Nitrokey Start, Linux

  1. Install scdaemon and GnuPG 2.1 or higher by using your package manager (e.g. apt update && apt install scdaemon gpg2 on Ubuntu).
  2. Connect your Nitrokey to your computer.
  3. Use GnuPG to generate new keys or import existing ones.
::: note It is indeed necessary to first import or create new keys and change the PINs afterwards. Otherwise changing User PIN will fail! Furthermore overriding keys results in PIN reset (default values), please keep this in mind! :::
4. Change the Admin PIN (default: 12345678) and then the User PIN (default: 123456) to your own choices. - The PIN must consist of at least 14 characters (starting from RTM.8), can contain any character (not only numbers). Do not select only numbers. If your environment allows that, use emoticons or national characters. - The longer the PIN the better. It is possible to use 6 randomly selected words instead as well for the same or better security than random character string. - Use ‘gpg –card-edit’ -> ‘admin’ -> ‘passwd’ to achieve this (for Admin PIN case). - Please be careful to change Admin PIN first and User PIN second! Otherwise the admin-less mode got activated, see this instructions for further information. - Optionally Reset code can be set up (guide). The minimum length accepted is 8 characters, however it should be as long as User PIN. 5. KDF-DO allows for a shorter PIN of 8 characters minimum, by executing part of the calculations on the PC. Please use greater length for the increased security.

Firmware version 1.2.5 or below: In case you forget a PIN or enter it wrongly three times you need the reset code to unblock the PIN. Otherwise the device wouldn’t be usable anymore! Therefore pleaseset the reset codeas well when initialising the key!

Your Nitrokey is now ready to use. Checkout the various use cases and supported applications. ## Key Creation with OpenPGP or S/MIME There are two widely used standards for email encryption. While OpenPGP/GnuPG is popular among individuals, S/MIME/x.509 is mostly used by enterprises. If you are in doubt which one to choose, you should use OpenPGP.

Please note that the Nitrokey App can not be used for this device!

Troubleshooting

On some GNU/Linux systems it is necessary to insert the UDEV rules for the Nitrokey device manually. If you followed the above instructions and get the message:

gpg: OpenPGP card not available: No such device

please install the Nitrokey App or type the following commands in the terminal to download and install the UDEV rules:

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Nitrokey/libnitrokey/master/data/41-nitrokey.rules
sudo mv 41-nitrokey.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/