This Space for Rent

Bizarre MacOS debugging session of the year

I was trying to set up a friend’s macbook so he could build iPad apps and test them on his iPad, but every time we tried to actually do it the process would come to an abrupt halt with one of a dozen error messages.

After several hours, I finally examined some of the allegedly unsigned certificates on his system (I say “allegedly” because some of these certificates – the Apple certificates that all the developer certificates rely on for a chain of trust – were copied over from my machine where they were happy) and realized that even the highest-level developer certs were saying they weren’t issued by a trusted authority.

Wait a minute,” thought I, and went to take a look at the top-level Apple CA certificates.

Which weren’t there.

Oh. I’m not exactly sure just how they disappeared, but after I copied them over from my machine all of these previously invalid developer certificates were magically valid.


Needless to say, the error messages that MacOS issued didn’t say jack.

I’m glad I wasn’t so tired that I couldn’t bull through and figure this stupid thing out, though this screams “Hi! I’m a huge security risk! Have a nice day!”