UPDATE (23rd June 2011) – Unfortunately due to the new dev certificate policies by Symbian Signed, it is now virtually impossible to get a certificate for your phone. Online certificate/key generator sites (listed below) have stopped issuing new cert/key files.
There are basically two methods to sign (to embed a trusted certificate signature) an unsigned Symbian app (sis/sisx file) – online (at various sites) or offline (at computer or phone). In simple words you can either get your file signed online or sign it yourself at PC or phone. The second method is easier and more popular. I will describe the two methods one by one:
1. ONLINE SIGNING OF sis/sisx FILES – Following are some websites that offer this service:
A) “Open Signed” via Symbian Signed (the official signing site)
B) Online signing at OPDA (Requires Sign-up)
You will have to give your phone’s IMEI number and upload the unsigned file at the above sites and then wait until it is signed and available for download.
2. OFFLINE SIGNING AT PC BY A “SIGNER” SOFTWARE – This method uses a PC software (called a “Signer” or “Sign tool”) to sign an unsigned app with the help of a personal “Security Certificate” and a “Key” file for a specific IMEI (the .cert and .key files will be specific for a single IMEI number). There are several sites offering the service to provide (generate) “certificate” and “key” file for any IMEI. Some of these are in Chinese or Russian so better translate them in your language using Google translate):
cer.s603rd.cn – require no registration but in Chinese.
cer.opda.cn/en – In English language. Also provide online app signing service (recommended)
s60certkey.com – In English, “Sign Up” (Registration) is required to get certificate and key.
allnokia.ru/symb_cert – No sign up required but in Russian
isign.imobile.com.cn – Chinese site
Go to any of the above sites, register if required. Enter your phone’s IMEI number (press *#06# at phone’s idle screen to know its IMEI) in the given field (fill up other info if required) and then wait for 12-24 hours (sometimes even longer). Visit the site again next day and again enter your IMEI. If your certificate and key have been generated, a link will appear telling you to download it. I have personally tested the first two sites.
After downloading your personal security certificate and key file you will need a “Signer” application that will sign sis/sisx files using the above two files. First two sites also provide such apps. (See update below). (alternatively you may download PC signer from here (complicated – change the language of its interface by clicking last tab and choosing “English” and then restart it).
Now make a new folder (of whatever name like “Signer folder” and preferably at Desktop). Place the downloaded signer app, certificate file, key file and the unsigned sis/sisx file in the just created folder.
Now open the Signer software (right click on the signer exe file and select “Run as administrator”).
Select unsigned sis/sisx file, “cert” file and “key” file as directed and click “Sign”.
After a while a signed file will be generated with some suffix added to the original name (like xyz_signed or some other weird name) and that will be your signed sis/sisx file ready to be installed in the phone. A warning will appear when installing these files saying “This file is for development purpose only and may seriously damage your device”, just don’t worry about this and continue with installation.
3. SIGNING AT PHONE ITSELF: “Free Signer” is a wonderful free application for S60 3rd, 5th edition and Symbian^3 phones that can be used for signing sis/sisx files at phone itself (just like “Signer” software for Windows as described above). However “Free Signer” will also need the “Certificate” and “Key file” to sign the unsigned sis/sisx file (as described in step 2 above). “Free Signer” is itself an unsigned app (download from here) and needs to be signed to install in phone. Therefore you will have to follow the above step 2 to sign it first. Once “Free Signer” is signed, install it in your phone. Transfer your “Certificate”, “Key” and unsigned sis/sisx file to phone. Run Free Signer from phone’s menu and follow the instructions to sign files.
NOTE however that the files signed by any of the above 3 steps can only be installed in the phone with IMEI for which the cert and key files were generated. Also files signed through above procedure will have limited security capabilities (can’t access system folders and files etc) because it is an “Open Signed”, IMEI restricted process without a “Publisher ID”.
One last thing, besides signing, you can also “Unsign” (remove certificate) a signed sis/sisx file with the above “Signer” apps (both via PC signer and “Free signer” of phone).