Clean Code OSX / Cocoa Development – Setting up CI and unit testing

To start with the tool chain used by clean code development you need a continuous integration server.
Here we install Jenkins on OS X (Lion) for Cocoa development (including unit testing of course).

Prerequisites: Xcode 4 and Java 1.6 installed

To start with the tool chain used by clean code development you need a continuous integration server.
Here we install Jenkins on OS X (Lion) for Cocoa development (including unit testing of course).

Installing Jenkins

Installing Jenkins is easy if you have homebrew installed:

brew update
brew install jenkins

and start it:

java -jar /usr/local/Cellar/jenkins/1.454/lib/jenkins.war

Open your browser and go to http://localhost:8080.

Installing the Xcode plugin

Click on Manage Jenkins -> Manage Plugins
and install the following plugins:

  • Git plugin
  • Xcode plugin (not the SICCI one)

Setup Job

On the Jenkins start page navigate to New Job -> Freestyle

Choose Git as your Version control system (or what is appropriate for you). If you want to run a local git build use a file URL, supposing your project is in a directory named MyProject inside your home directory the URL would look like:


Add a Xcode build step under Build -> Add build step -> Xcode
and enter your main target (which is normally your project name)
Target: MyProject
Configuration: Debug

If you got Xcode 4.3 installed you may run into

error: can't exec '/Developer/usr/bin/xcodebuild' (No such file or directory)

First you need to install the Command Line Tools Xcode 4 via Downloads Preference Pane in Xcode (you need a developer account) and run

sudo xcode-select -switch /Applications/

Now you can build your project via Jenkins.

GHUnit Tests

Since we want to do clean code development we need unit tests. Nowadays you have two options: OCUnit or GHUnit. OCUnit is baked into Xcode right from the start and for using it in Jenkins you just create an additional build step with your unit testing target. So why use GHUnit (besides having a legacy project using it)? For me GHUnit has one significant advantage over OCUnit: you can run an individual test. And with some additions and tweaks you have support in Xcode, too.

So if you want to use GHUnit start with installing the Xcode Templates.
In Xcode you select your targets and create a new target via New Target -> Add Target -> GHUnit -> GHUnit OSX Test Bundle with OCMock
This creates a new directory. If you use automatic reference counting (ARC), replace GHUnitTestMain.m with the one from Tae

Copy into UnitTests/Supported Files which copies the file into your UnitTests directory. Make it executable from the terminal with

chmod u+x

In Xcode navigate to your unit test target and in Build Phases add the following under Run Script


In Jenkins add a new Xcode build step to your job with Job -> Configure -> Add Build Step -> Xcode
Enter your unit test target into the Target field, set the configuration to Debug and add the follwing custom xcodebuild arguments:


At the time of this writing there exists a bug that the custom xcodebuild arguments are not persisted after the first run.

At the bottom of the page check Publish JUnit Test Report and enter


Ready to start!

3 thoughts on “Clean Code OSX / Cocoa Development – Setting up CI and unit testing”

  1. Is the Softwareschneiderei now entering the world of Objective-C/Cocoa? Am I interpreting this correctly? I somehow can’t believe it…

    Well – then: Welcome.

  2. Hi Christian,
    yes, we are investing in OSX development. This shouldn’t surprise you if you remember that we are polyglot pragmatics.
    But thanks for the welcome.

  3. Hi Daniel,

    funny to see that I decided to set this up for my work now and the first thing I’m hitting is your blog. Thanks for the great guide!

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