Gpg4win (Windows 7) does not recognize Nitrokey Pro on Notebooks with built-in smartcard reader. SOLUTION!

I am using a Dell Latitude Notebook with a built-in smartcard reader (in my case: Broadcom Corp Contacted SmartCard, shown as “Broadcom Usbccid Smartcard reader (WUDF)” in the device manager).

After plugging in the Nitrokey Pro

gpg --card-status

failed with the message

[quote]gpg: selecting openpgp failed: unknown command
gpg: OpenPGP card not available: general error[/quote]

Using the GPA tool of Ggp4win showed “No smartcard detected” in the Smartcard admin dialog.


  1. Open the GPA tool (GNU Privacy Assistent)
  2. Windows > Card Administration
  3. Edit > Backend settings
  4. Select the tab “Smartcard Daemon”
  5. Set the “reader-port” to “user defined value” and enter “Nitrokey Nitrokey Pro 0” as value
  6. Close the GPA tool
  7. Restart the gpa-agent to enable the new settings:

gpg-connect-agent killagent /bye gpg-connect-agent /bye

Alternatively you can edit the file “scdaemon.conf” in the folder
“C:\Users<your user name>\AppData\gnupg” and add the reader port manually:

Don’t forget to restart the gpa-agent as described above to activate the changed settings.

If you cannot find the gnupg folder enter “%appdata%” into the file explorer and hit enter.

How to diagnose the problem

If you use the GPA tool to enable the logging of the Smartcard Daemon into a file (debug level 1000)
the log file will contain an error message and two (or more) entries showing the detected smart readers:

The scd daemon shows the exact name of the Nitrokey smartcard “reader” that you have use as reader port setting.
I mention this just in case you have the same problem but use another type of smartcard or crypto stick.

@admin: Since it is quite common that notebooks have a built-in smartcard reader I would suggest to add this solution to installation instructions on your web site or at least into the FAQ section!

1 Like

Thank you for the clear instructions!

So far nobody else reported this problem which is why it doesn’t really qualify for a Frequently Asked Question. :slight_smile: But I will add it to the FAQ in case more people have the same problem. Thank you.

Adding a FAQ entry is perfect.

Since Dell notebooks are quite common in many companies I thought I am not alone with this problem.

Always a pleasure to support open software (and hardware)…!