Generate Apple Passbook passes in Ruby
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Generate Apple Passbook passes in Ruby

Passifier does most of the hard work and will more easily allow you to automate generating pkpass files. You simply supply

  • A Hash of metadata and layout (the contents of pass.json for those experienced)
  • Image URLs and paths
  • The location of your key and certificate .pem files
  • Output path where you'd like the generated .pkpass file


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'passifier'


Metadata and Layout

First, supply a bunch of pass information and styling. This will become the file pass.json within the pass archive. More information on pass.json and creating a layout can be found at

serial_number = "SO_SERIAL"

spec = {
  "formatVersion": 1,
  "passTypeIdentifier": "pass.example.example",
  "teamIdentifier": "METS",
  "relevantDate": "2012-07-30T14:19Z",          
  "organizationName": "Example Inc.",
  "serialNumber": serial_number,
  "description": "The example pass from",
  "labelColor": "rgb(122, 16, 38)",
  "backgroundColor": "rgb(227, 227, 227)",
  "foregroundColor": "rgb(110,110,110)",
  "generic": {
    "headerFields": [
        "key": "date",
        "label": "Date",
        "value": "October 30th"
    "primaryFields": [
        "key": "title",
        "label": "",
        "value": "Passifier!"
    "secondaryFields": [
        "key": "host",
        "label": "Host",
        "value": "",


Specify a Hash of images. Notice that you can use either paths or urls here.

assets = {
  "background.png": "assets/background.png",
  "background@2x.png": "assets/background@2x.png",
  "icon.png": "assets/icon.png",
  "icon@2x.png": "assets/icon@2x.png",
  "logo.png": "",
  "logo@2x.png": "",
  "thumbnail.png": "assets/thumbnail.png",
  "thumbnail@2x.png": "assets/thumbnail@2x.png"


Give Passifier some info about your .pem files.

To get your certificates and keys in order, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to the iOS Provisioning Portal, add a Pass Type ID, download the certificate
  2. Add the .cer file you're given to your keychain
  3. Right click on the certificate, export it to Certificates.p12, create a secure password when prompted
  4. openssl pkcs12 -in Certificates.p12 -clcerts -nokeys -out certificate.pem -passin pass:<THAT_SECRET_PASSWORD>
  5. openssl pkcs12 -in Certificates.p12 -nocerts -out key.pem -passin pass:<THAT_SECRET_PASSWORD> -passout pass:<ANOTHER_SECRET_PASSWORD>

Download the Worldwide Developer Relations certificate and export it as a .pem file to include in the signature.

key_pem = "path/to/a/key.pem"
cert_pem = "path/to/a/certificate.pem"
wwdr_pem = "path/to/the/wwdr_certificate.pem"

# Create a Signing object
signing =, pass_phrase, cert_pem, wwdr_pem)


Now it's time to create your pass.

Passifier::Pass.generate("readme.pkpass", serial_number, spec, assets, signing)

Passifier will have created the file readme.pkpass for you. When opened in Passbook, that pass looks something like:


Further Reading

  • Find a similar example with some more explanation here
  • Read a blog post about Passifier here


Contributing to Passifier

  • Check out the latest master to make sure the feature hasn't been implemented or the bug hasn't been fixed yet.
  • Check out the issue tracker to make sure someone already hasn't requested it and/or contributed it.
  • Create an issue in the issue tracker
  • Fork the project.
  • Start a feature/bugfix branch; include the issue number in the branch name.
  • Commit and push until you are happy with your contribution.
  • Make sure to add tests for it. This is important so we don't break it in a future version unintentionally.


Copyright © 2012 Paperless Post. See for details.