How to generate .ipa file from command line with watchkit app

I have a jenkins instance that does a release build using xcodebuild. I then have a script (on Jenkins) to create the .ipa file using xcrun. this worked fine for us until now. Now we have a watchkit app and the .ipa file that is created from this process is not the same as the one that is created if you do an archive build and export it from Xcode.

The exported .ipa from Xcode has a ‘Payload’ folder, a ‘Symbols’ folder (probably optional) and a ‘WatchKitSupport’ folder. The ipa generated from the xcrun doesnt have the ‘Symbols’ or the ‘WatchKitSupport’ folder. See more about the structure here :

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  • 2 Solutions collect form web for “How to generate .ipa file from command line with watchkit app”

    Exact problem

    xcodebuild -exportArchive cannot make valid IPA with Watch Extension, it’s an Apple bug (

    Official (Xcode 7) solution

    Apple solved this problem in Xcode 7 with the -exportOptionsPlist flag of the xcodebuild -exportArchive command. You can find more details about it in this article.

    Not-official (Xcode 6) solutions

    There are workarounds for the problem. If it’s urgent then you can play with them, but I couldn’t find a workaround which was working for everybody (based on forum discussions).

    1. Adding WatchKitSupport and Symbols folders. More details here and here. It was not working for me.
    2. Resigning the whole application. More details here. It’s hacky, but working better than the previously mentioned solution.

    I too faced the same issue. The command line tool exportArchive misses the required Watchkit support folders while exporting the archive to ipa. I tried figured it out using the below shell script.

    You can call the above shellscript from your Jenkins buildscript like below.

    <exec executable="/bin/bash" failonerror="true">
                <arg value="${root.dir}/buildscripts/" />
                <arg value="${build.dir}/APP_NAME.xcarchive" />
                <arg value="${build.dir}/APP_NAME.ipa" />

    Now You will be able to see the WatchKit support folder in your ipa payload and your appstore app validation will also get succeeded using the generated Jenkins build.

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