Air for Desktop (publishing to the Mac App Store) - is it possible?

Hi folks,
Has anyone in the last 6 months (or ever) published an Air for Desktop app to the Mac Appstore?

I noticed that Apple are now allowing us to make macOS Certs in the Developer portal. There used to be a separate annual license for macOS, but now it’s included.

I would like to publish some of my iOS apps to desktop, and would first like to target the Mac Appstore. I set up an app on App Store Connect and the process is nearly identical to the iOS portal. Screenshots need to be 1920x1080.

But I have 2 main hurdles to publish an app:

  1. The icons in the Desktop settings are years out of date! 128 is the largest, which is tiny in this day and age. It needs to be up to 1024 pixels.

  2. What is the process of Signing the Certificate?

I downloaded various Developer and Distribution Certs from Apple and made a .p12 in Keychain Access.

I wasn’t sure whether to right click on the certificate or just the private key to export to p12?

I tried adding the p12 in the Air settings but I got the Air popup error.

Unable to build a valid certificate chain from the signer

I guess it needs to be properly ‘signed’ in an extra step.

I’m using a Mac with Adobe Animate Is there a way of code-signing this for free? And without using Terminal? I’m a designer and have no idea how to use it!

I’ve heard that maybe this can be done in a browser (export a certificate)…

Any help welcome!

p.s I had more pics of the process, but as I’m a new user I could only post 1…


You are going to have to use Terminal for some parts.

Someone on the adobe forum put together a step-by-step guide

you will need to replace the .icns in your automated build etc.

for certs, which one to export etc.

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Thanks for the link Zwetan,
But first know that I’m not too technical. Does Xcode need to be used?

Have you or anyone else published from Animate? Is the final cert that you link a .p12?

I think I tried adding bigger icons to the package in the portal but they were rejected.

Thanks very much - I hope I can manage it!

Found this thread as I was googling for a solution to the same issue. I have an ongoing discussion on the Adobe forums regarding successfully signing a macOS Adobe AIR (31/32) app and getting it notarized by Apple: I’ve also submitted a ticket to Apple Dev support.

My main hurdle is that when I use the “codesign” tool with “–options runtime” as argument, to make the main app executable hardened (as per Apple’s requirements, the app will crash on startup, throwing an “Exception Type: EXC_BAD_ACCESS (Code Signature Invalid)” with “Termination Reason: Namespace CODESIGNING, Code 0x2”

I can successfully get this app notarized, but that’s not much use if it crashes on startup. If I sign the app without “–optons runtime”, GateKeeper will accept it, and the app functions normally, but notarization fails because the main exec isn’t hardened.

This happens even with the simplest hello-world example. I’m using IntelliJ IDEA to generate a code-cert signed .app file (captive runtime bundle) before fixing icons, removing DRM and applying the Apple Developer ID signing.

Would love to hear what steps you guys used to get a successfully signed and notarized MacOS AIR app. My next tries is downgrading to an older version of AIR as well as trying to export from FB instead of IntelliJ.

Any progress on this? Did you give up?

not really cool as an approach to ask someone about progress

Just wanted to know if it’s possible. It would be cool if Herman helped facilitate this process. Getting a AIR app in the Mac App Store and Windows Store can facilitate it’s adoption.

what indicates @DHL are good infos

now for a complete solution you need to do numerous tests etc.

personally, I did not have time to come around it yet
strangely my summers who where very calm have become hectic in term of work

in general, I have many “as3lang” books cooking
and among those there is one which will details everything about
packaging, signing, installers, etc. on all platform (even AIR 2.6 Linux with snapcraft)

for the Windows Store

as you can see the in-apps purchase can become quite complicated
so even with a tutorial it will not be obvious for most people

the Azure Active Directory and OAuth tokens, etc.
I have lot of experience with those connecting Azure Apps with Office 365 API
but even with a detailed tutorial it is not enough, people will want to test and have an ANE and backend code etc.

@rewb0rn already did a good job with the 2 tutorials but imho it gonna take a lot lot more tutorials
or already made ANE/services/solutions for people to figure it out, and yeha it will probably not be free, so they will complain

The signing process looked extremely complicated to me, so I’ve put it off for a rainy day!

