AppKid is an implementation of Application Development Framework heavily inspired by Apple’s AppKit and UIKit. It was started as a way to have convenient SDK to build UI applications for X11 enabled GNU/Linux environment. It is written completely in swift, using Vulkan as rendering backend and relies on X11 for window management and user input events.

Hello World with AppKid

import AppKid
import Foundation

class RootViewController: ViewController {
    override func viewDidLoad() {
        let label = Label(frame: CGRect(x: 0.0, y: 0.0, width: 640.0, height: 44.0))
        label.text = "Hello World"
        view.addSubview(label) = CGPoint(x: 320.0, y: 240.0)

final class AppDelegate: NSObject, ApplicationDelegate {
    func application(_: Application, didFinishLaunchingWithOptions _: [Application.LaunchOptionsKey: Any]? = nil) -> Bool {
        let window = Window(contentRect: CGRect(x: 0.0, y: 0.0, width: 640.0, height: 480.0))
        window.title = "Hello World"
        window.rootViewController = RootViewController()
        return true


AppKidDemo is a simple application written in swift that provides a sample environment for AppKid development



Getting Started

Dependencies and environment setup

Debian-based Linux (Debian/*Ubuntu/ElementaryOS/PopOS/etc)

  • Install swift
    • Via

    • Update your global $PATH variable:

       sudo nano /etc/profile.d/

      paste this:

       export PATH=/opt/swift/usr/bin:"${PATH}"`

      where /opt/swift is a path to your swift toolchain

    • Alternatively install swiftlang via swiftlang builds (does not require changing $PATH variable):

       wget -qO - | sudo bash
       sudo apt install swiftlang
  • Install Vulkan SDK via LunarG is using deprecated apt-key to verify signature so this repo provides more modern and safe configuration via SupportingFiles. Something like this:

     wget -qO - | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee -a /usr/share/keyrings/lunarg-archive-keyring.gpg
     sudo wget -q -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/lunarg-vulkan-focal.list
     sudo apt update
     sudo apt install vulkan-sdk
  • Install other project dependencies:

     sudo apt install -y \
     	libx11-dev \
     	libxi-dev \
     	libwayland-dev \
     	libcairo2-dev \
     	libpango1.0-dev \
     	libglib2.0-dev \
  • Install provided package config file for libclang on your system (because llvm does not provide one):

     sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/lib/pkgconfig
     sudo wget -q -O /usr/local/lib/pkgconfig/clang.pc


  • Install Xcode via AppStore or
  • Install XQuartz:
     brew install xquartz
  • Install Vulkan SDK via
  • Add a launchctl agent that will update environment variables so Xcode could find all the pkg-config files needed to properly build projects:

     mkdir -p ~/Library/LaunchAgents
     curl -s -o ~/Library/LaunchAgents/environment.plist
     launchctl load -w ~/Library/LaunchAgents/environment.plist
  • Update your global $PKG_CONFIG_PATH variable so command line tools would have proper pkg-config search path:
     sudo nano /etc/profile

    paste this:

     export PKG_CONFIG_PATH="/opt/X11/lib/pkgconfig:/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig:/usr/local/lib:$PKG_CONFIG_PATH"

    NOTE: This file is not backed up by TimeMachine, so you probably want to extend this environment variable for command line tools in some other way

  • Install other project dependencies:

     brew install \
     	pkg-config \
     	cairo \
     	glib \

Any Other Linux distros

Installation is pretty much the same as on any Debian-based Linux, just using your local package manager. Specific stuff is in swift and Vulkan SDK installation, but if you are running something that is not Debian-based – you can probably do the installation yourself (instructions for rpm-based distros will be added in future).


Well, not there. Sorry about that.


I recommend generating the Xcode project via swift package generate-xcodeproj and opening it because indexing and build target generation is just faster this way, but you can also open Packge.swift in Xcode and it will be pretty much the same user experience.

The generate-xcodeproj from swift package manager is deprecated. It does not receive updates anymore and is throwing a fatal error when it meets a plugin definition in Package.swift file. Opening Package.swift itself does not work really well anymore either as it’s just not showing any of the local submodules in Xcode sources tree.

For everyone’s convenience there is a VSCode configuration provided. Just load the repo directory in VSCode (or VSCodium if you don’t like the telemetry thing). You can install following plugins tom improve development experience:

Building and running

On macOS running from Xcode is not really supported, only building and linking to get copiler checks and all that kind of stuff. On Linux machine : swift build to build, swift run to run or use provided VSCode setup.


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