Tuesday, October 10, 2023

The Care and Feeding of Developer ID


I regularly see folks run into problems with their Developer ID signing identities. Historically I pointed them to my posts on this thread, but I’ve decided to collect these ideas together in one place.


This post focuses on traditional signing identities, where you manage the private key. Xcode Cloud introduced cloud signing, where signing identities are “stored securely in the cloud”. These identities have the Managed suffix in Certificates, Identifiers, and Profiles. For example, Developer ID Application Managed is the cloud signing equivalent of Developer ID Application.


Even without a hardware token, there are steps you can take to protect your Developer ID signing identity. For example, you might put it in a separate keychain, one with a different password and locking policy than your login keychain. That way signing code for distribution will prompt you to unlock the keychain, which reminds you that this is a significant event and ensures that you don’t do it accidentally.


Given that Developer ID signing identities are precious, consider making an independent backup of them. To back up a signing identity to a PKCS#12 (.p12) file[…]

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