PKard for Mac and macOS Catalina

PKard for Mac is End of Life

For the last decade, Thursby Software has provided a unique CAC middleware that has assisted thousands of military and federal government personnel by helping them access web applications on their personal Macs. Unfortunately, we will not be able to continue this legacy of macOS CAC support with Catalina. We will, however, still continue to support PKard for Mac on older versions of the macOS.

How to Use Catalina’s Native CAC Solution

In it’s default configuration, Catalina’s built-in smart card solution should allow you to get to CAC-protected web sites.  In our experience, Apple’s Safari will request a PIN far too often, so we recommend using Google Chrome instead.

While Apple’s Keychain Access program will no longer show the smart card credentials, the smart card solution will function with Apple’s Safari, Google Chrome, and Apple’s Mail.

How to Remove PKard for Mac

Even if you have already updated to Catalina, removing PKard is done with an unsintaller.

  • Open the folder “/Library/Application Support/PKard” and run the “Uninstall PKard” utility. Follow the prompts provided.

You’ll also need to modify a system file that we’ve changed.  Unfortunately, with changes to macOS, our “Uninstall PKard” utility does not do this automatically.  We’ll need to do this manually.  Here’s the command:

sudo mv /Library/Preferences/com.apple.security.smartcard.plist ~/.Trash/
mv command
  • open Terminal (from Finder, choose Go > Utilities)
  • copy the above line, and paste it into your terminal window, then press the enter or return key
  • you’ll be prompted for a password — enter your your Mac login password and press enter or return key
  • now you’ll need to reboot your Mac for the change to take effect

Explanation:  This file referenced in the command above does not exist in a default installation of Catalina, so we’re moving it to the trash.  Once your smart card works with Catalina, you can empty your trash.  Should something go wrong along the way, we can recover this file from the trash.

How Can I Get Help?

We don’t want to just abandon our customers.  We believe Apple has addressed the solution that PKard for Mac provided.  We believe that the information above will get your Mac to access smart card protected web sites.  However, If you’re having problems transitioning from PKard for Mac to Catalina’s built-in solution, we’re here to help.  You can reach our support group by email (support@thursby.com) or by telephone (+1 817-478-5070) Monday-Friday, 8am - 5pm Central time.

What Happens When Installing PKard for Mac on Catalina

As mentioned above, this won't work.  If you attempt to install PKard for Mac on macOS Catalina, you will not be able to license the product and you will see an error "CODEINVALID_ENTRY".  This is as far as you will get in the installation, and there aren't any methods to workaround this error message.

 

Install Error

 

If you require any additional assistance, please reach out to our support team by emailing support@thursby.com or calling +1 817-478-5070.