After hours (spread over weeks) I come to the conclusion that there is a lot of potential to improve the documentation of card readers (but I doubt the card reader vendors will do it) and of the pcsc documentation. It is not easy to arrive at a point where you understand everything. The compatibility list does not help much, as the card readers are partly past their end of life and the models which replace them are not listed. Respectively the one I bought does not support all the features I need. I even ported the driver to FreeBSD (not committed, I wanted to test everything first) and a lot of stuff works, but one critical part is that I can not store a certificate on the crypto card as the card reader or the driverÂ does not support extended APDUs (needed to transfer more than 255 bytes to the card reader).
Well, the status so far:
- I have a HOWTO what to install to use crypto cards in FreeBSD
- I have a HOWOT what to install / configure in Windows
- I have a HOWTO regarding creating keys on a openpgp v2 card and how to use this key with ssh on FreeBSD (or any other unix-like OS which can run pcsc)
- I have a card reader which does not support extended APDUs
- I want to make sure what I write in the HOWTOs is also suitable for the use with Windows / PuTTY
- it seems Windows needs a certificate and not only a key when using the Windows CAPI (using the vendor supplied card reader driver) in PuTTY-CSC (works at work with a USB token)
- the pcsc pkcs11 Windows DLL is not suitable yet for use on Windows 8 64bit
- I contacted the card reader vendor if the card reader or the driver is the problem regarding the extended APDUs
- I found problems in gpg4win / pcsc on Windows 8
- I have send some money to the developers of gpg4win to support their work (if you use gnupg on Windows, try to send a few units of money to them, the work stagnated as they need to spend their time for paid work)
So either I need a new card reader, or have to wait for an update of the linux driver of the vendorâ€¦ which probably means it may be a lot faster to buy a new card reader. When looking for one with at least a PIN pad, I either do not find anything which is listed as supported by pcsc on the vendor pages (it is incredible how hard it is to navigate the websites of some companiesâ€¦ a lot of buzzwords but no way to get to the real products), or they only list updated models where I do not know if they will work.
When I have something which works with FreeBSD and Windows, I will publish all the HOWTOs here at once.