• # Gohar Aslam
  • # App Development
  • # 15 December, 2023

How to develop iOS apps on Linux?

develop iOS apps on Linux

The global smartphone market is expected to grow in the next few years. The increasing demand for high-quality apps from consumers worldwide will drive this growth. The global mobile app development industry estimates revenue will reach $935.2 billion in 2023. Likewise, the Apple App Store expects revenue growth of around $96 billion by 2023. It currently boasts 1.96 million apps available for download. If you want to develop iOS apps, this article will answer key questions relevant to iOS apps.

iOS apps are top-rated, and they are developed on platforms like Xcode. Xcode is an integrated development environment (IDE) created by Apple. It is used to develop Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV software. This article lists some key ways and methods of developing iOS apps on Linux using appropriate tools.

1. Virtual Machine

A virtual machine is a customized software segment that allows you to transfer the macOS on your Linux system virtually. The two most preferred types of virtual machines are VirtualBox and VMware Workstation. 

VirtualBox is used primarily across large-size tech enterprises. The installation process is simple and fast. You require a MacOS image, which you can obtain through an online search. You can alter settings like the hard drive space and memory according to your requirements. 

It allows you to install and run Xcode smoothly, making you feel like you’re working on a Mac system. You can also install iPhone and iPad simulators for consistent operations. Although virtual ports might sometimes require some configuration for the iOS device testing.

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2. Sandbox or Dual Boot Machine

Sandbox will assist you in the installation of Linux as well as macOS. You can access MacOS specifications on your system and develop Swift. Sandbox is a reliable ecosystem that permits you to develop codes for a specific platform. You can develop iOS apps on Linux through leading Sandbox sources such as osx86project.org, iSwift.org, Objectivec2Swift, and Online.SwitftPlayground.Run and Jdoodle. 

3. React Native

React Native is a mobile application development framework. It allows developers to build natively rendered mobile applications using JavaScript and the React framework. Being an open-source project it is maintained by Facebook. It is widely used to develop Android and iOS mobile applications. React Native uses the same design as React, allowing developers to build rich mobile user interfaces using declarative components. It also enables developers to use native device capabilities. These include the camera or the GPS, third-party plugins, or custom native modules.

4. Flutter

You can also use Flutter to build iOS apps on Linux. Flutter is a mobile app development framework created by Google. It allows you to build cross-platform Android, iOS, and web applications. To start with Flutter on Linux, you must install Flutter SDK and Android Studio or Visual Studio Code. The Flutter SDK is the main Flutter development kit, which includes the Flutter engine, widgets, and tools. The Android Studio is one of the IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) to write and debug your Flutter apps. Once you install these tools, you can create a new Flutter project and build your iOS app. You will also need a Mac to run the iOS Simulator develop, and deploy your app to actual iOS devices.

5. Xamarin 

Xamarin is a cross-platform development platform. It allows you to make iOS apps on Linux, Android, and Windows with a single codebase. Using C# as the primary programming language, it uses the .NET framework to access native APIs and features on each platform. 

To develop iOS apps with Xamarin, you will require a Mac computer with the latest OS and Xamarin tools. You can then use Xamarin in Visual Studio or Xamarin Studio to create a new iOS project. You can also design your user interface and add code to handle user input and other functionality.

After completion, you can use Xamarin to build and test the app on a simulator or a physical device. Before deployment, sign up for the Apple Developer Program and use Xamarin to create an App Store submission package.

6. Ionic

Ionic is a popular framework for building mobile applications using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript web technologies. It is built on top of Cordova, a framework that enables developers to package web applications as native mobile apps. It allows you to use your web skills to build apps that run on Android and iOS.

To develop an iOS app using Ionic, you must set up a development environment on your Mac. It must be connected with the Xcode integrated development environment (IDE) and the iOS SDK. You must also install Cordova and the Ionic framework and set up the necessary tools and dependencies. Now, you can use Ionic to build a new app or convert an existing web application into a mobile one. You can then use Xcode to run and test your app on an iOS device or emulator.

Ionic provides a set of UI components and tools that make building high-quality, cross-platform mobile apps easy. It supports many features and functionality, including push notifications, camera access, and offline support. With Ionic, you can build fast, reliable, and user-friendly apps and quickly deploy them to the App Store.

7. Cross-Platform Tools

You can also choose the correct cross-platform development tools to create functional apps like Wikipedia. It has prompted businesses to develop their open-source library. It enables developers to code iOS apps using various platforms like ReactNative, Xamarian, Ionic, Cordova, Appcelerator, and Flutter.

8. Dual Boot – Hackintosh 

Your Linux machine allows you to install macOS, and your device can run two operating systems – it is dual-booting. You can create a double boot-Hackintosh machine using the following sites – hackintosh.com, tonymacx86.com, and reddit.com/r/hackintosh. Although Hackintosh is easy to install, keeping it up to date is pretty complex. 

9. Third-party cross-platform solutions

Third-party cross-platform solutions are popular. Large-scale enterprises have pooled resources to develop open-source libraries to code iOS in various languages. Some of the leading ones in the market are React Native, Xamarin, and Flutter. These libraries offer advantages such as coding in your favorite language. However, cross-platform solutions could be better if you prefer the latest updated versions. Besides, updating these frameworks will take Apple’s new feature releases weeks.


Which IDE is used to develop an iOS app?

Xcode is the official Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for developing iOS apps. It is a tool for developing macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS software. Xcode includes a source code editor, a graphical user interface editor, and many other features to develop iOS apps.

Can you make an iOS app with HTML?

No, you cannot make an iOS app solely with HTML. iOS apps must be written in a native programming language like Swift or Objective-C. However, it is possible to use a combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create a hybrid web app to be deployed to the App Store.

Senior Content Writer
Gohar Aslam
Coding Pixel

Gohar is a seasoned IT writer specializing in leading technologies. He holds a Diploma and Bachelor's degree from the University of London, with professional experience spanning over five years in the IT sector. His expertise involves a keen focus on mobile applications, web apps, blockchain, content management systems, e-commerce, and fintech. Beyond the professional field, Gohar is an avid reader and reads extensively about emerging and innovative technologies.