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A Swift wrapper around glib-2.x that is largely auto-generated from gobject-introspection
.package(url: "https://github.com/rhx/SwiftGLib.git", from: "2.68.0")


A Swift wrapper around glib-2.x that is largely auto-generated from gobject-introspection. For up to date (auto-generated) reference documentation, see https://rhx.github.io/SwiftGLib/

macOS 11 build macOS 10.15 build Ubuntu 20.04 build Ubuntu 18.04 build

What is new?

Version 12 of gir2swift pulls in PR#10, addressing several issues:

  • Improvements to the Build experience and LSP rhx/SwiftGtk#34
  • Fix issues with LLDB rhx/SwiftGtk#39
  • Controversial: Implicitly marks all declarations named "priv" as if they had attribute private=1
  • Prevents all "Private" records from generating unless generated in their instance record
    • -a option generates all records
  • Introduces CI
  • For Class metadata types no longer generates class wrappers. Ref structs now contain static method which returnes the GType of the class and instance of the Class metatype wrapped in the Ref struct.
  • Adds final class GWeak where T could be any Ref struct of a type which supports ARC. This class is a property wrapper which contains weak reference to any instance of T. This is especially beneficial for capture lists.
  • Adds support for weak observation.
  • Constructors and factories of GObjectInitiallyUnowned classes now consume floating reference upon initialisation as advised by the GObject documentation

Partially implemented:

Other Notable changes

Version 11 introduces a new type system into gir2swift, to ensure it has a representation of the underlying types. This is necessary for Swift 5.3 onwards, which requires more stringent casts. As a consequence, accessors can accept and return idiomatic Swift rather than underlying types or pointers. This means that a lot of the changes will be source-breaking for code that was compiled against libraries built with earlier versions of gir2swift.

  • Parameters use idiomatic Swift names (e.g. camel case instead of snake case, splitting out of "for", "from", etc.)
  • Requires Swift 5.2 or later
  • Wrapper code is now @inlinable to enable the compiler to optimise away most of the wrappers
  • Parameters and return types use more idiomatic Swift (e.g. Ref wrappers instead of pointers, Int instead of gint, etc.)
  • Functions that take or return records now are templated instead of using the type-erased Protocol
  • ErrorType has been renamed GLibError to ensure it neither clashes with Swift.Error nor the GLib.ErrorType scanner enum
  • Parameters or return types for records/classes now use the corresponding, lightweight Swift Ref wrapper instead of the underlying pointer



To build, you need at least Swift 5.2 (Swift 5.3+ should work fine), download from https://swift.org/download/ -- if you are using macOS, make sure you have the command line tools installed as well). Test that your compiler works using swift --version, which should give you something like

$ swift --version
Apple Swift version 5.3.2 (swiftlang-1200.0.45 clang-1200.0.32.28)
Target: x86_64-apple-darwin20.3.0

on macOS, or on Linux you should get something like:

$ swift --version
Swift version 5.3.2 (swift-5.3.2-RELEASE)
Target: x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu

GLib 2.56 or higher

These Swift wrappers have been tested with glib-2.56, 2.58, 2.60, 2.62, 2.64, 2.66, and 2.68. They should work with higher versions, but YMMV. Also make sure you have gobject-introspection and its .gir files installed.



On Ubuntu 16.04, 18.04, and 20.04 you can use the glib that comes with the distribution. Just install with the apt package manager:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install libglib2.0-dev glib-networking gobject-introspection libgirepository1.0-dev libxml2-dev jq

On Fedora 29, you can use the gtk that comes with the distribution. Just install with the dnf package manager:

sudo dnf install glib2-devel gobject-introspection-devel libxml2-devel jq


On macOS, you can install glib using HomeBrew (for setup instructions, see http://brew.sh):

brew update
brew install glib glib-networking gobject-introspection pkg-config jq


Normally, you don't build this package directly (but for testing you can - see 'Building' below). Instead you need to embed SwiftGLib into your own project using the Swift Package Manager. After installing the prerequisites (see 'Prerequisites' below), add SwiftGLib as a dependency to your Package.swift file, e.g.:

// swift-tools-version:5.3

import PackageDescription

let package = Package(name: "MyPackage",
    dependencies: [
        .package(name: "gir2swift", url: "https://github.com/rhx/gir2swift.git", .branch("main")),
        .package(name: "GLib", url: "https://github.com/rhx/SwiftGLib.git", .branch("main")),
    targets: [.target(name: "MyPackage", dependencies: ["GLib"])]


Normally, you don't build this package directly, but you embed it into your own project (see 'Usage' above). However, you can build and test this module separately to ensure that everything works. Make sure you have all the prerequisites installed (see above). After that, you can simply clone this repository and build the command line executable (be patient, this will download all the required dependencies and take a while to compile) using

git clone https://github.com/rhx/SwiftGLib.git
cd SwiftGLib
swift build
swift test

Please note that on macOS, due to a bug in the Swift Package Manager prior to Swift 5.4, if you have Xcode-12.4 or older, you need to pass in the build flags manually, i.e. instead of swift build and swift test you can run

swift build `./run-gir2swift.sh flags -noUpdate`
swift test  `./run-gir2swift.sh flags -noUpdate`


On macOS, you can build the project using Xcode instead. To do this, you need to create an Xcode project first, then open the project in the Xcode IDE:

open GLib.xcodeproj

After that, use the (usual) Build and Test buttons to build/test this package.


You can find reference documentation inside the docs folder. This was generated using the jazzy tool. If you want to generate your own documentation, matching your local installation, you can use the generate-documentation.sh script in the repository. Make sure you have sourcekitten and jazzy installed, e.g. on macOS:

brew install sourcekitten
sudo gem install jazzy


Here are some common errors you might encounter and how to fix them.

Old Swift toolchain or Xcode

If you get an error such as

$ ./build.sh 
error: unable to invoke subcommand: /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer/Toolchains/XcodeDefault.xctoolchain/usr/bin/swift-package (No such file or directory)

this probably means that your Swift toolchain is too old. Make sure the latest toolchain is installed (see above).

If you get an older version, make sure that the right version of the swift compiler is found first in your PATH. On macOS, use xcode-select to select and install the latest version, e.g.:

sudo xcode-select -s /Applications/Xcode.app
xcode-select --install

Known Issues

  • When building, a lot of warnings appear. This is largely an issue with automatic RawRepresentable conformance in the Swift Standard library. As a workaround, you can turn this off by passing the -Xswiftc -suppress-warnings parameter when building.

  • The current build system does not support directory paths with spaces (e.g. the My Drive directory used by Google Drive File Stream).

  • BUILD_DIR is not supported in the current build system.

As a workaround, you can use the old build scripts, e.g. ./build.sh (instead of run-gir2swift.sh and swift build) to build a package.


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