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android – How to create a signed APK file using Cordova command line interface?

Posted by: admin March 10, 2020 Leave a comment

Questions:

I made a sample application named checkStatus. Now I want to create a signed APK file. So I can install it in different devices for my testing.

For this, I Googled and found this documentation.

As per the document, I switched to my project directory and ran the following command:

keytool -genkey -v -keystore key-name.keystore -alias alias-name -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 10000

After I ran the above command, I got a file named key-name.keystore at projectRoot/key-name.keystore.

And then I copy-pasted that file into projectRoot/platforms/android/key-name.keystore.

After that, I created a file named ant.properties and saved it in projectRoot/platforms/android.

I wrote the following code inside the file:

key.store=projectRoot/key-name.keystore
key.alias=myApp

After that, I ran the following command to release

Cordova builds android --release

It’s throwing the following error:

 /home/projectRoot/platforms/android/cordova/node_modules/q/q.js:126
                throw e;
                      ^
Error code 1 for command: ant with args: release,-f,/home/projectRoot/platforms/android/build.xml,-Dout.dir=ant-build,-Dgen.absolute.dir=ant-gen

 Error: /home/projectRoot/platforms/android/cordova/build: Command failed with exit code 8
at ChildProcess.whenDone (/usr/lib/node_modules/cordova/node_modules/cordova-lib/src/cordova/superspawn.js:135:23)
at ChildProcess.EventEmitter.emit (events.js:98:17)
at maybeClose (child_process.js:753:16)
at Process.ChildProcess._handle.onexit (child_process.js:820:5)

So this time, I modified key.store value in ant.properties file like in the following way.

 key.store=/home/projectRoot/platforms/android/key-name.keystore

Again, I ran the cordova build android --release command. It throws the same error.

Can anyone tell me what I’ve done wrong?

How to&Answers:

Step 1:

D:\projects\Phonegap\Example> cordova plugin rm org.apache.cordova.console --save

add the --save so that it removes the plugin from the config.xml file.

Step 2:

To generate a release build for Android, we first need to make a small change to the AndroidManifest.xml file found in platforms/android. Edit the file and change the line:

<application android:debuggable="true" android:hardwareAccelerated="true" android:icon="@drawable/icon" android:label="@string/app_name">

and change android:debuggable to false:

<application android:debuggable="false" android:hardwareAccelerated="true" android:icon="@drawable/icon" android:label="@string/app_name">

As of cordova 6.2.0 remove the android:debuggable tag completely. Here is the explanation from cordova:

Explanation for issues of type “HardcodedDebugMode”:
It’s best to leave out the android:debuggable attribute from the manifest.
If you do, then the tools will automatically insert android:debuggable=true
when building an APK to debug on an emulator or device. And when you
perform a release build, such as Exporting APK, it will automatically set
it to false.

If on the other hand you specify a specific value in the manifest file,
then the tools will always use it. This can lead to accidentally publishing
your app with debug information.

Step 3:

Now we can tell cordova to generate our release build:

D:\projects\Phonegap\Example> cordova build --release android

Then, we can find our unsigned APK file in platforms/android/ant-build. In our example, the file was platforms/android/ant-build/Example-release-unsigned.apk

Step 4:

Note : We have our keystore keystoreNAME-mobileapps.keystore in this Git Repo, if you want to create another, please proceed with the following steps.

Key Generation:

Syntax:

keytool -genkey -v -keystore <keystoreName>.keystore -alias <Keystore AliasName> -keyalg <Key algorithm> -keysize <Key size> -validity <Key Validity in Days>

Egs:

keytool -genkey -v -keystore NAME-mobileapps.keystore -alias NAMEmobileapps -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 10000


keystore password? : xxxxxxx
What is your first and last name? :  xxxxxx
What is the name of your organizational unit? :  xxxxxxxx
What is the name of your organization? :  xxxxxxxxx
What is the name of your City or Locality? :  xxxxxxx
What is the name of your State or Province? :  xxxxx
What is the two-letter country code for this unit? :  xxx

Then the Key store has been generated with name as NAME-mobileapps.keystore

Step 5:

Place the generated keystore in

old version cordova

D:\projects\Phonegap\Example\platforms\android\ant-build

New version cordova

D:\projects\Phonegap\Example\platforms\android\build\outputs\apk

To sign the unsigned APK, run the jarsigner tool which is also included in the JDK:

Syntax:

jarsigner -verbose -sigalg SHA1withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore <keystorename> <Unsigned APK file> <Keystore Alias name>

Egs:

D:\projects\Phonegap\Example\platforms\android\ant-build> jarsigner -verbose -sigalg SHA1withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore NAME-mobileapps.keystore Example-release-unsigned.apk xxxxxmobileapps

OR

D:\projects\Phonegap\Example\platforms\android\build\outputs\apk> jarsigner -verbose -sigalg SHA1withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore NAME-mobileapps.keystore Example-release-unsigned.apk xxxxxmobileapps

Enter KeyPhrase as 'xxxxxxxx'

This signs the apk in place.

