Generating Self-Signing Certificate Files for Android Apps

When building Android apps for distribution to the public marketplace, you must have a digital signing certificate built into your application. While signing certificates from signing authorities are often preferred, many times apps are accepted into the marketplace with a self-signing certificate. This tutorial shows you how to acquire self-signing certificate files using a utility provided by Genuitec.

Update: Development of MobiOne has been discontinued. Read the End of Life Notice for more information.

Note: Mobile development was removed in MyEclipse 2016. This tutorial only applies to MyEclipse 2015.

The first step is to use the Digital Signing Utility to create certificate and private key files, which you will then download to your development machine. The certificate file is named certificate.cer, and the private key is named private.key. Both files are required for building an Android application for distribution via an Android marketplace. These files are not required as part of the build for ad hoc testing on a device.

Please Read – Before generating any files, here is a little housekeeping advice. Always create a new folder into which all files created in this tutorial are downloaded and saved. It is critical that you never mix versions of the private key, certificate and provisioning profiles files. Doing so results in errors when you attempt to use the data in the application build process.

Note: The process of generating certificate and private key files needs to be done only once.

  1. Using your web browser, access the Digital Signing Utility at http://mobionesigning.appspot.com/signing/.
  2. Fill in your company information, and click the Generate button to create both the certificate file and private key file. The company information is used as part of the generated digital signature files.
    Generating the certificate and private key files
  3. Click the Download button for the .zip file, and extract the files to the new folder you created for storing your certificate files. You will use the files found in the Android folder when modifying an Android app’s PhoneGap configuration file. 
    Downloading the generated .zip file