Tutorial :Difficulties with iPhone ad-hoc distribution for testing


I'm attempting to do an ad-hoc distribution of my (first) iPhone App to a small group of volunteer testers. I've looked through Apple's documentation, as well as a number of blog posts, but am still having trouble. I have a couple questions about things that aren't clear (to me, at least):

When creating Development and/or Distribution certificate requests, for Common Name, should I use my name or my company's name? I registered for the iPhone Developer program as a company, and the portal shows this company name, but also my own name as "Agent".

Also, Apple's documentation (the "Publishing Applications for Testing" chapter of the Developer's Guide) contains a diagram showing the Tester Provisioning Profile as containing info about the Tester Device, the Test App ID, and the Development Certificate. When I try to create the Tester (Ad-hoc) Provisioning Profile on the portal, it selects the Distribution Certificate, not the Development Certificate. Is this right? It seems to make sense, but doesn't match the diagram.

Any other advice on ad-hoc provisioning would also be appreciated, particularly how to gather information for troubleshooting. My testers have reported getting an "application was not installed because an unknown error occurred (0xE8008016)" message, which doesn't tell me anything about what I may have done wrong.

Thanks, Andrew


Well, I seem to have it working -- sorry for the long delay in following up. Here's the best resource on this that I've found: http://www.bigspaceship.com/blog/labs/iphone-101-understanding-distribution-pt-i-of-ii/ although even it doesn't get quite all the details right, and it seem that Apple changes the iPhone Program portal often, so maybe no resource will ever be fully up-to-date. Your mileage may vary.

To answer the questions I posed (and reply to some of the questions raised in other answers): For the Developer Certificate, I used my own name. For the distribution certificate, I used the name of the Company. Yes, the dist.plist bust exist and the get-task-allow property is false.

Finally, one more gotcha: the AppID/Bundle identifier should be all-lowercase.


I posted a sample packaging script that i use for automating ad hoc distribution builds, maybe this is useful?



I used my own name for Common Name, however, I'm not sure this really matters. I did name my dist. provisioning profile with my company name, though.

Ad-Hoc is considered distribution, so the distribution certificate is the correct one.

Did you create an Entitlements.plist file for your ad-hoc?

Are you getting any signing errors when you build your ad-hoc?


Does the ad-hoc build you created install properly for you? That's the easiest way to gather information-try it yourself, following the directions you're giving your users.

I had problems with Windows users not being able to install my app because Windows couldn't properly decode the compressed folder I created on my Mac. I eventually resorted to a Run Script build phase in XCode that created a .ipa file which worked properly for drag-and-drop for Windows and Mac iTunes.


In your entitlements.plist file you have to uncheck the get-task-allow bool to give it a false value. This is only for AdHoc distribution.

I learned this the hard way when I went through a build cycle thinking I had saved and checked in the right entitlements.plist with get-task-allow unchecked.

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