Problems with OpenPGP smart card

Karsten Strunk gnupg at
Thu Nov 17 23:41:23 CET 2005


I'm trying to use an OpenPGP smart card with gnupg, but I don't get it 
working. When I try to generate a keypair on the card, the card starts 
generating it but after a while I get "Key generation failed: general 
I'm using a ReinerSCT smard card reader which, I think, works fine, 
because I can access the card and read some data. My system is SuSE 10.0.

Is there anyone who had similar problems and could help me? Thanks very 



Output of gnupg:

gpg --card-edit

gpg: detected reader `REINER SCT CyberJack pp_a 00 00'
Application ID ...: D2760001240101010000000000000000
Version ..........: 1.1
Manufacturer .....: test card
Serial number ....: 00000000
Name of cardholder: Test Test
Language prefs ...: de
Sex ..............: male
URL of public key : [not set]
Login data .......: test
Private DO 1 .....: [not set]
Private DO 2 .....: [not set]
Signature PIN ....: not forced
Max. PIN lengths .: 254 254 254
PIN retry counter : 3 3 3
Signature counter : 0
Signature key ....: [none]
Encryption key....: [none]
Authentication key: [none]
General key info..: [none]

Command> admin
Admin commands are allowed

Command> generate
Make off-card backup of encryption key? (Y/n) Y
Please specify how long the key should be valid.
         0 = key does not expire
      <n>  = key expires in n days
      <n>w = key expires in n weeks
      <n>m = key expires in n months
      <n>y = key expires in n years
Key is valid for? (0) 0
Key does not expire at all
Is this correct? (y/N) y
You need a user ID to identify your key; the software constructs the user ID
from the Real Name, Comment and Email Address in this form:
    "Heinrich Heine (Der Dichter) <heinrichh at>"

Real name: Test4
Email address: test4 at
You selected this USER-ID:
    "Test4 <test4 at>"

Change (N)ame, (C)omment, (E)mail or (O)kay/(Q)uit? O
gpg: generating new key                             
gpg: 3 Admin PIN attempts remaining before card is permanently locked

Admin PIN
gpg: please wait while key is being generated ...
gpg: generating key failed
gpg: key generation failed: general error
Key generation failed: general error

gpg --version
gpg (GnuPG) 1.4.2

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