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Python code for talking to Yubico's YubiKeys

Project description

Python package for talking to YubiKeys.

Author : Fredrik Thulin <>,
Dain Nilsson <>

Copyright (c) 2011-2013 Yubico AB See the file COPYING for licence statement.


The YubiKey is a hardware token for authentication. The main mode of the YubiKey is entering a one time password (or a strong static password) by acting as a USB HID device, but there are things one can do with bi-directional communication.

  1. Configuration. The yubikey_config class should be a feature- wise complete implementation of everything that can be configured on YubiKeys version 1.3 to 2.2 (besides deprecated functions in YubiKey 1.x).

    See examples/configure_nist_test_key for an example.

  2. Challenge-response. YubiKey 2.2 supports HMAC-SHA1 or Yubico challenge-response operations.

    See examples/nist_challenge_response for an example.


Here is a trivial usage example :

#!/usr/bin/env python “”” Get version of connected YubiKey. “””

import sys import yubico

debug = False

YK = yubico.find_yubikey(debug=debug) print “Version : %s ” % YK.version()
except yubico.yubico_exception.YubicoError as inst:
print “ERROR: %s” % inst.reason sys.exit(1)


python-yubico is installable in the standard-python way :

$ cd python-yubico-$ver $ python install

This requires the python-setuptools (well, the package is called that in Debian/Ubuntu). You will also need the Python USB package from - package called python-usb in Debian/Ubuntu. Note that while both the 0.4 branch and the 1.0 branch are supported, the older 0.4 branch doesn’t support re-attaching the kernel device driver on close, which will leave the YubiKey in a state where it is unable to output OTPs until it has been unplugged and plugged back in again.

If you use a recent Ubuntu release, you should be able to install python-yubico with these commands :

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yubico/stable $ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install python-yubico

The Launchpad PPA key generated for our packages is 32CBA1A9.

If you use Windows, you will require a PyUSB backend. Python-yubico has been tested with and confirmed working, without the need for replacing the device driver.

Comments, feedback and patches welcome!

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