Using Unreleased Features

<Using Unreleased Features

There may be times when you may want to test an upcoming feature in CocoaPods. At times code for such features may be already available in a 'feature branch'. This document is based on an existing Pull Request which can/will change with time, as such it may be out of date slightly.

<Two Options

Use a Gemfile

This isn't covered in this guide, but instead in Using a Gemfile. This is a simpler technique, but requires you to remember to use bundle exec before running any pod command.

Set up a local dev copy of CocoaPods

The technique to run a branch version of CocoaPods is:

  • Install Bundler if not already installed (installation instructions can be found at
  • Clone a copy of CocoaPods locally.
  • Check out the version to the branch you want.
  • Run bundle install to get CocoaPods set up.
  • Use the full path to the new pod binary, instead of the one installed via rubygems.

Then when you want to update you go back to that local install and run git pull, then bundle install again.

<Real world walk-through

Let's use @mrackwitz's Swift Pull Request CocoaPods#2835 as a example. Note, the swift branch does not exist anymore. You can see all the current branches here.

Clone a local copy

By looking at the subheading mrackwitz wants to merge 85 commits into master from swift you can infer that this pull request comes from a branch on the CocoaPods repo. If it looked like Pull Request CocoaPods#2880 ([...] CocoaPods:master from samdmarshall:xclegacy-build-setting-build-dir-fix) then you could see that it comes from the samdmarshall fork and you would need to clone from that repo.

Cloning a local copy

cd projects/cocoapods/
git clone

Check out the branch, and run bundle install

This is easy for our pull request, we first need to cd in to the new folder :

cd CocoaPods
git checkout swift
bundle install

Using the new version as your pod command

The new pod command lives in the git repo you have just cloned. It can be found in the bin folder.

To get the full path of the command for CocoaPods run:

echo $(pwd)"/bin/pod"
# e.g. /Users/orta/spiel/ruby/CocoaPods/bin/pod

This is the command you can use to run the branch version of CocoaPods:

cd ~/projects/dev/eidolon
/Users/orta/spiel/ruby/CocoaPods/bin/pod install

Aliasing the command

The terminal supports using aliases as a way of reducing the length of commands. The default terminal shell is called bash, if you'd like to learn how to set a bash alias I would recommend reading this StackOverflow. You can create an alias like spod that uses this folder:

alias spod='/Users/orta/spiel/ruby/CocoaPods/bin/pod'

This means you can instead run spod install to use your custom version of CocoaPods.

Alternative options

Another option is to use Bundler ( CocoaPods for ruby projects ) to maintain your own fork/branches, this is a better option if you are in a team and want to ensure consistency within developers. See CocoaPods Is Ready for Swift for an example of how to do this.