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Yubico Authenticator

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The Yubico Authenticator is a graphical desktop tool and command line tool for generating Open AuTHentication (OATH) event-based HOTP and time-based TOTP one-time password codes, with the help of a YubiKey that protects the shared secrets.

Graphical interface


Command line interface

$ yubioath --help
Usage: yubioath [OPTIONS] COMMAND [ARGS]...
  delete    Deletes a credential from the YubiKey.
  gui       Launches the Yubico Authenticator graphical interface.
  password  Manage the password used to protect access to the YubiKey.
  put       Stores a new OATH credential in the YubiKey.
  reset     Deletes all stored OATH credentials from the YubiKey.
  show      Print one or more codes from a YubiKey.


The recommended way to install this software including dependencies is by using the provided precompiled binaries for your platform. For Windows and OS X (10.7 and above), there are installers available for download here. For Ubuntu we have a custom PPA with a package for it here.

Using pip

You can also install this project using pip, however the dependencies may require additional tools to build. When installing from pip, you can choose whether or not you wish to install the graphical application, just the command line tool, or just the python library. You do so as follows:

$ pip install yubioath-desktop[cli,gui]  # This will install everything.
$ pip install yubioath-desktop  # This installs only the library.

If you run into problems during installation it will likely be with one of the dependencies, such as PyQt5 or pyscard. Please see the relevant documentation for installing each project, provided by those projects.

Supported devices

Usage of this software requires a compatible YubiKey device. Yubico Authenticator is capable of provisioning and using credentials via the OATH functionality of the YubiKey NEO and YubiKey 4. To use this functionality your YubiKey must have the CCID mode enabled, which can be done by using the YubiKey NEO Manager.

Detecting the device when using CCID

Under Linux and OS X this application uses libccid to communicate with the YubiKey. This library requires that each card reader used is listed in its configuration file, else the device will not be detected ("Insert a YubiKey…​" will be displayed even though a YubiKey is present). To ensure that your libccid configuration contains all necessary entries you can run one of the two files locates in the resources directory of this repository, linux-patch-ccid or osx-patch-ccid, depending on your OS. You will need to run these scripts as root. If installing the OS X version from the binary installer, this script will be run automatically for you.

You may have to reboot your computer for the change to the libccid configuration to take effect!


Yubico Authenticator requires click, PyQt5, yubikey-personalization, pyscard, and PyCrypto.

Working with the source code repository

To work with the source code repository, if you wish to build your own release or contribute pull requests, follow these steps to set up your environment. If you just wish to install the application use the pre-build binaries or the source release packages. This project is developed on a Debian based system, other OSes may not be supported for development.

Installing the dependencies

Make sure to install the needed dependencies:

sudo apt-get install python-setuptools python-crypto python-pyscard \
    python-pyside pyside-tools python-click pcscd

Check out the code

Run these commands to check out the source code:

git clone --recursive

Install the project using pip

Install the project from the source code repository, in development mode:

cd yubioath-desktop  # cd into the git repository
python qt_resources  # Generate image resources (requires pyside-tools).
pip install -e .[cli,gui]  # Install the code in developer mode, using pip.

You can now run the yubioath and yubioath-gui binaries, and anychanges you make to the code should be reflected in these commands. To remove the installation, run:

pip uninstall yubioath-desktop

Build a source release

To build a source release tar ball, run this command:

python sdist

The resulting build will be created in the dist/ subdirectory.


Yubico Authenticator is licensed under GPLv3+, see COPYING for details.

Entypo pictograms by Daniel Bruce -