Project Launch! January 22, 2009


Welcome to the SmartCardServices project for Mac OS X. This MacOSForge project is intended as a central clearing house for activity and development related to the seamless integration of smart cards, readers, relevant third-party software, and Mac OS X’s identity system and credential stores (i.e., keychains).

The goal of this project is to provide early access to community-driven development of novel capabilities and enhancements. Over time, as these innovations mature, they will be evaluated for inclusion in future releases of Mac OS X.

The Smart Way to do Smart Cards

Smart Card Services are the abstraction layer for integrating smart cards into Apple’s Common Data Security Architecture (CDSA). Once a smart card is recognized by these services, it is represented as a dynamic keychain and is made available to all services and applications using Mac OS X’s credential environment. Applications use credentials from smart cards just as they have for years with file-based keychains, without needing any knowledge of smart card technology.

This project will serve as a working environment for experimenting with new and enhanced versions of the various components which make up Smart Card Services. The components initially included in this project are:

  • pcscd (PCSC Daemon)
  • ifd-ccid.bundle (USB CCID Class Driver)
  • *.Tokend (Tokend modules for utilizing smart cards)

Come Together, Right Now

Since its debut in Mac OS X version 10.4, an incredible number of developers, administrators and users have wanted to do more and actively contribute to the success of Smart Card Services – knowing that the better the integration, the better their experience would be. Many card, reader, and application partners have been anxious to join this active community and extend the services to capabilities not yet available.

To that end, the SmartCardServices project provides a central forum, repository, and build environment to enable collaborative development and testing. This will enable our security-conscious developers and customers to take this rich environment to the next level of seamless integration.

Start Your Engines

Now that you are here, we encourage you to engage in this project through:

  • discussions on the various mailing lists
  • source code review
  • code submission (note licensing terms!)

and of course ingesting the ongoing documentation, tips & tricks, and reference material that will be developed and posted here on a regular basis.

Visit us weekly – or better yet, click the RSS subscription link to the right to ensure you do not miss a single tidbit of development, news or activity coming out of this exciting new project.


The SmartCardServices Dev Team