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Preparing APS certificates

After requesting the certificate from Apple (to do this, go to Apple Developer site -> APNs Auth key -> [+]), download the .cer file (usually named aps_production.cer or aps_development.cer) from the iOS Provisioning Portal, save in a clean directory, and import it into Keychain Access.

It should now appear in the keyring under the "Certificates" category, as Apple Push Services. Inside the certificate you should see a private key (only when filtering for the "Certificates" category).

Export this private key as a .p12 file:

  • Right click in the certificate we are interested in Keychain and select Export...
  • Accept the default .p12 file format and then click Save


  • Keychain Access, select Keys, and then highlight your app private key.
  • Click File, click Export Items..., and then enter a name in the Save As: field.

Now, in the directory containing cert.cer and key.p12 (preferably at server), execute the following commands to generate your .pem files:

$ openssl x509 -in cert.cer -inform DER -outform PEM -out cert.pem
$ openssl pkcs12 -in key.p12 -out key.pem -nodes

Test certificates:

$ openssl s_client -connect -cert cert.pem -key key.pem # production

If you are using a development certificate you may wish to name them differently to enable fast switching between development and production. The filenames are configurable within the module options, so feel free to name them something more appropriate.

It is also possible to supply a PFX (PFX/PKCS12) package containing your certificate, key and any relevant CA certificates. The method to accomplish this is left as an exercise to the reader. It should be possible to select the relevant items in "Keychain Access" and use the export option with .p12 format.

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