Smart card Usage in Debian: applications

See "Smart card Usage in Debian: pcscd and drivers" and "Smart card Usage in Debian: middleware" for the previous articles.

The last layer above the smart card reader driver, the PC/SC resource manager and the middleware are user applications.

I try to maintain a list of smart card applications available in Debian.
I updated the list when writing this blog article. New Debian packages have been added, and others have been removed.

ausweisapp2: Official authentication app for German ID cards and residence permits

cardpeek: Tool to read the contents of ISO7816 smartcards

connman-gtk: fully-featured GUI for ConnMan with systray support

entropybroker: infrastructure for distributing random numbers (entropy data)

gnokii-cli: Datasuite for mobile phone management (console interface)

gnokii-smsd: SMS Daemon for mobile phones

gnome-boxes: Simple GNOME app to access remote or virtual systems

gnome-phone-manager: control aspects of your mobile phone from your GNOME 2 desktop

gnupg: GNU privacy guard - a free PGP replacement

golang-pault-go-ykpiv-dev: high level cgo wrapper around

network-manager-openconnect: network management framework (OpenConnect plugin core)

network-manager-openconnect-gnome: network management framework (OpenConnect plugin GNOME GUI)

nitrokey-app: Application to manage the Nitrokey

openconnect: open client for Cisco AnyConnect, Pulse, GlobalProtect VPN

opensc: Smart card utilities with support for PKCS#15 compatible cards

pcsc-tools: Some tools to use with smart cards and PC/SC

plasma-nm: Plasma5 networkmanager library.

python3-yubikey-manager: Python 3 library for configuring a YubiKey

qemu-system-arm: QEMU full system emulation binaries (arm)

qemu-system-mips: QEMU full system emulation binaries (mips)

qemu-system-misc: QEMU full system emulation binaries (miscellaneous)

qemu-system-ppc: QEMU full system emulation binaries (ppc)

qemu-system-sparc: QEMU full system emulation binaries (sparc)

qemu-system-x86: QEMU full system emulation binaries (x86)

rdesktop: RDP client for Windows NT/2000 Terminal Server and Windows Servers

spice-client-gtk: Simple clients for interacting with SPICE servers

srsue: User Equipment implementation for LTE

virt-viewer: Displaying the graphical console of a virtual machine

vinagre: remote desktop client for the GNOME Desktop

wpasupplicant: client support for WPA and WPA2 (IEEE 802.11i)

x2gothinclient-chroot: Install X2Go Thin Client chroot (metapackage)

xgnokii: Datasuite for mobile phone management (X interface)

ykcs11: PKCS#11 module for the YubiKey PIV applet

yubico-piv-tool: Command line tool for the YubiKey PIV applet

yubikey-manager: Python library and command line tool for configuring a YubiKey

yubioath-desktop: Graphical interface for displaying OATH codes with a Yubikey


Package # of installation % of Debian systems
gnupg 189853 96,29 %
wpasupplicant 100666 51,06 %
vinagre 49424 25,07 %
opensc 24336 12,34 %
qemu-system-x86 18292 9,28 %
plasma-nm 17497 8,87 %
rdesktop 10575 5,36 %
virt-viewer 9638 4,89 %
qemu-system-arm 4708 2,39 %
qemu-system-ppc 4099 2,08 %
qemu-system-mips 4096 2,08 %
qemu-system-misc 4070 2,06 %
qemu-system-sparc 4007 2,03 %
openconnect 3679 1,87 %
network-manager-openconnect 2457 1,25 %
network-manager-openconnect-gnome 1832 0,93 %
pcsc-tools 1743 0,88 %
gnome-boxes 1446 0,73 %
spice-client-gtk 791 0,40 %
python3-yubikey-manager 338 0,17 %
xgnokii 319 0,16 %
yubikey-manager 298 0,15 %
gnokii-cli 288 0,15 %
cardpeek 176 0,09 %
yubico-piv-tool 165 0,08 %
gnome-phone-manager 155 0,08 %
yubioath-desktop 115 0,06 %
nitrokey-app 103 0,05 %
connman-gtk 73 0,04 %
ausweisapp2 69 0,03 %
gnokii-smsd 47 0,02 %
ykcs11 36 0,02 %
entropybroker 19 0,01 %
srsue 2 0,00 %
golang-pault-go-ykpiv-dev 1 0,00 %
x2gothinclient-chroot 0 0,00 %


The first real smart card application with the most installations is OpenSC with 12% of Debian systems. Hello and well done to my OpenSC developers collegues.

The use of smart card is not developed. Maybe it is more deployed in enterprises since "many" business laptops have an integrated smart card reader. So there must be market and customer demand for these configurations. But maybe also these enterprises systems do not have the popularity-contest package installed so are not visible in the statistics here.