs.dependency 'RestKit/ObjectMapping'
    cs.dependency 'RestKit/Network'
    cs.dependency 'RestKit/CoreData'

  s.subspec 'ObjectMapping' do |os|
Nested subspecs.
Pod::Spec.new do |s|
  s.name = 'Root'

  s.subspec 'Level_1' do |sp|
    sp.subspec 'Level_2' do |ssp|


An array of subspecs names that should be used as preferred dependency. If not specified a specifications requires all its subspecs as dependencies.

A Pod should make available the full library by default. Users can fine tune their dependencies, and exclude unneeded subspecs, once their requirements are known. Therefore, this attribute is rarely needed. It is intended to be used to select a default if there are ‘sub-specifications’ which provide alternative incompatible implementations, or to exclude modules rarely needed (especially if they trigger dependencies on other libraries).


spec.default_subspec = 'Core'
spec.default_subspecs = 'Core', 'UI'

Supported Keys:

Multi-Platform support

A specification can store values which are specific to only one platform.

For example one might want to store resources which are specific to only iOS projects.

spec.resources = "Resources/**/*.png"
spec.ios.resources = "Resources_ios/**/*.png"


Provides support for specifying iOS attributes.


spec.ios.source_files = "Classes/ios/**/*.{h,m}"


Provides support for specifying OS X attributes.


spec.osx.source_files = "Classes/osx/**/*.{h,m}"


Provides support for specifying tvOS attributes.


spec.tvos.source_files = "Classes/tvos/**/*.{h,m}"


Provides support for specifying watchOS attributes.


spec.watchos.source_files = "Classes/watchos/**/*.{h,m}"