I want to use my Belgian EID to login to government websites online. How do I set this up in Google Chrome and Firefox in Ubuntu 14.04?


1 Answer 1


1. Add Belgian eid software archive

All the Belgian eid related software is in a seperate software archive not part of a default Ubuntu installation. You first have to add this archive by downloading and installing the archive .deb package.

Go to the Belgian eid middleware page and download the package called eid-archive.deb. Install the archive by double-clicking the .deb file** in the file browser.

2. Install the card reader drivers

After you installed the archive, you can install the drivers for the card reader. The drivers make sure your computer can talk to the card reader. For card readers of type ACR38U (the ones you get from the government) install the following components

sudo apt update
sudo apt install libacr38u libacr38ucontrol0 libacr38ucontrol-dev libccid

After installation, it might be necessary to restart your computer. These drivers also work for some Dell keyboards with built-in card readers

If you receive the error Unable to locate package libacr38u, it means you didn't install the Belgian eid software archive. Please repeat step 1. and run sudo apt-get update to make sure your computer knows about the Belgian eid archive.

3. Install the middleware and eID viewer

The middleware is a program to view your id information from your computer. To install the middleware, run following commands. The first command updates the repo's, this is necessary!

sudo apt update
sudo apt install eid-viewer eid-mw

Now you can check if the eID reader works with the program eID Viewer (It's in the Ubuntu Menu/Dash).

If you can see/use your eID using "eID Viewer" then you can continue configuring your browser. If "eID Viewer" cannot see the card reader and the card, then you will have to install additional drivers for the card reader.

3.a. How to setup in Firefox

After installation of the viewer and the middle ware, restart firefox and it should work. See below for how to test this.

3.b. How to setup in Google Chrome 64 bit

Copy these instructions to Gedit, or another text editor and Shut down google chrome and run the following commands

sudo apt install libnss3-tools
modutil -dbdir sql:.pki/nssdb/ -add "Belgium eID" -libfile /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libbeidpkcs11.so.0.0.0

You have to restart Google Chrome every time you plug in your card reader for it to work. See "Testing the eID in your browser" to test if it succeeded.

4. Testing the eID in your browser

You can test this by going to the Belgian eID test page and following their instructions. If you start the test end you get a "page not found" or "ssl error", the eID is not working properly.

In Google Chrome: Restart the browser after you plug in your card reader for it to work.


  • 2
    For what it's worth, I'm on elementary OS Juno, which is based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and the card reader wasn't recognized with the instructions from the government's website. Trying to install the libacr38u* packages, an error was thrown (no release candidate). But installing the middleware and eid-viewer (sudo apt install eid-viewer eid-mw) fixed it for me after a reboot. Now it works in both Firefox as well as Chrome.
    – wout
    Oct 19, 2018 at 16:54
  • Does the device you use make any difference?
    – GabiM
    Jul 23, 2020 at 9:23

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