Here you will find a collection of common issues.

Nitrokey is Not Detected on Linux#

If the Nitrokey is not detected, proceed as follows:

  1. Copy this file 41-nitrokey.rules to /etc/udev/rules.d/.

  2. Restart udev via sudo service udev restart.

Google and Microsoft Services#

Currently there seems to be a bug we hope to fix soon which affects the Nitrokey 3 working with some Google and Microsoft Services per FIDO2.

Timeout Bug#

There is a bug with the Nitrokey being recognized by the system, where a timeout occurs before the connection succeeds.

NFC is Not Working#

Please make sure FIDO2 is working correctly. Otherwise NFC won’t work either.

Also check if you are using the right spot on your smartphone. Find the right spot using:

The backside of the Nitrokey has to be held against the smartphone. For the USB-A version it might be helpful to lift the side with the USB connector slightly to reduce the distance to the end part of the stick.

If you have a phone cover, try to find the right spot first without it. Retry afterwards with the cover.

The search of the optimal spot sometimes took up to 20-30 sec. In our experience holding the Nitrokey in an horizontal orientation yields better results.If you still encounter issues please write a mail to our support. For optimal help please include the shipping/order number and your smartphone model.

OpenPGP Troubleshooting#

GnuPG: OpenPGP Card Not Available#

Problem: GnuPG cannot access the Nitrokey 3 and shows an error message like this:

$ gpg --card-status
gpg: selecting openpgp failed: No such device
gpg: OpenPGP card not available: No such device

Solution: There are two common smartcard services on Linux systems: scdaemon, GnuPG’s smartcard daemon, and pcscd, a generic smartcard daemon. scdaemon has two drivers for accessing smartcards: Its integrated ccid driver tries to directly access the smartcard. The pcsc drivers uses the pcscd daemon instead.

A smartcard can only be accessed directly by one daemon. This means that depending on the startup order, pcscd might lock the card before scdaemon tries to access it using the internal ccid driver. Therefore we recommend to use the pcscd driver for scdaemon. You can activate it by adding disable-ccid to the ~/.gnupg/scdaemon.conf config file and restarting scdaemon, for example with gpg-connect-agent "SCD KILLSCD" /bye. If this does not fix the problem, see the next section for more information.

Alternatively, you can deactivate or uninstall pcscd to avoid this conflict.

pcscd: Card Not Found#

Problem: An application using pcscd does not show the Nitrokey 3.

Solution: First, make sure that scdaemon is not running (see the previous section):

$ gpg-connect-agent "SCD KILLSCD" /bye

Now list the smartcards recognized by pcscd with pcsc_scan -r. You should see an entry like this one:

$ pcsc_scan -r
Using reader plug'n play mechanism
Scanning present readers..
0: Nitrokey 3 [CCID/ICCD Interface] 00 00

If the Nitrokey 3 shows up, it is recognized correctly by pcscd and there might be an issue with the application that tries to access it. If it does not show up, make sure that your libccid version is up to date. Support for the Nitrokey 3 was added in libccid 1.5.0.

Updating The Device Database#

If you cannot update libccid to a supported version, you have to manually update the device database. The path of the database depends on your distribution:

  • Arch, Debian, Ubuntu: /etc/libccid_Info.plist

Make sure to backup the file before overwriting it. You can download an updated device database file from the nitrokey-3-firmware repository. After updating the file, restart pcscd and run pcsc_scan -r again. The Nitrokey 3 should now show up.

Update Via Does Not Work#

Currently the web updater doesn’t support the Nitrokey 3. However you can get the latest firmware using these instructions.