My employer plans to distribute Mac OSX software outside the App Store through their website. Do I need to get an organizational developer ID from Apple ($99 USD/yr) plus purchase an EV code-signing certificate from Symantec? Or, will the Apple Dev ID certificate work just fine? I'm confused -- what's the process? And if you could also show what we do at command line or XCode, that would help, too.

See, I'm used to distributing on Windows. On Windows, we just get an EV cert from Symantec to sign the product. By doing the expensive EV cert, it gets past the web browser filters without warning eventually, given enough downloads from different IP addresses.

Apple states the following, but it's clear as mud (no surprise there, given that this is Apple documentation) because it doesn't explain if I don't need to sign with both certs or just one (if that's even possible to sign with two certs).


On that page, it states:

Note: Apple uses the industry-standard form and format of code signing certificates. Therefore, if your company already has a third-party signing identity that you use to sign code on other systems, you can use it with the OS X codesign command.

  • I have the same question regarding how we can use the Apple code signing certificate. I have found a few similar questions here. Unfortunately none of them were answered. Looking at the last section on the link you provided it appears that you can sign an app file regardless of how it's delivered as long as the product does not change. I plan to use the certificate in the Mac store and on my other platform and see what happens. Did you get this issue resolved on your own? Commented May 14, 2016 at 18:36
  • Unfortunately I haven't gotten to this step in our schedule yet. I'm a month out to code completion.
    – Volomike
    Commented May 14, 2016 at 19:33
  • Okay. I just submitted my enrollment to the Mac developer program. I already have my app files built. I should be ready to submit to the App Store when I'm comfortable with the app submission process. If I get an definite answer I will try and remember to post it here. Commented May 14, 2016 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


Here is what the Apple Documentation says about this in the Developer ID section: "You can distribute your Mac applications outside of the Mac App Store by using Developer ID. Signing your Mac applications, plug-ins, and installer packages with a Developer ID certificate lets Gatekeeper verify that apps are not created by malware developers and haven't been tampered with since they were signed." Here's the link: http://developer.apple.com/programs/whats-included. Click Learn more in this section for details.

According to the documentation approved developers can request the Developer ID and use it to build certificates and sign app files. From what I read it appears you will only need the Apple certificate. I plan to do this when I'm approved as an Apple Developer.

  • 1
    The big question, though, is if Chrome or FF will block it on the Mac if sold outside the Apple Store. Can it be Apple signed and downloaded outside the Apple Store and not be a blocked download?
    – Volomike
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 22:35

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