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apdu4j · Build Status Maven Central Maven Central Maven version MIT licensed

Command line tool and library of useful Java classes for working with smart cards and smart card readers via JSR268 (commonly known as javax.smartcardio). While focus is on desktop PC/SC readers, some code can be re-used with arbitrary "APDU-command-response-ish" interfaces, either as CommandAPDU/ResponseAPDU pairs or plain byte arrays.


  • PinPad support (PC/SC v2 part 10 / CCID)
  • Fixes all the stupid things with Java on non-windows platforms: OSX, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, FreeBSD.
  • Java tools for convenient APDU logging, PIN handling and more
  • Bundles jnasmartcardio in the command line tool for easy testing with a sane javax.smartcardio implementation with reader locking
  • Easy to use RemoteTerminal for building central services

Jump to ...

Get it now!

  • Download latest pre-built .JAR or .EXE from release area
  • Or fetch from github and build it yourself, it is really easy (more instructions in CONTRIBUTING):
git clone
cd apdu4j
./mvnw package

Usage from command line

  • Before you begin:

    • You can run the command line utility anywhere where Java runs, like this:

      java -jar apdu4j.jar
    • But it is easier to add an alias or use a wrapper.

    • On Linux add an alias to the shell like this:

      alias sc="java -jar $(PWD)/apdu4j.jar"
      # Now you can avoid typing java -jar and sc works from any folder
      sc -h
    • On Windows just use pre-packaged apdu4j.exe like this or rename it:

      apdu4j.exe -h
  • Display all options:

    sc -h
  • List readers:

    sc -l

    Will produce something like

    [ ] Gemalto Ezio Shield 01 00
    [*] ACS ACR 38U-CCID 02 00

    The presence of a card or token is indicated with the asterisk

  • Be verbose:

    sc -l -v

    Will produce:

    # Using jnasmartcardio.Smartcardio - JNA2PCSC version 0.2
    # Found 4 terminals
    [X] [   ] Yubico Yubikey 4 U2F+CCID
    [ ] [VMD] Gemalto Ezio Shield 01 00
    [*] [   ] ACS ACR 38U-CCID 02 00
    [ ] [   ] ACS ACR 38U-CCID 03 00

    In addition to the ATR of the inserted card below the reader, PinPad features of the terminal are shown: V - PIN verification, M - PIN modification, D - display. X instead of the asterisk indicates a reader used exclusively by some other application.

  • Take you directly to the online ATR database

    sc -l -v -w
  • Use a virtual smart card reader provider (format for -p is jar:class:args, where args part can be URL-encoded):

    sc -p some.jar:com.example.VirtualTerminalProvider:tcp%3A%2F%2F192.168.1.1%3A7000 -lv
  • Send the APDU 00A40C0000 to the card:

    sc -a 00A40C0000
  • The same with forced T=0 protocol (similar for T=1):

    sc -t0 -a 00A40C0000
  • The same, with an additional APDU, while dumping everything to card.dump

    sc -t0 -a 00A40C0000 -a 80:01:04:00:00 -dump card.dump
  • SunPCSC - use specific PC/SC library:

    sc -lib /usr/local/lib/ -l
  • SunPCSC - don't issue GET RESPONSE commands:

    sc -no-get-response -a 00A4040000 -v
  • Show APDU-s sent to the card (using LoggingCardTerminal):

    add -debug or -d to your command

  • Be verbose:

    add -verbose or -v to your command

Usage from Java

Include the dependency


More information can be found from Javadocs, which are always improving.

Before anything make sure you set the necessary properties to make javax.smartcardio work without tuning:

import apdu4j.TerminalManager;


  • Show a debugging trace (like -d) of PC/SC calls and exhanged APDU-s with timing on System.out:
import apdu4j.LogginCardTerminal;
TerminalFactory f = TerminalFactory.getDefault();
CardReader r = f.terminals().terminal("Your Smart Card Reader Name");
reader = LoggingCardTerminal.getInstance(reader);
// Now use javax.smartcardio as you normally do
  • This will give you output similar to:
SCardConnect("SCM Microsystems Inc. SCR 355 00 00", T=*) -> T=1, 3BFC180000813180459067464A00680804000000000E
SCardBeginTransaction("SCM Microsystems Inc. SCR 355 00 00")
A>> T=1 (4+0000) 00A40400 00 
A<< (0018+2) (17ms) 6F108408A000000003000000A5049F6501FF 9000
A>> T=1 (4+0000) 80CA9F7F 00 
A<< (0000+2) (11ms) 6A88
  • Dump all APDU communication with a card to a file:
import apdu4j.LogginCardTerminal;
TerminalFactory tf = TerminalFactory.getDefault();
CardReader r = tf.terminals().terminal("Your Smart Card Reader Name");
FileOutputStream o = new FileOutputStream(new File("card.dump"));
reader = LoggingCardTerminal.getInstance(reader, o);
// Now use javax.smartcardio as you normally do
  • This will make a dump file similar to this:
# Generated on Wed, 31 Dec 2014 18:10:35 +0200 by apdu4j
# Using SCM Microsystems Inc. SCR 355 00 00
# ATR: 3BFE1800008031FE4553434536302D43443038312D6E46A9
# Sent
# Received in 24ms
# Sent
# Received in 70ms

NEW release

Similar and related projects

  • SCUBA (LGPL) -
    • :| written in Java
    • :( no command line utility
    • :) has Provider-s for weird hardware
  • jnasmartcardio (CC0) -
    • :| written in Java
    • :) provides a "better" wrapper for system PC/SC service with JNA as a Provider
    • :) used by apdu4j
    • :| written in Java
    • :( really old (pre-2000, comparable to CT-API)
    • :( no command line utility
  • intarsys smartcard-io (BSD) -
    • :| written in Java
    • :| similar to jnasmartcardio (alternative native Provider)
  • OpenSC (opensc-tool, LGPL) -
    • :| written in C
    • :| related to rest of OpenSC, but allows to send APDU-s from command line with opensc-tool -s XX:XX:XX:XX
  • Countless other apdu/script tools
    • :| written in different languages
    • :| use different input formats and script files
    • :| just FYI

History and motivation

When working with GlobalPlatformPro and JavaCard-s, some low level code wanted to sneak into projects where it did not belong, so it made sense to capture it into a separate library. Also, while command line tools for accessing readers on APDU (PC/SC) level existed for C, nothing was available for doing the same via Java stack, thus the need for a DWIM command line tool.

Included/used open source projects