Step 6:

Finally, we need to run the zip align tool to optimize the APK:

D:\projects\Phonegap\Example\platforms\android\ant-build> zipalign -v 4 Example-release-unsigned.apk Example.apk 

OR

D:\projects\Phonegap\Example\platforms\android\ant-build> C:\Phonegap\adt-bundle-windows-x86_64-20140624\sdk\build-tools\android-4.4W\zipalign -v 4 Example-release-unsigned.apk Example.apk

OR

D:\projects\Phonegap\Example\platforms\android\build\outputs\apk> C:\Phonegap\adt-bundle-windows-x86_64-20140624\sdk\build-tools\android-4.4W\zipalign -v 4 Example-release-unsigned.apk Example.apk

Now we have our final release binary called example.apk and we can release this on the Google Play Store.

Answer:

An update to @malcubierre for Cordova 4 (and later)-

Create a file called release-signing.properties and put in APPFOLDER\platforms\android folder

Contents of the file: edit after = for all except 2nd line

storeFile=C:/yourlocation/app.keystore
storeType=jks
keyAlias=aliasname
keyPassword=aliaspass
storePassword=password

Then this command should build a release version:

cordova build android --release

Answer:

In the current documentation we can specify a build.json with the keystore:

{
     "android": {
         "debug": {
             "keystore": "..\android.keystore",
             "storePassword": "android",
             "alias": "mykey1",
             "password" : "password",
             "keystoreType": ""
         },
         "release": {
             "keystore": "..\android.keystore",
             "storePassword": "",
             "alias": "mykey2",
             "password" : "password",
             "keystoreType": ""
         }
     }
 }

And then, execute the commando with –buildConfig argumente, this way:

cordova run android --buildConfig

Answer:

Step1:

Go to cordova\platforms\android ant create a fille called ant.properties file with the keystore file info (this keystore can be generated from your favorite Android SDK, studio…):

key.store=C:\yourpath\Yourkeystore.keystore
key.alias=youralias

Step2:

Go to cordova path and execute:

cordova build android --release

Note: You will be prompted asking your keystore and key password

An YourApp-release.apk will appear in \cordova\platforms\android\ant-build

Answer:

In cordova 6.2.0, it has an easy way to create release build. refer to other steps here Steps 1, 2 and 4

cd cordova/ #change to root cordova folder
platforms/android/cordova/clean #clean if you want
cordova build android --release -- --keystore="/path/to/keystore" --storePassword=password --alias=alias_name #password will be prompted if you have any

Answer:

On Mac (osx), I generated two .sh files, one for the first publication and another one for updating :

#!/bin/sh
echo "Ionic to Signed APK ---- [email protected] // Benjamin Rathelot\n"
printf "Project dir : "
read DIR
printf "Project key alias : "
read ALIAS
cd $DIR/
cordova build --release android
cd platforms/android/build/outputs/apk/
keytool -genkey -v -keystore my-release-key.keystore -alias $ALIAS -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 10000
jarsigner -verbose -sigalg SHA1withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore my-release-key.keystore android-release-unsigned.apk $ALIAS
zipalign -v 4 android-release-unsigned.apk signedApk.apk

And to update your app:

#!/bin/sh
echo "Ionic to Signed APK ---- [email protected] // Benjamin Rathelot\n"
printf "Project dir : "
read DIR
printf "Project key alias : "
read ALIAS
cd $DIR/
cordova build --release android
cd platforms/android/build/outputs/apk/
rm signedApk.apk
jarsigner -verbose -sigalg SHA1withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore my-release-key.keystore android-release-unsigned.apk $ALIAS
zipalign -v 4 android-release-unsigned.apk signedApk.apk

Assuming you’re in your home folder or a folder topping your apps folders. Make sure to set correctly chmod to use this script. Then :

./ionicToApk.sh # or whatever depending of the name of your file, in CLI

Your signed apk will be in Your App folder/platforms/android/build/outputs/apk/ as SignedApk.apk
Make sure to use the correct key alias and password defined with the first script

Answer:

##Generated signed apk from commandline
#variables
APP_NAME=THE_APP_NAME
APK_LOCATION=./
APP_HOME=/path/to/THE_APP
APP_KEY=/path/to/Android_key
APP_KEY_ALIAS=the_alias
APP_KEY_PASSWORD=123456789
zipalign=$ANDROID_HOME/build-tools/28.0.3/zipalign

#the logic
cd $APP_HOME
cordova build --release android
cd platforms/android/app/build/outputs/apk/release
jarsigner -verbose -sigalg SHA1withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore $APP_KEY ./app-release-unsigned.apk $APP_KEY_ALIAS <<< $APP_KEY_PASSWORD
rm -rf "$APK_LOCATION/$APP_NAME.apk"
$zipalign -v 4 ./app-release-unsigned.apk "$APK_LOCATION/$APP_NAME.apk"
open $APK_LOCATION
#the end

Answer:

First Check your version code and version name if you are updating your app. And make sure you have a previous keystore.