I emailed Apple about 3rd party desktop apps and they mentioned that in Autumn they are launching Project Catalyst, which will extend iOS to Desktop Apps.

This will be done through macOS Catalina. But I don’t know whether this will help Air devs yet. I imagine it’s done with Xcode.

I just wish Desktop Certs could be as simple as the iOS process (linking a .p12 profile and provisioning profile to go with it).

Harman - we’d be really grateful for a guide for Mac and PC users for publishing desktop apps.


I added a feature request last month. Let Harman know you are also interested.

Thanks, I’ve added my comments on there.

Hi flashmatt, I got through the process and documented every step (in painful detail) here, from Sept 28, 2019:

I was using the latest AIR 32 and cobbled together various other reports and solutions. The main problem I was having was the app file had symlinks wrong, so the codesigning process was getting messed up. The codesign application’s error was a tiny bit helpful but generally poking around the Apple docs revealed the issue. I created a script to correct the symlinks and posted all there. Please post here (or email me, you can send me a note in Contact on if you have any questions!



Thanks Jonathan - great of you to make that guide!

At first glance it looks absolutely horrendous - I don’t think I have the stomach for it yet… I’ve never used the ADT and I’ve only ever used Animate.

I just wish Adobe and Harman could update the Animate software with the larger icon sizes and a process that handles certificates like on iOS.

A few starter questions:

  1. Can the Mac certs from the Apple Developer portal be used to make the file? Or do you have to buy an official cert on top? Like Global Sign or something (this is expensive…)

  2. Did you manage to create HD icons? Is that process on the guide?

  3. Are you selling your software on the Mac Appstore?

If anyone wants to share their Air Desktop apps so I can see what people are doing please post here.

  1. Anyone want to share their experiences about selling Desktop apps on the Mac Store or on their own website?

Keen to know if this is a small niche market that’s worth getting into, since mobile is saturated and people expect to pay so little for mobile apps.



HIH How I notarized my desktop AIR project for MacOS AppStore

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Hi Matt,
I also have some issues on getting my Air Desktop Apps to the stores. It once worked vor me, but currently I have some issues … and now I’m stuck. I just wrote a post on what I did and about what worked some weeks ago here: AIR Desktop App vs. Mac App Store

I hope someone can give me some hints on how to fix it again … .and maybe it will also help you to get your Apps to the store :slight_smile:

Best regards

Just wanted to post a note after I updated my Mac app using AIR based on my previous steps I posted. I tried using adt then going to codesigning and notarizing directly (without the symbolic link and package removal changes I had to do before), but it choked at the notarization step with Apple, with the oh-so-useful error message from them “Package Invalid”. Thanks, Apple.

Anyway, I steeled myself and went through all the link re-doing and removing packages from the adt output, then it all worked fine (albeit adding more grey hairs to my head).

I don’t know specifically which things Harman has fixed in the meantime that I really didn’t have to do, so I repeated all of what worked the last time. My guess is they probably did the symbolic linkage correctly, but I still saw packages in the .app might have. Just wanted to give others hope in case they were wondering if anything changed since I had done this successfully with AIR 32.

Ping me if you need any clarification on my steps, I will do my best.


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FYI we are looking at this process to try to make a lot more of it automatic - it’s a work in progress at the moment (helped a lot by Jonathan’s inputs as well!). The symlinks should be sorted; we need to correctly sign the framework and remove some files that aren’t present at signing but that ADT injects into the package for some reason… and I think we also need to sort out the entitlements of the main executable to ensure that it can load the framework due to the use of JIT etc.

Complex, but we’re getting there! Ultimately goal is that a “-target bundle” would create the .app file, and “-target native” would create the .dmg file (they work currently albeit without the codesigning etc).


These may be of interest to your team. I and others have been using them successfully for a while.

There are 2 shell scripts. 1 for signing and notarizing for distribution and 1 for signing for the AppStore.
The scripts fill in the missing parts (eg icons, entitlements, missing plist entries)
I think it would be important for any bundling as part of adt to incorporate the notarization+stapling step for self distributed apps.
This is the step that can trip up many users and which is very mysterious.

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