Create a server with Swift Package Manager

The Swift Package Manager (SPM) is installed as part of Swift by default. In this guide we will use SPM to create a Kitura project from scratch.

Step 1: Create project

To work with Swift Package Manager (SPM) we need to use the command line.

If you're new to this simply open the Terminal (on macOS or Linux) to get started.

Create a directory for our project:

mkdir MyKituraApp && cd MyKituraApp

The name of the directory will also be the name of the generated project.

Initialize the directory as a Swift project:

swift package init --type executable

SPM creates a Swift project stub. All we need to do is add our project dependencies, like Kitura, to the project.

Step 2: Create the Application directory

Within our Sources directory we will first create an Application directory:

mkdir Sources/Application

This is the directory where we will store all of our application code. Note, code in the project's main.swift file isn't easy to test because you can't import an executable target as a module, so to encourage the creation of easily testable code we have minimal code in our main.swift file and recommend putting application code into a separate Application directory.

Next we will create our Application.swift file:

touch Sources/Application/Application.swift

Next we need to create our Routes directory:

mkdir Sources/Application/Routes

This is where we will store all of our route handlers.

Next we will rename the directory within Tests to ApplicationTests:

mv Tests/MyKituraAppTests/ Tests/ApplicationTests

Step 3: Add Kitura to our dependencies

To add Kitura to our dependencies we need to edit the Package.swift file.

Open Package.swift in your default text editor:

open Package.swift

Add Kitura to our dependencies so the Package.swift file looks like this:

// swift-tools-version:x.x
import PackageDescription

let package = Package(
    name: "MyKituraApp",
    dependencies: [
        .package(url: "", from: "y.y.y")
    targets: [
        .target(name: "MyKituraApp", dependencies: [ .target(name: "Application"), "Kitura"]),
        .target(name: "Application", dependencies: [ "Kitura" ]),

        .testTarget(name: "ApplicationTests" , dependencies: [.target(name: "Application"), "Kitura" ])

Substitute "y.y.y" with the latest Kitura release and "x.x" with the minimum version of Swift required to build the package (e.g. 4.0, 4.2, 5.0).

Step 4: Add code to the Application.swift file

Earlier, we created the Application.swift file but we didn't add any code to it.

Open the Application.swift file in our default text editor:

open Sources/Application/Application.swift

The Application.swift file will be responsible for starting our Kitura server.

Add the following code to the Application.swift file:

import Kitura

public class App {

    let router = Router()

    public init() throws {


    func postInit() throws {


    public func run() throws {
        try postInit()
        Kitura.addHTTPServer(onPort: 8080, with: router)

This code creates an instance of Router, which will route incoming requests to the correct endpoints. Within the run() method we register our router instance to run on port 8080. The call to does not return immediately - it will block until the server is stopped.

The postInit() function is where we configure and set up the router, prior to starting the server.

Step 5: Add code to the main.swift file

Now that we have created our App class in our Application.swift file we can use it within our main.swift file.

Open the main.swift file in your editor:

open Sources/MyKituraApp/main.swift

Replace the existing code with the following:

import Application

do {
    let app = try App()
} catch let error {

This code will create an App instance and run it.

Step 6: Start the server

To start our project we need to run our Swift executable:

swift run

To run the project in Xcode ensure your build target is set to My Mac then simply run the project.

You may be prompted to allow the app to accept incoming connections.

Navigate to http://localhost:8080.

You should be able to see the Kitura landing page.

Project Structure

We have just created a Kitura project with the following structure:

├── Package.swift
├── Sources/
│    ├── MyKituraApp/
│    │    └── main.swift
│    ├── Application/
│    │    └── Application.swift
│    └── Routes/
└── Tests/
     └── ApplicationTests/
  • Package.swift – defines packages that your app depends on and their versions
  • main.swift - the file that is run to initialize your app and start your server
  • Application.swift - the application that glues everything together
  • Routes/ - folder containing the routing logic for how to handle HTTP requests
  • ApplicationTests/ – folder containing the Swift tests for your project

This matches the structure generated by the Kitura command-line interface and will be used throughout the guides.

Next steps

Logging: Learn how to add logging to your Kitura server.

Routing: Learn about routing and the two types Kitura supports.

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