Thursday, 12 May 2011

iOS: Packaging apps store submissions from the command line (my zip broke)

How to package iOS apps for submission to iTunes Connect from the command line.

I'm a firm believer in the power of the command line. I like my GUI tools as much as the next man (as long as he's a bearded Unix guru from the 1970s). But for sheer power, repeatability and flexibility you just can't beat a good script.

Which is why every project I work on has to have a simple single script that configures, builds, and packages the code, creating a well-named payload that can be installed/submitted/deployed. I feel a lot safer about the quality of a release if it's generated by a tried-and-tested script, rather than by a series of button clicks in a series of separate tools.

You know it makes sense.

iOS projects submitted to the App Store are effectively zip files with a particular directory structure. You can drive Xcode with the xcodebuild tool to build and link your distribution version of an iOS app.

However, whenever I tried to zip the project up from the command line, the Application Loader utility (what you use to submit your app to iTunes Connect) just gave bizare errors.
The CodeResources files must be a symbolic link to _CodeSygnature/CodeResources. Make certain that the bundle is on a locally-mounted volume...
Application failed codesign verification. The signature was invalid, or it was not signed with an Apple submission certificate.
Well, that's nice gibberish. Not.

However, a zip archive created using the Finder's "Compress" menu entry worked fine. Very frustrating.

Don't fear! I fixed it. Here's how to do it in your very own build script: your zipper is broken; throw it out. Use ditto instead. Here's the line from my build script:
ditto -c -k --keepParent --rsrc "$APP_FILENAME" "$PACKAGED_FILENAME"

Enjoy your build scripts.

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