The skip-ffi framework is available at, which can be checked out and tested with skip test once Skip is installed.


This is a Skip Swift/Kotlin library project that provides the capability for Skip’s Kotlin transpiled code to call into C and C++ libraries on Android.

On the Kotlin side, SkipFFI uses the Java Native Access (JNA) library to simulate Swift types like Swift.OpaquePointer as com.sun.jna.Pointer pointer references, and implements Swift.withUnsafeMutablePointer using a com.sun.jna.ptr.PointerByReference on the Java side.

This capability is used by Skip frameworks like SkipSQL and SkipScript to provide a unified API to underlying native C APIs on both Darwin and Android.


#if !SKIP
import Darwin
import SkipFFI
let Darwin = BionicDarwin()

func BionicDarwin() -> BionicDarwin {
    com.sun.jna.Native.load("c", (BionicDarwin.self as kotlin.reflect.KClass).java)

protocol BionicDarwin : com.sun.jna.Library {
    func abs(_ value: Int32) -> Int32

    func malloc(_ size: Int32) -> OpaquePointer
    func free(_ ptr: OpaquePointer) -> Int32

    func getenv(_ key: String) -> String?

// Fully-qualified Module.fname() will call through SkipFFI to the C interface
Darwin.abs(-12) // 12


SkipFFI’s implementation provides:

public typealias OpaquePointer = com.sun.jna.Pointer
public typealias UnsafeMutableRawPointer = com.sun.jna.ptr.PointerByReference

public func withUnsafeMutablePointer<T>(to pointerRef: InOut<OpaquePointer?>, block: (UnsafeMutableRawPointer) throws -> T) rethrows -> T

Working with Data

SkipFFI doesn’t work with the Foundation Data API directly.

If you need to access raw bytes, you can use the APIs directly:

let blob = Data()
let size = blob.count

#if SKIP
let buf = java.nio.ByteBuffer.allocateDirect(size)
buf.put(blob.kotlin(nocopy: true)) // transfer the bytes
let ptr = com.sun.jna.Native.getDirectBufferPointer(buf)
try check(code: SQLite3.sqlite3_bind_blob(stmnt, index, ptr, size, nil))
try blob.withUnsafeBytes { ptr in
    try check(code: SQLite3.sqlite3_bind_blob(stmnt, index, ptr.baseAddress, size, nil))

Embedded C Code

With SkipFFI you can embed C code in your dual-platform Skip framework, and use SkipFFI to create an idiomatic wrapper around the code that can be used both from Swift and the transpiled Kotlin.

SkipFFI can be used to provide a direct interface from your transpiled Kotlin to an embedded C library. It configures gradle’s support for cmake build files and the Android NDK toolchain to build the embedded C library for each of Android’s supported architectures, much in the same way as Xcode and SwiftPM handle building and linking C source with Swift code for various architectures.

See the Skip C Demo sample project for an example of using C files to provide a unified API to both Swift and Kotlin.

Local vs. Instrumeted Testing

When you build and test the skip-c-demo project out of the box, either from Xcode or the Terminal using swift test, the normal Skip testing process will occur: the Swift test cases will be compiled an run against the macOS architecture, and then the special XCSkipTests will cause the SkipUnit framework to invoke gradle test against the transpiled source and test case files. And while this does work transparently with any embedded C files, you should be aware that since local testing run on the local macOS JVM, it isn’t actually exercising the cross-compiled Android native libraries. It is, rather, linking to the locally-built C library that was built by SwiftPM.

This is the fastest way to test the native SkipFFI bridging, but when your C code needs to interface with libraries that are only available on Android (such as the various NDK APIs:, then you will need to test non-locally, against an actual Android emulator or device.

In order to test the cross-compiled shared libraries on a real Android system, you need to run the instrumented tests against an Android simulator or device. This is accomplished by launching a simulator from the Android Studio Device Manager and then obtaining the device identifier with the adb devices terminal command. If you have a device with the id “emulator-5554”, you can then run the transpiled tests against the simulator with the command:

ANDROID_SERIAL=emulator-5554 swift test

Similarly, you can set the ANDROID_SERIAL environment variable in the Run Arguments screen of the Xcode scheme for the target you are testing, which will have the same effect of running the instrumented tests against the specified emulator or device.


This project is a Swift Package Manager module that uses the Skip plugin to transpile Swift into Kotlin.

Building the module requires that Skip be installed using Homebrew with brew install skiptools/skip/skip. This will also install the necessary build prerequisites: Kotlin, Gradle, and the Android build tools.


The module can be tested using the standard swift test command or by running the test target for the macOS destination in Xcode, which will run the Swift tests as well as the transpiled Kotlin JUnit tests in the Robolectric Android simulation environment.

Parity testing can be performed with skip test, which will output a table of the test results for both platforms.