piv-tool(1) smart card utility for HSPD-12 PIV cards


piv-tool [OPTIONS]

The piv-tool utility can be used from the command line to perform miscellaneous smart card operations on a HSPD-12 PIV smart card as defined in NIST 800-73-3. It is intened for use with test cards only. It can be used to load objects, and generate key pairs, as well as send arbitrary APDU commands to a card after having authenticated to the card using the card key provided by the card vendor.



Print the card serial number derived from the CHUID object, if any. Output is in hex byte format.

--name, -n

Print the name of the inserted card (driver)

--admin argument, -A argument

Authenticate to the card using a 2DES or 3DES key. The argument of the form


is required, were A uses "EXTERNAL AUTHENTICATION" and M uses "MUTUAL AUTHENTICATION". ref is normally 9B, and alg is 03 for 3DES. The key is provided by the card vendor, and the environment variable PIV_EXT_AUTH_KEY must point to a text file containing the key in the format: XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX

--genkey argument, -G argument

Generate a key pair on the card and output the public key. The argument of the form


is required, where ref is 9A, 9C, 9D or 9E and alg is 06, 07, 11 or 14 for RSA 1024, RSA 2048, ECC 256 or ECC 384 respectively.

--object ContainerID, -O ContainerID

Load an object onto the card. The ContainerID is as defined in NIST 800-73-n without leading 0x. Example: CHUID object is 3000

--cert ref, -s ref

Load a certificate onto the card. ref is 9A, 9C, 9D or 9E

--compresscert ref, -Z ref

Load a certificate that has been gzipped onto the card. ref is 9A, 9C, 9D or 9E

--out file, -o file

Output file for any operation that produces output.

--in file, -i file

Input file for any operation that requires an input file.

--key-slots-discovery file

Print properties of the key slots. Needs 'admin' authentication.

--send-apdu apdu, -s apdu

Sends an arbitrary APDU to the card in the format AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF.... This option may be repeated.

--reader num, -r num

Use the given reader number. The default is 0, the first reader in the system.

--card-driver driver, -c driver

Use the given card driver. The default is auto-detected.

--wait, -w

Wait for a card to be inserted

--verbose, -v

Causes piv-tool to be more verbose. Specify this flag several times to enable debug output in the opensc library.