​Apple's Swift comes to Linux

Swift 2.2 includes support for Swift on Ubuntu Linux 14.04 and 15.10.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

People like to think Microsoft is the dean of proprietary software companies. Nonsense! Microsoft is making serious investments in open-source software. Apple, though, now there's a company that likes to lock down its code.

Except, to everyone's surprise, in 2015 Apple open sourced Swift, its iOS and OS X application development language. Then, the question was "How serious is Apple about open-sourcing Swift?"

The answer has turned out to be "quite serious." Apple recently open-sourced its Swift benchmark suite. Now, with the release of Swift 2.2, Apple is bringing Swift to Linux.

Specifically, Swift 2.2 includes support for Swift on Ubuntu Linux 14.04 and 15.10. Apple admits that "The Linux port is still relatively new and in this release does not include the Swift Core Libraries (which will appear in Swift 3). The port does, however, include LLDB, a debugger, and the REPL [Read Eval Print Loop]."

Otherwise, this is a relatively minor release. Still, this "release includes contributions from 212 non-Apple contributors -- changes that span from simple bug fixes to enhancements and alterations to the core language and Swift Standard Library."

Maybe Apple is starting to get the open-source religion as well. After all, if Microsoft can convert, why not Apple?

Related Stories:

Editorial standards