If you are updating app then follow step 1,3,4.

Step 1:

Goto your cordova project for generate our release build:

D:\projects\Phonegap\Example> cordova build --release android

Then, we can find our unsigned APK file in platforms/android/ant-build. In our example, the file was

if u used ant-build

yourproject/platforms/android/ant-build/Example-release-unsigned.apk

OR

if u used gradle-build

yourProject/platforms/android/build/outputs/apk/Example-release-unsigned.apk

Step 2:

Key Generation:

Syntax:

keytool -genkey -v -keystore <keystoreName>.keystore -alias <Keystore AliasName> -keyalg <Key algorithm> -keysize <Key size> -validity <Key Validity in Days>

if keytool command not recognize do this step

Check that the directory the keytool executable is in is on your path. (For example, on my Windows 7 machine, it’s in C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin.)

Example:

keytool -genkey -v -keystore NAME-mobileapps.keystore -alias NAMEmobileapps -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 10000


keystore password? : xxxxxxx
What is your first and last name? :  xxxxxx
What is the name of your organizational unit? :  xxxxxxxx
What is the name of your organization? :  xxxxxxxxx
What is the name of your City or Locality? :  xxxxxxx
What is the name of your State or Province? :  xxxxx
What is the two-letter country code for this unit? :  xxx

Then the Key store has been generated with name as NAME-mobileapps.keystore

Step 3:

Place the generated keystore in
D:\projects\Phonegap\Example\platforms\android\ant-build

To sign the unsigned APK, run the jarsigner tool which is also included in the JDK:

Syntax:

jarsigner -verbose -sigalg SHA1withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore <keystorename <Unsigned APK file> <Keystore Alias name>

If it doesn’t reconize do these steps

(1) Right click on “This PC” > right-click Properties > Advanced system settings > Environment Variables > select PATH then EDIT.

(2) Add your jdk bin folder path to environment variables, it should look like this:

“C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_40\bin”.

Example:

D:\projects\Phonegap\Example\platforms\android\ant-build> jarsigner -verbose -sigalg SHA1withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore NAME-mobileapps.keystore Example-release-unsigned.apk xxxxxmobileapps

Enter KeyPhrase as 'xxxxxxxx'

This signs the apk in place.

Step 4:

Finally, we need to run the zip align tool to optimize the APK:

if zipalign not recognize then

(1) goto your android sdk path and find zipalign it is usually in android-sdk\build-tools\23.0.3

(2) Copy zipalign file paste into your generate release apk folder usually in below path

yourproject/platforms/android/ant-build/Example-release-unsigned.apk

D:\projects\Phonegap\Example\platforms\android\ant-build> zipalign -v 4 Example-release-unsigned.apk Example.apk 

OR

D:\projects\Phonegap\Example\platforms\android\ant-build> C:\Phonegap\adt-bundle-windows-x86_64-20140624\sdk\build-tools\android-4.4W\zipalign -v 4 Example-release-unsigned.apk Example.apk

Now we have our final release binary called example.apk and we can release this on the Google Play Store.

Answer:

Build cordova release APK file in cmd.

KEY STORE FILE PATH: keystore file path (F:/cordova/myApp/xxxxx.jks)

KEY STORE PASSWORD: xxxxx

KEY STORE ALIAS: xxxxx

KEY STORE ALIAS PASSWORD: xxxxx

PATH OF zipalign.exe: zipalign.exe file path (C:\Users\xxxx\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\build-tools\25.0.2\zipalign)

ANDROID UNSIGNED APK NAME: android-release-unsigned.apk

ANDROID RELEASE APK NAME: android-release.apk

Run below steps in cmd (run as administrator)

  1. cordova build –release android
  2. go to android-release-unsigned.apk file location (PROJECT\platforms\android\build\outputs\apk)
  3. jarsigner -verbose -sigalg SHA1withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore <KEY STORE FILE PATH> <ANDROID UNSIGNED APK NAME> <KEY STORE ALIAS>
  4. <PATH OF zipalign.exe> -v 4 <ANDROID UNSIGNED APK NAME> <ANDROID RELEASE APK NAME>

Answer:

For Windows, I’ve created a build.cmd file:

(replace the keystore path and alias)

For Cordova:

@echo off 
set /P spassw="Store Password: " && set /P kpassw="Key Password: " && cordova build android --release -- --keystore=../../local/my.keystore --storePassword=%spassw% --alias=tmpalias --password=%kpassw%

And for Ionic:

@echo off 
set /P spassw="Store Password: " && set /P kpassw="Key Password: " && ionic build --prod && cordova build android --release -- --keystore=../../local/my.keystore --storePassword=%spassw% --alias=tmpalias --password=%kpassw%

Save it in the ptoject’s directory, you can double click or open it with cmd.