Using OpenPGP Smart Cards with the open source ecosystem of OpenPGP technologies

Using OpenPGP Smart Cards with the open source ecosystem of OpenPGP technologies

emai encrypting technologies

The SCARD OpenPGP Smart Card is designed to work with the open source ecosystem of OpenPGP technologies. On different platforms, you’ll end up using different tools, which are outlined below.

Using SCARD OpenPGP Cards on Windows

Use of the SCARD OpenPGP smart card on Windows requires a smart card reader.

On a Windows PC, you’ll want to use gpg4win, which includes a number of components that enable email and file encryption:

  • GnuPG, the essential cryptographic software that underpins your encryption system. This includes the command line interface that helps you generate your key and move it to your smart card.
  • Kleopatra and GPA, a pair of tools for managing OpenPGP certificates.
  • The Claws Mail client, which works out of the box with your SCARD OpenPGP Smart Card.
  • GpgOL, a plugin for Microsoft Outlook that provides cryptographic functionality.
  • GpgEX, a plugin for Windows Explorer that allows encryption and decryption of any file on your file system directly within Windows Explorer.

Using SCARD OpenPGP Card on the Mac

Use of the SCARD OpenPGP smart card on the Mac requires a smart card reader.

On the Mac, you’ll want to use the GPG Suite from GPGTools. It includes the following components:

  • MacGPG - A Mac-specific port of the essential GnuPG cryptographic software, which includes a command-line interface and all the tools you’ll need to generate your key and copy it to your card.
  • GPG Keychain - An open source application for managing your OpenPGP keychain.
  • GPG Services - A set of services for the Finder that allow signing, encryption and decryption of any file within the Finder.
  • GPG for Mail - A plugin for Apple Mail that brings cryptographic functionality to the familiar Mac Mail client.