Building the development app for iOS with Free Provisioning Profile


Hi there,
The documentation about building the development app for iOS is for a paid apple developer program. I only started mobile game development, so I don’t want to pay for testing out a few game ideas yet.
Unfortunately I couldn’t manage to build the development app for iOS with a free provisioning profile, because there wasn’t any code signing identity and provisioning profile listed in Defold. This is strange, because I tried other engines as well, and there wasn’t any issues with provisioning profiles. I used the same bundle id as in XCode, when I created the free provisioning profile.
Do you have any ideas what have I done wrong?


Do you have an iPhone Developer or iPhone Distribution certificate with a valid key in your keychain?


You need to pay to build for iOS. Why not wait until you have an app finished and then pay when you’re closer to release? Most issues that you would have can be solved when testing on other platforms.

I’m curious what other engines you used that allowed this?


Thanks for the help!

I’m really a beginner ios developer, so I’m not sure about this, but in XCode, there is a free iPhone Developer certificate, and a free provisioning profile, these can be exported. But I don’t know about keychain.

That’s true, I could wait until I almost finish an app, but currently I only have an ipod touch to test things on. But that’s my problem I think :slight_smile:

I successfully tried Unity and Corona SDK: Unity generates an xcode project, so that’s obvious, and Corona uses a provisioning profile list to choose from, which is the exact list I can see in xcode.


I managed to get my Defold app running on iOS with the free provision profile without issues. To save people some time, here’s what I did:

I used the instructions here to get the free provisioning profile setup on my Mac:

Follow the instructions above to get Xcode to setup your device with the free provisioning certificate. After that’s done, the dropdown list in Defold’s “Package iOS application” should show your iPhone developer account. Your provisioning profile should be in your ~/Library/MobileDevice/Provisioning Profiles/ folder.

Hit “Package” to build your Defold app to whereever you want.

I used the ios-deploy console command ( ) to deploy the IPA to my iPhone and it runs great.

Defold team: you should consider updating the page to give instructions or update it to say how this can be done for free (that page currently says that a paid Apple Dev account is required).


Aha, interesting!
I’m sure @sicher can update that part of the documentation with this new information :slight_smile:


Great stuff, thanks! I’ll update the docs.


Totally forgot about this, but now it’s written - a year+ later.