- a site about all things Ionic

« Ionic + Fastlane

    First published: August 2017

Put your Cordova /platforms directory under version control

Normally /platforms and similar folders are in the .gitignore file of Cordova projects. This means the whole generated iOS and Android projects don’t take up space in your repository - they can be recreated by running the (ionic) cordova build command.

But when we work with fastlane, it can be beneficial to know what our code changed in the native projects (and being able to simply revert all the things we messed up…). As we are using git, somehow versioning /platforms is a simple way to achieve this.

Important: You don’t have to do this to use Fastlane. All the actual Fastlane files live in /fastlane in your project. But as some of the more advanced Fastlane actions also manipulate your native projects understanding what happens in /platform can help to understand what happens and avoid problems.

There are two way to achieve this: (I personally prefer option b) as it is easier to revert)

a) Remove /platforms from the default .gitignore file

If you have no problem with all the platforms files and folders being in the main Git repository of your project, you can just remove /platforms from the .gitignore file.

Open the .gitignore file in your favorite editor. Remove or uncomment (#) this line:


Commit and push the edited .gitignore file, which should also add all the files and folders inside /platforms to git automatically. The folder is now under the same version control as the rest of your project.

How to handle a versioned platforms directory

I suggest you commit changes to the normal project seperate from the changes in platforms. Only then commit the changes in there and use the command (e.g. (ionic) cordova build and (ionic) cordova prepare) as the commit message. This makes it easy to follow the changes.

b) Create a local git repository in /platforms

If you prefer to keep the project repository lean and without /platforms, you can just create a git repository in /platforms itself to track (and undo, if necessary) any changes:

cd platforms
git init
git add .
git commit -m "Initial commit"

Caution: This might at times cause problems with cordova commands that read the list of platforms from the folders in /platforms like (ionic) cordova plugin add .... They will complain that the .git platform is missing an Api.js file. If you need to run one of these commands, temporarily move or delete the /platforms/.git folder, run the command, and then move it back / restore it. Git should take note of the added files just then.

Now you have a local git repository for platforms that of course can also pushed to your favorite repository host.

How to handle a independent platforms repository

I suggest you check for changes in the platforms repository after every command that might have changed the native project files. (ionic) cordova build and (ionic) cordova prepare are the most obvious ones, but also several fastlane commands we will use might change things there.

When changes are detected, commit them and note the command you ran in the commit log. That way you get a neat history of changes to your native projects as you have it for your main project. This not only makes following the changes much easier, but will also help you identify if something goes wrong.

« Ionic + Fastlane

    First published: August 2017