Package applications via CLI


I’m currenlty trying to package an application and realize that there is no easy way to package an application via the Ionic CLI, or maybe there is one that I don’t know.

Ionic CLI allows us to generate the Xcode project via the ionic build command but we cannot package with it.
I know that Ionic CLI executes behind the scene the cordova CLI.

Is there any reason, limitation that could explain why Ionic CLI doesn’t have a “package” option (running xcrun in case of iOS for example)?

Doing it via a gulp task can be done but then it then won’t be part of the Ionic build workflow I guess.


What do you mean by “package” an app? ionic build creates a package as far as I know.

If you mean create an .ipa have a look at

For Android, the build command generates an APK that is a package. For iOS, it generates an app folder. I guess Cordova doesn’t create an IPA archive because it’s not needed to run the app for development, and for distribution you need a provisioning profile.

My concern is to know why the Ionic CLI doesn’t have a command to execute, in the case of iOS, the xcrun command?

This command could take as a parameter the path to the provisioning profile (or having it by default at the root).

Isn’t this doable?

AFAIK the Ionic CLI just delegates to the Cordova CLI for everything build-related, so it’s probably more of a question for the Cordova project.

Consider that iOS is just one of the supported platforms, so any commands supported by the CLI would need to make sense for all platforms.

Yes you’re right, they are using the cordova CLI. My question was is there any reason why Ionic (or Cordova) doesn’t have a simple command for this?

Maybe the reason why is that as you said, this command couldn’t be for all platform.

I know that there is some kind of tutorial for building a release apk, maybe the same for iOS culd be helpful.

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Hey guys. So yeah having a build command that goes out and gives you a signed ipa file is on our list of things to do. There are some bugs in the command line tools that make this a bit of a pain.

But this should get you in the right direction if you’re looking to setup automated builds/signings


Hi @mhartington,

Your link helped me a lot! I was able to generate my ipa file :smile:

After updating the PackageApplication source (your link above), I run the commande ionic build ios --device and then the xcrun command.
Without the --device argument I was giving the error code object is not signed at all.

Hope it will help others

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