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Archived:How to sign a .Sis file with Self-Sign Certificate

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This article is specific to S60 3rd Edition development or newer. From S60 3rd Edition, which is based on Symbian OS 9, a user can install only signed applications.

If an application requires basic capabilities only, it can be signed with self-signed certificate. Basic capabilities include LocalServices, NetworkServices, ReadUserData, UserEnvironment and WriteUserData. Starting with S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 release (aka S60 3.2) the Location capability can also be granted to self-signed applications.

An application that does not require any capabilities can also be signed with self-signed certificate. The advantage of self-signing is that it's fast, since it's done locally on developer's machine and that a self-signed installable package can be installed on more than one device, i.e. no restriction applies (based on IMEI number, for example).

The drawback of self-signed certificate is that a user will be prompted a warning dialog. It says that the application is not trusted and the user can decide whether or not to continue the installation. The warning dialog does not appear when the application is signed via Symbian Signed.

Please note that self-signing works even if the applicatiom demands stronger capabilities than what is in the basic set, however, it won't install on the device.

Following is the example which illustrates the Self-Signing procedure.

Step-1 Creating Certificate and Keys

From your Desktop Screen: Start-> Run -> Cmd then go in your Sis file path using cd DOS command.

C:\HelloWorld\sis> makekeys -cert -password World123 -len 1024 -dname "CN=World User OU=Development OR=WorldCompany CO=FI EM=World@test.com" WorldKey.key WorldCert.cer

Note: It is important the the above code be written on one line. This applies to the code below too.

This will create WorldKey.key and WorldCert.cer files which you will need to sign your HelloWorld.Sis file in the following statement.

Important: Versions of MakeKeys prior to Symbian 9.2 always generate certificates with a validity period of 1 year. This may be too short for released code, as it restricts the lifetime of the signed SIS files. You can create a certificate using OpenSSL to choose a different validity period, or use the update to MakeKeys provided by Symbian here to specify an alternative validity period.

Step-2 Signing Application

C:\HelloWorld\sis>signsis HelloWorld.sis HelloWorld.sis WorldCert.cer WorldKey.key World123

Note: Here you may find that World123 is the password.

Finally you will get your Self-Signed certified HelloWorld.Sis file. Install it on the device. Have fun !!!

Related articles

S60 SW installer troubleshooting

Self-signing S60 1rst and 2nd Edition applications

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