Debugging iPhone provision profiles/certificates

July 16, 2008

If you’re in the iPhone Developer Program, you’ll be able to run you code in a phisical device, with the following process:

  • Create a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) and submit to the developer portal
  • Download and install the code singing certificate (Development/Distribution certificate) to your Keychain
  • Download and install the WWDR certificate
  • Create/Download a Provisioning profile listing the devices you intend to run the program on
  • Install the provisioning profile to your development machine by dropping it into iTunes
  • Set the Certificate/Provision profile in your XCode project

Throubleshooting/things to verify:

First re-read iPhone Developer Portal Program Guide PDF to make sure you’ve followed every step correctly.
The two basic types of issues you can have:

  • The app is not signed
  • The app is signed, but you cannot run/load it into the device

Verifying if your app is signed

You can check if you app is signed by verifying the followin 2 things:

  • There was a CodeSign step during the build
  • The built package contains a CodeResource and embedded.mobileprovision

If it’s not signed double check the followings:

  • XCode project is set up correctly Code Sigining Identity is: iPhone Development: yourname or iPhone Distribution: yourname and the Code signing provisioning profile is set to a porfile you’ve downloaded. It shouldn’t be Default provisioning profile for code signing identity
  • If you set these things at project level make sure they aren’t overriden in target level
  • Voodoo: Quit XCode, clean, rebuild

If you can’t even select the provisioning profile in XCode check the followings:

  • Is the active target in XCode the same as the settings you’re editing? Here is the thing: it seems that the provision profile popup contains profiles matching the active target’s certificate (and no the one you’re editing). So make sure that you select the current configuration in Project/Set Active Build Configuration
  • Do you have the WWDR certificate installed? Check Apple Wordwide Developer Relations Certification in Keychain
  • Do you have my Distribution Certificate in keychain? Check for 'iPhone Developer: name' and/or 'iPhone Distribution: name' in Keychain. There should be a gray trinangle to the left of if, and on open it should show your private key.
  • Do you have the provisioning profile installed in ~/Library/MobileDevice/Provisioning Profiles/. Drag and drop the profile to iTunes to fix this.

The app is signed, but you cannot run/load it into the device

First get iPhone Configuration Utility, it’s a great app to get more information, you can check your console log, install single application and check installed provisioning profiles.

  • Do you have the provisioning profile installed to your iPhone? Use iPhone Configuration Utility to verify

There can be also issues with App-ID that will prevent from application to run.

  • In my experiecnce you should just use * as app id.
  • If you have a entitlement 'application-identifier' has value not permitted by provisioning profile in your iPhone console log, then try using a wildcard (*) App ID

Ad Hoc profiles:

I just couldn’t get Ad Hoc profiles to work. I always have this error in my iPhone console log:
entitlement 'get-task-allow' has value not permitted by provisioning profile
I’ve tried following every step of the iPhone Developer Portal Program Guide PDF, and i still get this.
In iTunes i either get a 0xE8000001 or 0xE8000013 when trying to install an application with an AdHoc provisioning profile.

Update: Apple has just updated the instructions in iPhone Developer Portal Program Guide PDF. They now tell to add ‘Entitlements.plist’ with ‘get-task-allow’ set to false to the Entitlements.
You should also verify your provision profile with a text editor. The plist embedded should contain these lines:


You should also remove old provision profiles without the iPhone (Use iPhone Configuration Utility). As having a bad provisioning profile will prevent your app from installing.