Today, I tried for the second time to use my electronic ID card (standard issue in Belgium since a few years) with OpenSuSE 10.3. I work on a project at the regional Flemish Government at the moment, currently with tasks concerning access control to applications. Even if the eID card is a federal program, the regional governments have access to the resources when they want or need to.
This brought back my interest for the eID. Last time, it was the fact that I had to file my tax declaration, so there was limited time to test. This time, there wasn’t any deadline or rush. That’s where the strangeness of nature comes around the corner. When you’re not in a rush, everything works as designed. All I had to do was activate the pcscd daemon in the runlevel part of the Yast control panel. After that, I had access to several sites concerning the eID.
The different components currently installed on my machine are:
pcsc-acr38 1.7.9-30 (the driver specific for my card reader. It’s the most common card reader at the moment in Belgium)
firefox 220.127.116.11-1.4 (after update)
eID-belgium 2.5.9-119 – the eID middleware used to understand the card
This gave me a fairly consistent result on the tax-on-web website. The login system was version 18.104.22.168 at the moment. Newer versios might break the config again, as Linux + Firefox is not on the test platform list as far as I know.
One annoying part is that the eID-config tool doesn’t show you the results from the card currently inserted. It lets you configure for which installed application you need eID access however, which is the major use of the utility.
A nice touch would be like on the Windows platform, that the daemon, when active, detects the insertion of a new card, and shows the photo that is stored on it. That’s a cosmetic change however, and at the moment I’m just glad that everything works like it is meant to be. I’m sure glad that the work the people from Novell invested into this has paid off.