vasan vasan - 2 years ago 1561
Android Question

how to create signed APK file using cordova command line interface

This is the first time working on

apache Cordova
. I made a sample application name as
. Now I want to create
APK file. so I can install in different devices for my testing.

For this, I Googled and found this documentation.

As per document, I switch 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 ran the above command, I got a file name as

And then I copy pasted that file into

After that, I created a file name as
and saved it in

I wrote the following code inside the file


after that, I ran the following command to release

Cordova builds android --release

It's throwing following error

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
value in
file like in the following way.

Again ran
Cordova build android --release
command. the same error it's throwing.

Can anyone tell where I went wrong?

Answer Source

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:


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


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

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


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


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 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 


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.

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