Compiling ScummVM/iPhone

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This page explains how to compile your own version of ScummVM for iOS based devices (iPhone/iPad). See also Compiling ScummVM/macOS.

Using Xcode

You can compile ScummVM with the official tools from Apple. This is the recommended way to compile ScummVM, and the only one which makes it possible to run ScummVM on a non-jailbroken iPhone or iPad devices!


You will need:

  • a macOS computer
  • Xcode (you can get it for free from the Mac App Store)
  • A developer account. You can create one for free using your Apple ID (the same one used for iCloud or the Mac App Store) on the Apple Developer Member Center.
  • iOS libraries used by ScummVM. There is a link to a convenient package below in the build instruction.

Note: with a free developer account iOS App that you build will only be valid for 7 days and you will thus need to recompile and reinstall them each week.

Creating the Xcode project

Clone the ScummVM repository from GitHub to get the source code:

git clone

Generate the create_project tool:

cd scummvm/devtools/create_project/xcode

Note: you may need to run xcodebuild with sudo the first time ('sudo xcodebuild') if the Xcode command line tools are not yet installed. Command line tools can also be installed from Xcode or using 'sudo xcode-select --install'

Create a build directory. The commands below will create it at the same level as the scummvm directory:

cd ../../../..
mkdir build
cd build

Download the iOS libraries package and extract them in the build directory:

unzip ~/Downloads/

Generate Xcode project and open it. Assuming you created the build folder at the same level as the scummvm directory, the command would be:

../scummvm/devtools/create_project/xcode/build/Release/create_project ../scummvm --xcode --enable-fluidsynth --disable-nasm --disable-opengl --disable-theora --disable-taskbar --disable-tts

If you created the build folder somewhere else (for example inside the scummvm directory) you will need to adapt the path to scummvm in the command above.

At this point your build directory should contain:

  • a generated engines directory
  • a generated scummvm.xcodeproj project
  • an include directory
  • a lib directory

You are now ready to compile ScummVM. First open the project in Xcode:

open scummvm.xcodeproj

Note: you can also double-click on the scummvm.xcodeproj file in the Finder to open it with Xcode.

Compile and Deploy

In Xcode you need to configure the scummvm project:

  • Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac.
  • Select your iOS device (iPhone or iPad) at the top of the window (in the title bar where initially an iOS simulator, such as iPhone 11, would be selected).
  • In the project General settings you need to specify a unique Bundle Identifier (for example org.yourname.scummvm).
  • You need to configure the ``Signing`` settings. Add an account by using your Apple ID if needed and then select it.
  • You may need to disable bitcode generation in the build settings. This should already be disabled by default when you make a build specifically for your device, but it is enabled by default when you build for a Generic iOS Device.

Then click on the Play button in the top left of the window to start the build. The App will be automatically installed on your device at the end of the build.

TODO: Add a bit more details.

There are some outdated instructions on this blog that may still be useful as it is illustrated and has more details.

Using the command line

For jailbroken devices, it is also possible to compile the project from command line. You'll need a working toolchain, and some tools, like ldid, to fake the code signature.

Here is a script to download, and compile all the required tools. This script has been wrote for Debian 8.2, and should be run as root.


if [ $UID -ne 0 ]; then
	echo "This script should be run by the root user"
	exit 1

# Install the Clang compiler
apt-get install -y clang-3.4 libclang-3.4-dev llvm-3.4 libtool bison flex automake subversion git pkg-config wget libssl-dev uuid-dev libxml2-dev || exit 1

# Add LLVM to the linker library path
echo /usr/lib/llvm-3.4/lib > /etc/

# Add symlinks for the LLVM headers
ln -s /usr/lib/llvm-3.4/bin/llvm-config /usr/bin/llvm-config || exit 1
ln -s /usr/include/llvm-3.4/llvm /usr/include/llvm || exit 1
ln -s /usr/include/llvm-c-3.4/llvm-c /usr/include/llvm-c || exit 1
ln -s /usr/bin/clang-3.4 /usr/bin/clang || exit 1
ln -s /usr/bin/clang++-3.4 /usr/bin/clang++ || exit 1

# Build the linker
svn checkout || exit 1
cd cctools-porting
sed -i'' 's/proz -k=20  --no-curses/wget/g'
./ || exit 1

cd cctools-855-ld64-236.3
./ || exit 1
./configure --prefix=/usr/local --target=arm-apple-darwin11 || exit 1
make || exit 1
make install || exit 1
cd ../..

