Nitrokey App causes nitrokey freeze in KDE


I’m using the nitrokey app v. 1.4.1 (appimage) with my nitrokey pro 2 and KDE (plasma 5.24.4, framework 5.92.0) on kubuntu 22.04. When using the nitrokey as a smartcard everything works well. However, when I start the nitrokey app, then after a short while the nitrokey stalls: it’s LED shows a constant red light and the key is no longer usable. The only remedy is to disconnect the key. After connecting it again, the process repeats.

In practice, this means I have to start the nitrokey app get whatever I need from it (TOTP, passwords) and very quickly close it, which is rather annoying.

Also, the app sometimes crashes (and has to be restarted) when unlocking it’s password safe. After the restart, the password safe is unlocked … this is only a minor nuisance.

I did not experience any issues when using gnome (on ubuntu 20.04) but remember having experienced the password safe issue with other desktop environments as well. Hence, I suspect there is an issue with running the app in KDE.

Similar experience or suggestions anyone?

Thanks in advance.

This problem comes from an internal conflict for the smart card access between the PWS app and CCID interface, which can come up quite often unfortunately (the direct cause is probably an infinite loop, waiting for the correct read from the smart card, but this is debatable).

The only workaround so far I am aware of is to stop pcscd service while using Nitrokey App, which is of course non-ideal. Perhaps the following would do:

I just got started with the Nitrokey and ran into this issue when working with password manager via Nitrokey-app and GPG decryption. Running “gpgconf --kill gpg-agent” before and after running nitrokey-app while trying not to trigger anything with GPG seems to avoid a lock-up of the system

Interestingly this issue comes up with a various frequency, and depends heavily on the used software setup on the hosting PC. In the past it was reported quite rarely, hence it did not get prioritized.


Thanks for the info!
When switching to KDE, I also started using kwallet and configured it to use my Nitrokey smartcard. So this is probably why the issue occurs more frequently. I’ll see how the workaround will work for me.

1 Like