Translation(s): english - fran├žais

This page describes how to configure Debian to use a belgian identity card (BeID). The BeID allows to authenticate, to logging in to belgian eServices and sign documents.


Belgium has released an official software for their eID card, a modified version of OpenSC library (source code for this software has been published).

And Belgium donated the full source code back to OpenSC under LGPL license.

OpenSC also douments what they call Belgian Belpic on their wiki.

As OpenSC is available in Debian (see opensc package), installing it is enough to be able to use belgian certificates stored on a belgian eID.

BeID Installation

Ckecking the Smartcard Reader Driver

The page Smartcards provides a good documentation about supported hardware and readers.

Install the Packages

Packages to Install:


apt install opensc pcscd


apt install opensc pcsc-tools

Configure Firefox to use the BeID

Just follow the very good tutorial Installing OpenSC PKCS#11 Module in Firefox, Step by Step.

Important Remark

Configure Chromium to use the BeID

Chromium has no interface to configure security modules. You will need to do it using modutil utility provided by the package libnss3-tools.

Just install the package:

apt install libnss3-tools

and add the security module to the database:

modutil -dbdir sql:$HOME/.pki/nssdb/ -add eID -libfile /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/

Important Remark

Finding the opensc library

OpenSC provides a set of libraries and utilities to access smartcards and to facilitate their use in security applications such as mail encryption, authentication, and digital signature implementing the PKCS#11 API.

The PKCS#11 API library is in the package opensc-pkcs11.

$ dpkg --listfiles opensc-pkcs11 | grep /

Just copy/paste one of the libraries in the Module filename box.

That's is. You can test it on the eID software website.

Debugging Smartcard usage

pcsc-tools provides usefull tools to debug smartcards problems like: