Nitrokey NOT for beginners

OMG I thought I buy a Nitrokey Storage, install an App and get working…
This is so complicated with installing all kinds of stuff with the Terminal window. Raising questions like; is my Ubuntu 17.04 a non-RPM based distribution? , and is there an easy way to update to the latest firmware…? WTF do I do with a hex-file?
Sorry guys: This is NOT a user friendly hardware/software solution. Your installation manual is NOT for NOOBS.
I then insert the key and try to initialize - change the number and it gives me an error…
“Unfortunately you have no more trials left. Please check instruction how to reset Admin PIN.”
Where / what instruction… ! ? ! ?
I quit…
Until you have a better manual and easier software installation I will stay incredible annoyed.

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Sorry about that! You can ask anything on this forum and we will respond you. All suggestions regarding the manual are welcomed.
On each product there is a sticker with URL to the on-line manual: - I believe you have been there already and have not found answers there - we will work on that. I will make sure answers to your questions will be there in the future.
Please see other pages as well (available from support submenu):

As for the questions:

  1. Ubuntu is Debian-based distribution, using .DEB packages. For Ubuntu we have a PPA (private distribution channel) for getting the latest Nitrokey App. Instructions how to get it are on download site. Let me know are these not clear enough. Would you prefer to have graphical application instead for this?
  2. To update the Storage firmware please follow manual on main site. It could be found in FAQ, when searching for ‘update’ keyword.
  3. To reset the device see FAQ and enter ‘reset’ in the quick search. Here is a direct link.
  4. The device (to be precise, the smarcard it uses) has locked since the requested PIN was not correct. Default PIN is 123456 for User and 12345678 for Admin access. These will be set after the reset procedure (step 3).

Could you tell me how have you installed the Nitrokey App in the end?

Okay, I have very little time but would love to work with you to make the manual and the general beginner / owner / user experience a bit more usable and less frustrating…
Get a usability non IT programmer to write the manual. I find that most of the text is jumping so quickly over functional essentials. Probably because for an IT person they are logic and boring but for a beginner and non IT person they are crucial. Use screen shots… look at for instance how other companies are doing it [Trezor just to mention one example].
This weekend I will try to explain what went wrong from my end of the installation. I now have a total locked Nitrokey - see my other post.

If you tell someone who’s never seen a door, to open it and go through it, but you don’t explain the function of a door handle you are going to confront a very frustrated person.


Hi Eric,

we constantly try to improve our instructions. And we do see there is still a lot to do. I personally still think that it won’t ever be easy-peasy for everyone. But we’ll do our part to make it as easy as possible and we invested lately more time into it. It’ll just take some more time, I am sorry.

Kind regards

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I agree. I have been trying to get the app to launch in Windows 10 for several MONTHS now. Instructions have been designed for developers, not real people, and are impossible to understand without a coding background. So frustrating. VERY DISAPPOINTED.

Yes a real pity, because the idea is good and the hardware solid… software and documentation not ready yet I guess…

Hi Laquer! This sentence caught my eye. Could you elaborate?

Yes, though I also reached out to the customer service team so don’t want
to create duplicate work. Essentially, I can download the Nitrokey file
but when I click on it to launch nothing happens. I get an error message:

[image: Nitrokey App Critical error encountered. Please restart
application. Message: Command execution has failed on device 0K]

I’ve tried to access the files via multiple routes on my computer, all with
the same results. Running Windows10 on a SurfaceBook. So, while I bought
the Nitrokey last fall, I haven’t been able to use it yet!

Note that I am NOT technical, but I’m no idiot either. I work in high tech
in a non-tech role. So far the info on the site is way beyond my level of

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true i want to say the same, i am really good in pc stuff but it’s really hard!

I contacted support right after your reply and they confirmed you were in progress already. Any advances since then?
As for subject’s difficulty, we are working on it. However some topics are easier for one, and harder for another - if you would let us know which one are incomprehensible for you, we would focus on them.
Please let us know, which parts of the guide would you like to be extended.

“how to reset Admin PIN” is still nowhere to be found!

It is in FAQ, but apparently it is not indexed by Google:

Indexed reset page is empty for some reason. @nitroalex Could you help?

thanks for the heads up, I will have a look.