smart card under linux

Philip Jackson philip.jackson at
Tue Oct 21 15:10:58 CEST 2014

On 21/10/14 12:59, Tristan Santore wrote:
> On 20/10/14 23:36, Philip Jackson wrote:


>> going under my UbuntuStudio 1404 linux. Using gnupg2 2.0.26.
>> Trying to use the GnuPG driver to access CCID cards, "gpg2 --card-status" yields
>> the following output :
>> gpg: selecting openpgp failed: Card error
>> gpg: OpenPGP card not available: Card error
>> I've followed, I believe, all the instructions in the smartcard howto.
>>  In para 2.3.1 CCID : I've tried both the instructions under 'with udev
>> (preferred installation)' and further down 'with hotplug (deprecated in modern
>> systems)'
>> In the /etc/udev/rules.d/ directory there is a README which says that symbolic
>> links should not be used in Ubuntu (unlike Debian) so I placed a copy of
>> gnupg-ccid.rules directly in that directory.  But that didn't help.
>> lsusb shows that the SCM card reader is recognised and present but gpg doesn't
>> seem to be able to make contact.
>> I'd appreciate any ideas for what to try next.

>> Philip,
> Further, to the previous question, which distribution are you currently using ?
> There is a locking issue in Fedora with pcscd. I have not had time to dig deeper
> yet, but libvirt and some other binaries appear to be blocking the card.

I'm using UbuntuStudio 1404 - one of the Ubuntu flavours.

Practically all I know about smart cards is from the GnuPG smartcard howto on website. There, it makes reference to 'Two standard protocols are used
by GnuPG to access card readers.' and then proceeds to cover CCID in some detail
with three apparent alternatives being detailed.

It then treats the other protocol, PC/SC, but all it says is "TODO - To use
PC/SC make sure you disable CCID by passing the --disable-ccid option to GnuPG."

>From this I assumed that CCID was perhaps either preferred / more important /
more useful / or more modern so I didn't touch anything about PCSC and this
means that pcscd is not running on my system.

Is this a major error on my part ?


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