Compile/build an application. By default, targets the current platform’s default output format.

This will only compile the components necessary to run the application. It won’t necessarily result in the generation of an installable artefact.


To build the application for the default output format for the current platform:

$ briefcase build

To build the application for a different platform:

$ briefcase build <platform>

To build the application for a specific output format:

$ briefcase build <platform> <output format>

Build tool dependencies

Building for some platforms depends on the build tools for the platform you’re targetting being available on the platform you’re using. For example, you will only be able to create iOS applications on macOS. Briefcase will check for any required tools, and will report an error if the platform you’re targetting is not supported.


The following options can be provided at the command line.

-u / --update

Update the application’s source code before running. Equivalent to running:

$ briefcase update
$ briefcase build


Build the app in test mode in the bundled app environment. Running build --test forces an update to ensure that the packaged application contains all the test dependencies and code. To prevent this update and build, use --no-update.


Prevent the automated update that is performed when specifying by the --test option. This option should only be required if you need to build your app on one machine, and run it on another.