February 21, 2009

Bypassing code signing to test your app on the iPhone device

Apple requires apps to be signed with a signing identity before you run them on device or distributing them to App Store. To get a valid signing identity (code signing certificate + private key), you must apply for Apple's iPhone developer program and pay them $99.

It is possible to run and test your app on your jailbroken iPhone without the need to pay (you'll still have to pay if you wish to publish your app on the App Store anyway). This process is often referred to as bypassing code signing.

Open Cydia on your iPhone, in the home page, scroll down and tap Bypassing Code Signature in the Developer section, you'll see instructions to bypass code signing. There are 3 options. Option #1 is what I tried. You can find detailed instructions for the other options on the internet.

Option #1: The verification check in the iPhone OS has been hacked so you can sign your code with any self-signing certificate and iPhone will let you pass. If you want the most integrated and smooth development experience with Xcode (Build and Go and debug on the device), this is the option for you.
You need to do two things.
The first is to bypass the Xcode verification.

  1. Create a self signing certificate named iPhone Developer following the instructions by Apple Obtaning a Signing Identity .
  2. in Xcode - > project - > edit project setting -> Add User - Defined Setting
    (there seems to be a way in which you don't have to add these settings on a per project basis but I haven't tried. see Developing Application for iPhone OS)
  3. add in info.plist - > SignerIdentity : Apple iPhone OS Application Signing
    (from http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=640341 )
Now you should be able to choose device targets and build your app. Try clean if you see code signing related errors.
You'll probably get a device verification error if your iPhone's Mobile Installation files haven't been patched yet. So the second thing to do is to compromise the verification on the iPhone.
  1. add http://cydia.hackulo.us to your Cydia sources
  2. install miPatch in Cydia
  3. reboot your iPhone (I didn't reboot and it worked IIRC)

see Developing Application for iPhone OS for more information.

Option #2: Just build your app and scp it to your iPhone and run ldid -S yourapp. ldid (Link Identity Editor ) is a command line package available in cydia. see http://www.ipodtouchfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=104884

Now I can debug on my device live - tap a button and stop at a breakpoint set in Xcode. I wouldn't want to write any iPhone app without a real Mac!

Legal Notice: I don't live in a country where this kind of notice is favoured. But for completeness, please know that bypassing Apple's restrictions is usually illegal. However, $99 is too much for a curious guy who just wants to test his Hello World.


Chïp said...

Wooooooooo. I love you dude. I never post comments but this time I think it deserves it. It is the only set of instructions on how to do this I have understood plainly.

"Hello World" here we go...

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