E pur si muove

GnuPG Smartcard on Debian Sarge

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

There's a document on the GnuPG explaining how to set up your system to use a smartcard. There a few people around claiming that it works on a standard Debian Sarge by using udev. Up to today I have had no luck with that however, but that finally changed!

I'll skip narrating all the thing I tried in vain, including compiling new kernels from So if you happen to have an SCM Microsystems SCR335 smartcard reader (which is listed on the HOWTO as supported) like me this should get it to work.

Packages you'll have to install:

  • gnupg
  • pcscd
  • libpcsclite-dev
  • a 2.6 linux kernel
  • udev

Everything else will come in as a dependency.

After that you also need a file in /etc/udev/rules.d/gnnupg-ccid.rules and no, don't use the one they suggest in the HOWTO. This one line is much better as it doesn't need the speparate script (and actually works!):

BUS=="usb", ENV{ACTION}=="add", SYSFS{idVendor}=="04e6", SYSFS{idProduct}=="5115", GROUP="users", MODE="0660"

Note the ENV bit. You'll have to adjust the SYSFS values if you have a different reader. Lastly there's the GROUP and MODE to play with, I really don't see why you need to create yet another group for this. Why wouldn't all users be allowed to use a smartcard?

Now you should have the green led on the reader on when you insert the card. And gpg --card-status should give you output too. Start playing.

If you find any errors in the above (I missed a required package or so) please tell me and I'll update the description.

Dalai Lama visits Belgium

Friday, June 02, 2006

Like I care.

But China cares, that's more worrying. Dispite it not being an "official" visit (he was invited by some buddhists to open a new temple) he visited the prime minister and some other politicians. And hence the chinese ambassador says it will hurt the Belgian-China relationships as they don't like him. "The territorial integrity of a country are very important and is in the heart of every chinese." Yeah right.

The final quote is the best: "I hope that not only we, but also the Belgian government and politicians, will realise that the Belgian-China relationship is currently more important." In other words: screw human rights, it's good for our economy.

The worst part of it all is that our politicians try and not offend China too much. I've already a few time wondered if it is possible to boycot 'made in china' stuff. But that seems so damn difficult.

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