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Linux CAC Configuration

A project for consistently configuring DOD CACs on Linux. Currently, this process will not work with Firefox if it is installed via snap. Before using this project, please review the Known Issues section.

Table of Contents

Click to Toggle Expansion
  1. Supported Configurations
  2. Installation
    1. Automated Installation
      1. Methods
    2. Manual Installation
      1. Staging
      2. Browser Configuration
        1. Google Chrome
        2. Firefox
  3. Known Issues
  4. Troubleshooting
    1. Microsoft Teams
  5. Resources

Supported Configurations

Regardless of how similar two distributions may be, I will only list distributions and versions here that I know have been tested with this method. Ubuntu 22.04, Firefox will only work if you allow the script to remove the snap version and reinstall the browser with apt.

Distribution Versions Browsers
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Firefox, Chrome
22.04 LTS Firefox, Chrome
PopOS! 20.04 LTS Firefox, Chrome
22.04 LTS Firefox, Chrome
Mint 21.2 Firefox, Chrome

There are reports of this script also working with both Linux Mint and the Brave browser, but I have not tested these configurations.

Installation

WARNING: Please make sure all browsers are closed before running the script.

This script requires root privileges since it installs the cackey package and its dependencies. Feel free to review the script here if this makes you uncomfortable. For transparency, the cackey package is downloaded from here and the DoD certificates are downloaded from here, both of which are recommended by militarycac.

Important Notes:

  • The automated installation requires wget and unzip to run and will install both during the setup, if they are not already installed. If you don't want either tool, remove it after the setup is complete using sudo apt remove <command>.
  • The scripted installation has only been tested on the configurations listed in the Supported Distributions
  • This script uses the 64-bit version of the cackey package.

Methods

  • wget
sudo bash -c "$(wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/jdjaxon/linux_cac/main/cac_setup.sh -O -)"
  • curl
sudo bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/jdjaxon/linux_cac/main/cac_setup.sh)"
  • fetch
sudo bash -c "$(fetch -o https://raw.githubusercontent.com/jdjaxon/linux_cac/main/cac_setup.sh)"

Known Issues

  • Firefox and Chrome both need to be started at least once to initialize their respective certificate databases/profiles.

  • CAC needs to be inserted before starting Firefox.

  • Ubuntu 21.10 and greater (to include the latest LTS 22.04) have Firefox installed via snap by default. There is an outstanding bug (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1734371) that prevents Firefox from being able to read the certificates. One solution could be to uninstall Firefox from snap and reinstall it via apt. This current version of the script will attempt to do this reinstallation for you.

  • If you upgraded from 20.04 to 22.04 on either PopOS or Ubuntu, this likely also upgraded the cackey package from 7.5 to the latest version, which currently breaks this process. You can simply remove cackey and rerun the script to resolve this.

  • If you run into any issues with firefox after running the script, clear your data and history in Privacy & Security and then restart firefox. If your troubles are with MS Teams, see the section for troubleshooting teams. Chrome is recommended for MS Teams since Firefox does not currently support Teams meetings. You can see more about this here.

  • Firefox will likely start up a bit slower after running this installation.

Troubleshooting

Microsoft Teams

If you run into issues with MS Teams, try the following steps:

  1. In the Firefox Settings window, select the Privacy & Security tab.
  2. Under Cookies and Site Data, select Manage Exceptions.
  3. In the Address of website text box, enter the following URLs, and then select Allow.
    https://microsoft.com
    https://microsoftonline.com
    https://teams.skype.com
    https://teams.microsoft.com
    https://sfbassets.com
    https://skypeforbusiness.com
  1. Select Save Changes.
  • NOTE: strict security settings in Firefox may cause a loading loop

See the official documentation for this issue here.

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A project for consistently configuring DOD Common Access Cards on Linux.

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