# Install ios-tools
wget || exit 1
tar xzf iphonesdk-utils-2.0.tar.gz
cd iphonesdk-utils-2.0
patch -p0 <<_EOF
*** genLocalization2/getLocalizedStringFromFile.cpp    2015-04-02 04:45:39.309837816 +0530
--- genLocalization2/getLocalizedStringFromFile.cpp    2015-04-02 04:45:11.525700021 +0530
*** 113,115 ****
      clang::HeaderSearch headerSearch(headerSearchOptions,
-                                      fileManager,
--- 113,115 ----
      clang::HeaderSearch headerSearch(headerSearchOptions,
+                                      sourceManager,
*** 129,134 ****
-     clang::HeaderSearch headerSearch(fileManager,
-                                      pTargetInfo);
      ApplyHeaderSearchOptions(headerSearch, headerSearchOptions, languageOptions, pTargetInfo->getTriple());
--- 129,134 ----
+     clang::HeaderSearch headerSearch(fileManager);/*,
+                                      pTargetInfo);*/
      ApplyHeaderSearchOptions(headerSearch, headerSearchOptions, languageOptio

./ || exit 1
CC=clang CXX=clang++ ./configure --prefix=/usr/local || exit 1
make || exit 1
make install || exit 1

# Install the iOS SDK 8.1
mkdir -p /usr/share/ios-sdk
cd /usr/share/ios-sdk
wget || exit 1
tar xjf iPhoneOS8.1.sdk.tbz2
rm iPhoneOS8.1.sdk.tbz2

Now, in order to compile ScummVM, execute the following commands:

export SDKROOT=/usr/share/ios-sdk/iPhoneOS8.1.sdk
export CC=ios-clang
export CXX=ios-clang++
./configure --host=ios7 --disable-mt32emu --enable-release
make ios7bundle

At the end of the compilation, you'll find a application: copy it over SSH, and reboot your device.


Please note binaries generated with these instructions only work with jailbroken devices.

Toolchain Setup


First you need to set up a toolchain for cross-compilation. On our buildbot we use this toolchain. It is based on LLVM/Clang and contains instructions on how to set it up.

External libs

In the previously linked toolchain a script to compile all libraries used by the iOS version of ScummVM is contained. Please refer to the toolchain's README file on how to build them.

Building ScummVM


Before we can compile ScummVM we need to configure the source tree for building. This is usually only required once or when you want to alter build options.

Choosing an iOS target

We feature two different iOS backends:

  • iphone: Our legacy iOS backend, which supports all iOS3+ devices.
  • ios7: Our modern iOS7+ backend, which only supports iOS7+ devices but features better integration for these.

Depending on which backend you use you will need to use a different value for the TARGET environment variable.

  • For iphone use:
export TARGET=arm-apple-darwin9
  • For ios7 use:
export TARGET=arm-apple-darwin11

Setting up the Environment

export CPPFLAGS="-isystem $IOS_TOOLCHAIN_BASE/$TARGET/usr/include"

Where IOS_TOOLCHAIN_BASE contains the directory where you installed the toolchain. And TRAGET has been setup from the previous step.

NOTE: If you quit the shell you are using when configuring ScummVM and pick up compilation later, you will need to re-export only the PATH variable like described above.

Configuring the Build

Then configure ScummVM for the iOS version you want to target.

First, navigate to a path where you want your build files to be located (this can be the ScummVM root directory but does not have to be). Then run the following:

./path/to/scummvm/configure --host=ios7 --with-staticlib-prefix=$IOS_TOOLCHAIN_BASE/$TARGET/usr

Replace ios7 with iphone if you want to build the older version of our iOS backend.


You can compile ScummVM with running make:

make iphone

If you simply want to test whether changes you made compile but do not plan to use the binary for deployment you can also simply run make.

Please note that if you want to deploy ScummVM on your iOS device you will need to generate a bundle file. For this run either:

make ios7bundle

for the ios7 backend. Or

make iphonebundle

for the iphone backend.

Then simply upload the whole directory to your device under the /Applications folder, and you're done!