Ubuntu to be first “Fellowship Ready” Distribution?

From the very beginning, the idea of the Fellowship was to create space for a digital community in which people would work together on various issues related to freedom in a digital society, especially Free Software. Now Lukas Fittl from Austria has just once more demonstrated the point by picking up a task that I had been thinking about recently: Simplifying the udev rules for the Fellowship crypto card, which were still somewhat cludgey from the early days of the Fellowship. Excellent!

The rules he published in his blog are indeed the best version thus far. So let me contribute to the effort:

There is one more USB smart card reader by SCM that works with GnuPG and has the product ID e001. After adding that to Lukas’ configuration, my /etc/udev/gnupg-ccid.rules looks as follows:

    ACTION!="add", GOTO="gnupg-ccid_rules_end"

    # USB SmartCard Readers
    ## SCM readers (SCR335, SPR532, & Co)
    ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="usb_device", SYSFS{idVendor}=="04e6", SYSFS{idProduct}=="e001", GROUP="scard", MODE="0660"
    ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="usb_device", SYSFS{idVendor}=="04e6", SYSFS{idProduct}=="e003", GROUP="scard", MODE="0660"
    ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="usb_device", SYSFS{idVendor}=="04e6", SYSFS{idProduct}=="5115", GROUP="scard", MODE="0660"

    # PCMCIA SmartCard Readers
    ## Omnikey CardMan 4040
    SUBSYSTEM=="cardman_4040", GROUP="scard", MODE="0660"



Trying it on two different machines (both running Debian GNU/Linux "etch"), I can confirm that these rules work for one USB card reader (the one with the e001 product id) and a PCMCIA Omnikey CardMan 4040 here. So the rules look good.

We should check out whether there is other devices that work with the current kernels and versions of GnuPG, so if you have other smart card hardware around, now would be a good time to build a database of supported devices — which would then allow all of them to be used out of the box with coming GNU/Linux distributions.

Because this is the next important step: Having distributions be "Fellowship Ready" in the sense of supporting smart cards out of the box without additional configuration. That will allow more people to take control of their data and privacy easily, and also make it possible to simply plug our smart cards into machines anywhere to have secure remote logins. So this is a very useful initiative.

Thanks to Lukas it appears that Ubuntu might be the first "Fellowship Ready" distribution, and I certainly hope it won’t be the last.

About Georg Greve

Georg Greve is a technologist and entrepreneur. Background as a software developer and physicist. Head of product development and Chairman at Vereign AG. Founding president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). Previously president and CEO at Kolab Systems AG, a Swiss Open Source ISV. In 2009 Georg was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon by the Federal Republic of Germany for his contributions to Open Source and Open Standards.
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