Multiple Yubikeys/Smartcards and Thunderbird email client

Brandon Anderson at
Thu Jul 15 17:06:03 CEST 2021

>> On 15 Jul 2021, at 12:54, john doe via Gnupg-users <gnupg-users at> wrote:
>> Is this still relevent with the built-in gpg stuff of TB?
> Very much so. Thunderbird’s native Open PGP support is quite basic, and anything to do with smartcards still has to be delegated to an external gnupg process.
> A

Another weird behavior I am just now noticing, and maybe it is related. 
When I insert the Yubikey that Thunderbird wants, and type into the 
terminal `gpg --card-status`, it outputs as expected. The same thing 
occurs if I insert my GPG smartcard v2.1. However, my primary Yubikey 5 
Nano, which is usually on my desktop and the one I want Thunderbird to 
play nice with when inserted and `gpg --card-status` is run outputs:

➜  yubikeyLockPassword gpg --card-status
gpg: selecting card failed: End of file
gpg: OpenPGP card not available: End of file

The first time and then when you rerun `gpg --card-status`, it outputs 
the proper and expected result every time. However, this is repeatable 
as every time I remove and reinsert this particular Yubikey, the first 
card-status call falls, all later ones succeed. I wonder if this odd 
behavior is what's causing Thunderbird to ignore this one Yubikey.


Brandon Anderson

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