Smartcards and readers

Thomas Harning Jr. harningt at
Mon Jul 25 01:08:57 CEST 2011

On Sun, Jul 24, 2011 at 5:57 PM, Robert J. Hansen <rjh at> wrote:
> I'm looking into picking up an OpenPGP smartcard and reader for an OS X
> system.  The card itself can be picked up from KernelConcepts, but there
> seem to be an awful lot of different readers available.
> If anyone has any *direct experience* (not "I heard from my friend's
> bowling partner that...") with different readers for OS X systems, I'd
> love to hear about them.  Which ones work well, and which are best avoided?
I've had quite a bit of experience w/ smart card readers (my day job
deals with these 50% of the time, the other 50% mixed between software
tokens and hardware tokens w/ reader builtin).

A great resource for compatibility and warnings is at

I've had great experiences with the "PC Twin Reader" from Gemalto.  If
using purely OSX and have no access to Windows (for a firmware
update), I'd recommend against the SCR331 series in case you happen
upon one that does not have the firmware updated to be fully CCID
compliant.  Note that the SCR331 is sometimes rebranded and has 3rd
party firmware which may or may not be fully CCID compliant.  One of
the easy ways to tell if you have it is the shape of reader (the
'supported' list pictures it)

Thomas Harning Jr.

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