NitroKey App - Expected Behaviour?

When I start or log in on my laptop two instances of the NitroKey app start even though I have no keys plugged in. Why is this and why are there two instances?

FYI I do have two NitroKey Storage keys which I have used on this computer although neither are plugged in at present.

I also get a KWatchGnuPG popup which suggests that a log has been called. Would this be because no key is plugged in.

This kind of behavior happened to me, quite long ago, because on Linux I had installed an obsolete version of the app. At the time I solved it by cancelling the repository way of doing and (alas) resorted to the more recent appimage. I imagine all the versions must have changed since then…

It depends whcih type of OS you are using ? I only can speak about macOS in detail: the name of the NK app changed and so two versions have been installed - instead of replacing the already installed version with the new one. To start any app after the login, you could use different options ( e.g. Startup Items via GUI or LaunchAgent/Daemon etc. ) On macOS teh NK Installer deosn’t touch/install such a behaviour.

So I assume you will need to look through your startup items and delete at least one of the startup scipts ( also on Gnome or other Linux Desktop Systems)

Peacekeeper, for Budgie2 could you publish the exact latest version # for the app, on each OS? I’m faring well with 1.3.2 here (on Debian 9) but am pretty sure I’m way behind…

Hi Herve,
Many thanks for your reply. I too am on 1.3.2 from openSUSE security repo. The version announced on my key is 1.4. On reflection I do not think this is the problem but more likely caused by KDE Plasma startup. The issues with pop ups are not show stoppers.
I am still struggling here but not able to spend any time on NitroKey at present. Will try and set down where I am getting stuck when I can get back to this. Meanwhile thanks again for your kind support.

one of the points that prevented me to buy a second Nitrokey Storage was the fact the app wasn’t able to handle two keys at the same time. Do I understand correctly this is still an issue for you?
Thank you,

Hi Herve,
Yes I have two NitroKey Storage devices but one is only being used as an encrypted drive while I try and understand the other possible uses. I do not know why the Nitrokey app opens twice even when there are no keys inserted but I do know the keys have unique identities so my system will be aware of two different keys.

Since you are familiar with the device perhaps you could answer a couple of questions please. The instructions for computer logins suggest that I must have keys installed on the Nitrokey device before setting up pam_p11 or poldi.

If I check the Application ID from the key I get a warning that the key has unsafe permissions. Is this to be expected? I am doing this before opening the device using the Nitrokey app. Should I build a key pair using the command line before or after I open the Nitrokey device.

Herve, I am not part of the NK team, so I think they should give you the official answer.
I am still using NK App 1.3.2 on macOS as that version has not the mount/unmount issues. Al later version have that problem. But for the NK Storage this is on macOS also a combination of FW and NK app. So latest FW is 0.54 and this will only fully operate with NK app 1.4 - but it still works with NK app 1.3.2

But to be hones: I am not using the NK app very often. Currently I am using more the HSM’s and Pro’s and - when I have time - U2F Fido.

Alas I’m really more using the NK storage as a storage device, and almost not dealing with the rest :frowning:
Which OS are you using?


Nitrokey App does not manage autorun at all. One way two same applications could be run is by using autorun feature of the Window Manager, and on the same time another feature - restoring last open applications.

I do not know this application, sorry.

Could you attach please the log of the exact error, and the name of the application? I am confused.


All releases are published on nitrokey-app/releases. At the moment latest is v1.4, which was released to support Storage v0.54 device. Whether to use Storage v0.54, one should look into Storage release notes, which are published here: nitrokey-storage-firmware/releases.

Thank you szsz!
Within the directory, do I understand correctly that

  • there is no .deb for a ‘normal’ Debian distro, for instance Debian 9
  • the .debs are only experimental releases for Debian 10
  • the Appimage on the other hand would be v.1.4 and would do for a Debian 9 ?
    Thank you!
  • The Debian releases are handled by nitrokey-app-debian. We had no time after the last release to update this repository, however it is still planned. Most probably it will be done on the next release of the Nitrokey App.
  • The experimental Debian package was requested by one of the users AFAIR. We do not distribute the distro-specific packages through Github anymore, but rather we are using the proper OS repositories whenever possible.
  • AppImage binary is v1.4, and should be compatible as far as Debian 8 or Ubuntu 14.04.

You are welcome!

… but nitrokey-pp-debian doesn’t contain v1.4
So on my Debian 9 I understand it’s the appimage or nothing (or compile?)
No pboblem anyway : things just work here.
(I’ll be interested, though, when the app can handle two different keys at the same time…)

Hi Herve, sorry for the late reply. I am using openSUSE Tumbleweed and the nitrokey packages installed from the opensuse tumbleweed repos are:-

libnitrokey-udev 3.4.1-1.12
libnitrokey3 3.4.1-1.12
nitrokey-app 1.3.2-1.61

I cannot take this much further at present as I am stuck with setting up pam_p11 for login with nitrokey and finding it rather difficult. When I make some progress I will let you know.
Best wishes,

That’s right. This is the repository we want to update on the next release.

Already registered as nitrokey-app#387, and selected to be work on for v1.5 release. Hopefully it will be taken care of this time.

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Hi and thanks for your continued interest in my original question. On reflection I think the issues are not serious and I have stopped the pop ups by changing the Plasma settings as you suggested previously. What I would ask is for some help with logging in and will start an appropriate thread.
Many thanks again,