Flashing NitroKey Start with NK HSM firmware


I need help with flashing my nitrokey Start with the HSM firmware, using a rasberry pie.

I would be glad if anyone could help.

Would love it, if the same micro-controller would host multiple apps and could be converted via firmware upgrade. However, the Nitrokey Start “just” supports the gnuk firmware that implements an OpenPGP smartcard.

If you want to update the firmware of Nitrokey Start, you could find instructions here. I would not recommend this without prior experience of how to do that. I upgraded the firmware of micro-controllers before and often need to use a fallback option to fix failed incomplete updates (gnuk firmware on non-Nitrokey hardware).

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I have the HSM smart card Sim Size, and I also have the firmware .hex for HSM3, I just need help with the flashing. I also have prior experience in BIOS for HP, and other systems, using raspberry pie.

The HSM, Pro, Start all use the same hardware. So a firmware flash is possible, and firmware is also supported.

I dont want the Start firmware at all, want to compeletely replace it.

The Nitrokey Start is smaller than the Nitrokey Pro and most likely does not contain a Smartcard slot (have not opened the sealed case but bill of material does not contain a slot in contrast to the Nitrokey Pro). But you are correct, that both use the same micro-controller STM32F103TB. So with soldering a SIM slot, I think it would be doable.

Flashing STM32 micro-controllers can be done with openocd via SWD flashing the hex. Here you can find an untested manual of how to use a Raspberry Pi for that.

I did not use the Raspberry Pi for that before and cannot help further. I would recommend J-Link or STFlash v2 connector or a Bus Pirate. Powering up and bringing the MCU in flash mode usually is the tricky part.

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It does have a slot for the Sim card HSM. You can see and open your start, it probably says NK pro 5.

I’d rather get a generic smartcard reader and save myself a trouble of doing this… (unless it is for questionable fun).