OpenPGP card bricked

Peter Lebbing peter at
Tue Mar 13 16:00:04 CET 2018

On 13/03/18 15:34, Matthias Apitz wrote:
> Is there some config missing so that scdaemon opens directly the reader?
> What does 'pcsc_establish_context failed' mean?

A notable difference between the built-in CCID driver and pcscd is probably the
user credentials that open the USB device. Make sure you have write access to
the character device in /dev/bus/usb that corresponds to your smartcard:

$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 006: ID 04e6:e003 SCM Microsystems, Inc. SPR532 PinPad SmartCard
$ ll /dev/bus/usb/001/006
crw-rw-r--+ 1 root root 189, 5 Mar 13 15:55 /dev/bus/usb/001/006
$ getfacl /dev/bus/usb/001/006
getfacl: Removing leading '/' from absolute path names
# file: dev/bus/usb/001/006
# owner: root
# group: root

Also, if I were you, I'd clean the smartcard contacts with isopropyl alcohol.
I'm not sure what other cleaning agents would work well, I just use that one.

It could be that your card has just died. Smartcards are not the most robust
devices, and they are subjected to stress usually.



PS: I'm not 100% sure that libusb opens that particular character device... I
believe it's the correct one, but wouldn't swear on it.

I use the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) in combination with Enigmail.
You can send me encrypted mail if you want some privacy.
My key is available at <>

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