Fips provides easy cross-compiling support to the following platforms:

Cross-compilation to iOS is only supported on the OSX host platform. All other target platforms are supported on all 3 host platforms (OSX, Linux, Windows).

Setting up the platform SDKs

Fips provides simple commands to setup the SDKs for Android and emscripten:

> ./fips setup emscripten
> ./fips setup android

This will download, unpack and setup the respective SDKs into a directory fips-sdks next to the fips directory.

NOTE: there is currently no way to use an SDK installed to another location

You should also run ‘fips diag tools’ to make sure that all required tools are in the path:

> ./fips diag tools

Testing cross-compilation

Cross-compilation requires a portable code base, in the case of Android this is a bit non-trivial (e.g. the canonical C ‘Hello World’ doesn’t work). Let’s use the Oryol 3D engine for testing:

> ./fips clone oryol
> cd ../oryol

First let’s try whether emscripten compilation works:

> ./fips set config emsc-make-release
> ./fips build
> ./fips run Triangle

The last command should open the default web browser and a local http server. It may be necessary to refresh the page in case the http server needs too long to start.

Same for Android, note that Android provides 3 types of config, one for each CPU type.

> ./fips build android-make-release
> ./fips build androidx86-make-release
> ./fips build androidmips-make-release

> NOTE: Android MIPS is not yet fully supported on Oryol!

Finally iOS: this works a bit differently since iOS compiling and debugging works best directly in Xcode. Instead of a command line build, we only generate the Xcode project files, and then start Xcode:

> ./fips set config ios-xcode-debug
> ./fips set iosteam XYZW123456
> ./fips gen
> ./fips open

Note the ./fips set iosteam XYZW123456 before the first call to ./fips gen. This sets the iOS Development Team ID for each target in the Xcode project, so you don’t need to do this manually each time you generate the solution. The team id will be written to the local file .fips-settings.yml in the project directory, so you only need to do this once before the first ./fips gen.

You can lookup your team id on the Apple Developer web site:

Once in Xcode, the samples can be compiled and debugged either in the simulator or on a real device (provided Xcode is properly setup for iOS development).

Under the hood

Cross-compiling currently has a few caveats:

  • it is currently not possible to use existing SDKs in other filesystem locations
  • the emscripten SDK always uses the incoming branch, not the master branch
  • for Android, ‘universal binaries’ containing ARM, X86 and MIPS binaries are currently not supported

Cross-compiling build settings are defined in cmake toolchain files in:

  • fips/cmake-toolchains/android.toolchain.cmake
  • fips/cmake-toolchains/emscripten.toolchain.cmake
  • fips/cmake-toolchains/ios.toolchain.cmake

Fips projects can override these standard toolchain files, or define completely new toolchain files, by creating a directory named ‘fips-files/toolchains’ in the project root directory, and placing cmake toolchain files there.

Fips will search for toolchain files in the following order:

  • first in the current project
  • then in imported projects
  • finally in the fips directory

With this search order, fips projects can either override fips’ standard toolchain files, or toolchain files provided by imported projects.

Fips build configs can support completely new platforms by setting the cmake-toolchain attribute to the name of a custom toolchain file.

For some target platforms, cmake generates additional files during the cmake run:

On Android, a Java wrapper application directory and AndroidManifest.xml file is created (see fips/cmake/fips_android.cmake).

On iOS, a .plist file is generated (see fips/cmake/fips_osx.cmake).