Nitrokey HSM 2: Failed to connect to card


We have a couple of Nitrokey HSM 2 devices. When we attempt to use any opensc tool, we receive the following error:

Pkcs15-tool -D returns:
Using reader with a card: Nitrokey Nitrokey HSM (DENK…
Failed to connect to card: Card is invalid or cannot be handled

The dmesg tool identifies the device when we plug it in and provides the product string “Product: Nitrokey HSM.” Our user account has access to USB devices.

We are running Ubuntu 16.04 with the following tool versions (from apt):

  1. opensc 0.15.0-1ubuntu1 amd64
  2. opensc-pkcs11 0.15.0-1ubuntu1 amd64
  3. pcsc-tools is 1.4.25-1 amd64

Are there any other tips, hints, or tricks to try?


I believe your OpenSC 0.15 is too old. We provide updated OpenSC packages for Ubuntu here.


You were correct. Thanks!


Hey jan, another quick question. I wrote to the support group about obtaining the SmartCard-HSM SDK. I read here that the SDK would be provided on request.

Is it true that the support team can provide me with a copy of the SDK?




Great! Thanks. I sent an email directly to I’ll await a response.