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Thread: PKI login without smartcards?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Beans
    21

    Question PKI login without smartcards?

    I use PKI login for SSH on my home and work. I use a DSA key on a USB memory stick. Since I don't have smart card hardware at either location -- and setting this up entails a lot of research that I haven't finished -- I'd like to get my feet wet by setting up PKI log-on for desktop sessions on my home network.

    Is this possible in Ubuntu? I realize it's less secure than a proper smart card infrastructure for various reasons, but it seems like a good learning exercise and a step up from passwords.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Bordeaux, France
    Beans
    11,297
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: PKI login without smartcards?

    Since you seem to be able to use USB, you could use a token like this, which is basically a smart-card-and-reader combo in USB form and is indistiguishable to the OS from a "real" smart card.

    (Also you might be interested in my tutorial.)
    「明後日の夕方には帰ってるからね。」


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Beans
    21

    Smile Re: PKI login without smartcards?

    Thank you, Bachstelze. When I'm ready to invest in hardware, I think I would prefer to use a proper smart card; however, your tutorial will be a big help. In fact, I wasn't aware that my country (the USA) has an emerging standard for an ID card; I thought only the Department of Defense used smart cards. So, I'll read a bit more, but a PIV-compatible card sounds like the way to go. Thank you again for your advice.

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