Libsodium library for iOS

Please refer to this chapter to learn about a Workaround for iOS that can be used if you wish to utilize Stronghold.

The libsodium library is a widely used library for cryptography, offering a variety of functions for encryption, decryption, hashing, signatures, and more.

libsodium-sys is a Rust wrapper around the libsodium library. It provides the necessary Rust bindings and FFI (Foreign Function Interface) declarations to link and interact with the libsodium library from Rust code.

libsodium-sys is a dependency of the stronghold-runtime crate.

It's crucial to grasp that the wrapper (libsodium-sys) inherently includes a snapshot of libsodium and automatically builds it by default, which doesn't work for iOS as we have seen. HOWEVER, you have the option to substitute this bundled version with any precompiled library that you've built independently. This is the task at hand. The environment variables SODIUM_LIB_DIR and SODIUM_SHARED play a pivotal role in this context.

GitHub Repositories

πŸ‘‰ Β  GitHub Repo - libsodium

πŸ‘‰ Β  GitHub Repo - libsodium-sys - Extended usage


These are the three steps:

In Step 1, create the libsodium.a library file for the iOS target.

In Step 2, test the built library by using the environment variables SODIUM_LIB_DIR and SODIUM_SHARED.

In Step 3, include the created libsodium.a in the Runner's build process in Xcode as static library and define SODIUM_LIB_DIR and SODIUM_SHARED in Rust's build phase in Xcode.

Step 1: Create libsodium.a

You'll need to clone the libsodium repository in a new IDE project.

git clone

You will need to install some tools on your macOS:

a) Homebrew

Check with brew --version if you can skip the installation. If already installed, a version is returned. Otherwise install Homebrew with the command:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

b) autoconf

Check with autoconf --version if you can skip the installation. If already installed, a version is returned. Otherwise install autoconf with the command:

brew install autoconf

c) automake

Check with automake --version if you can skip the installation. If already installed, a version is returned. Otherwise install automake with the command:

brew install automake

d) libtool

Install libtool with the command:

brew install libtool

If it's already installed, you'll get a message returned: "Warning: libtool 2.4.7 is already installed and up-to-date."

Once you've setup everything, you can navigate into the "libsodium" directory and execute:

./ -s

This will create the configure file. The next command will create the libraries for several Apple targets (iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS):


To save time feel free to adjust the script in order to skip some of the targets.

The console output tells you where you will find the wanted libsodium.a: It's located in the folder "<path/to/your/libsodium>/libsodium-apple/tmp/ios64/lib/".

Step 2: Test the built library

Navigate to the rust folder of the Playground App you have created in the Android section.

Now, I recommend to test the cargo build in Terminal by setting the following environment variables before executing the commands. Please replace "/path/to/library" with the correct directory path to your library (do NOT append "libsodium.a" at the end of the path).

SODIUM_LIB_DIR="/path/to/library" SODIUM_SHARED=1 cargo build --target aarch64-apple-ios


SODIUM_LIB_DIR="/Users/<yourname>/libsodium/libsodium-apple/tmp/ios64/lib" SODIUM_SHARED=1 cargo build --target aarch64-apple-ios

Step 3: Integrate libsodium.a in Xcode and in the build process

In the aforementioned test, we defined the variables SODIUM_LIB_DIR and SODIUM_SHARED within the command line. However, these definitions will not persist.

To ensure proper setup, you need to

  • Open the Runner.xcworkspace

  • Add a new group "sodium" in the Runner

  • Switch to Finder, copy the libsodium.a from /Users/<yourname>/libsodium/libsodium-apple/tmp/ios64/lib into the new folder /Users/<yourname>/playground_app/ios/Runner/sodium

  • Simultaneously open the Runner.xcworkspace and drag the libsodium.a library from the Finder into the newly created group "sodium"

  • Adjust the Build Rules (line 25) of the target "Rust" in order to persist the environment variables SODIUM_LIB_DIR and SODIUM_SHARED, e.g. in my case:


Give it a try

Continue and go back to chapter -> Building for iOS.