I have a raspberry pi connected to smart card reader (OMNIKEY 3121). I installed all driver and libraries needed. In order to use the card reader it is necessary to activate its service:

sudo systemctl start pcscd

I want to start the service at startup. I tried with this commands:

sudo su
systemctl enable pcscd

Last command returned this:

Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/sockets.target.wants/pcscd.socket -> /lib/systemd/system/pcscd.socket

After reboot the service is inactive.

Do you know how can I enable this service at startup?


sudo systemctl enable pcscd will get it active at boot time.

  • I tried this with the same result, it doesn't work for me – Jon Oct 9 '19 at 9:15
  • Then you need to look at the logs to understand why it doesn't start. – Dougie Oct 9 '19 at 17:25
  • After some tests I now what is happening, but I don't know why. This pcscd service starts another service named pcscd.socket. This one is active at startup and smartcard reader works. If a card is inserted at startup in the reader pcscd is active, but if there is no card at startup is it inactive. – Jon Oct 10 '19 at 9:55
  • How can I check service's logs? – Jon Oct 10 '19 at 9:55
  • Take a look at every file in /var/log - learn what gets logged there by systemd. – Dougie Oct 10 '19 at 14:16

You noted in a comment that the pcscd service starts another service pcscd.socket. You should edit the question and add this important information to it. With the command

rpi ~# systemctl enable pcscd

you have only enabled pcscd.socket as you can see at the link to enable the socket service:

Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/sockets.target.wants/pcscd.socket -> /lib/systemd/system/pcscd.socket

You should enable the service with

rpi ~$ sudo systemctl enable pcscd.service

After reboot you can monitor the services with:

rpi ~$ systemctl status pcscd.service
rpi ~$ systemctl status pcscd.socket
rpi ~$ systemctl cat pcscd.service
rpi ~$ systemctl cat pcscd.socket

Read first the question and every detail from that question before prematurely posting a pseudo-answer that is like coming from a parrot.

This is an open problem and the root cause can be found in the C source code of pcsc and in the way how it interacts with systemd. Read more here.

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