I am just starting to learn about code and programming apps.

I downloaded Xcode project source-code for a mac app that I wish to use from GitHub.

How can I turn that code into an executable application?

The repository readme states 3 steps to build the project. I am done with the first 2 steps, but I don't know how to complete the last one.

Can someone help me understand the difference between an archive build and a run/debug, and how to do them in Xcode?

  • 3
    What part of the document section Building from Source don't you understand? so we can explain that but in general this question appears to be too broad
    – mmmmmm
    Aug 5, 2017 at 13:12
  • 2
    @Mark is correct - we can't know what you do and don't know. You'll want to break things down in to very small chunks if you want to learn to program on Stack Exchange - here or stack overflow. If you know nothing about programming - starting with Xcode playgrounds and structured lessons might be less painful - but if you love that project - it might be the place for you to start after all.
    – bmike
    Aug 5, 2017 at 13:26
  • Did you install CocoaPods as indicated?
    – nohillside
    Aug 5, 2017 at 14:12
  • Yes, I did do that. Aug 5, 2017 at 14:15
  • You need to be in the Mac-Linux-USB-Loader directory created by git clone ... to run pod install.
    – nohillside
    Aug 5, 2017 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


The help menu works great in Xcode. If you search for each term listed in Step 3, the menu items you need will be shown to you in Xcode.

enter image description here

Running a Mac app is trivial - click the play button in the toolbar - you don’t need any simulator or certificates or setup or choosing a scheme like the image above indicates.

Since you are new, I would also spend time in the Xcode documentation on getting started.

You will get alerts in the activity area if anything fails - the project you are starting with has made hundreds of decisions in the project file, dozens of which would take me several weeks to digest (spending an hour a day on this alone) and understand at a cursory level. I’m not a full time developer, but I have been compiling and making Mac apps since the late 80s and I still need to read the documents, watch wwdc videos and ask questions online. Good luck and don’t worry if you have lots of work ahead to find and fix any compile errors or if you have start a new project to learn how Xcode works step by step.

  • I opened up Mac Linux USB Loader.xcworkspace, but Xcode isn't responding when I press run. It appears to be indexing. I left Xcode open for an hour and it still says indexing at the activity pane Aug 5, 2017 at 17:11
  • Yup - I expect you might not get a clean run, but you might once the play button allows you to try running the code. Lots of cocoa pod dependencies may take some time (dozens of minutes or more) to compile for you.
    – bmike
    Aug 5, 2017 at 17:13
  • Ok I finally was able to run, but I got 2 errors. They are about the signing certificate. One of them was about adding a developer account to Xcode which is no problem, but the other says "No signing certificate 'Mac Development' found". How do I fix the second error? Aug 5, 2017 at 17:16
  • 1
    @InterestedLearner AppleStackExchange doesn't work like this. Please first read the Xcode Help, then search ASE or Google for similar error messages ("No signing certificate 'Mac Development' found") and then ask a follow-up question not in the comments but as a new question if you haven't found a suitable answer here or elsewhere.
    – klanomath
    Aug 5, 2017 at 18:35

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