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ACR122U NFC USB reader on Linux Mint

A while ago I wrote a short tutorial on installing the Advanced Card Systems ACR122U NFC USB reader on a Rasberry Pi 2 running Raspbian. This time we will be installing the same NFC tag reader on Linux Mint.

ACR122U USB NFC reader front
ACR122U USB NFC reader front

Installing the ACR122U NFC USB reader on Linux Mint

For this tutorial I used Linux Mint 17.3 which is based on Ubuntu 14.04. So this will probably also work on Ubuntu 14.04. And most likely this will work on other versions of both Mint and Ubuntu too.

First we will be installing pcsc-tools. These tools are used to test the PC/SC driver, card or reader. After that we will be installing the official ACR122U NFC USB driver by Advanced Card Systems.

Installing pcsc-tools

First of all, update your system’s package lists as usual:
sudo apt-get update
After that, download and install pcsc-tools:
sudo apt-get install pcscd pcsc-tools
Then test the NFC card reader:
pcsc_scan
If you can’t succesfully scan a tag because pcsc-scan keeps waiting for a reader like this:
Scanning present readers…
Waiting for the first reader...

Then you need to blacklist the pre-installed drivers. You can do so by opening blacklist.conf:
sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
Add these two lines to the end of the file:
install nfc /bin/false
install pn533 /bin/false

Save the file and exit by typing CTRL+X.

Installing the ACR122U NFC USB drivers

First, find out the name of the Ubuntu distribution your Linux Mint version is based on. Consult these Wikipedia pages:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Mint_version_history
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_version_history

My installed Mint is version 17.3, which is based on Ubuntu 14.04. The name of that particular Ubuntu distribution appears to be “Trusty Tahr”. Therefore I will be using the files from the ‘trusty’ folder later on.

After that, get the drivers for the ACR122U from the Advanced Card Systems website. It’s the “PC/SC Driver Package” for Linux (version 1.1.3 as of November 2016). Extract the archive after downloading.

1. First, unplug the reader.

2. Then head to the directory where the extracted driver is located. For my system, it is:
cd Downloads/ACS-Unified-PKG-Lnx-113-P/acsccid_linux_bin-1.1.3/ubuntu/trusty
3. To install the driver, enter on of the the following commands.

For a 64bit Linux distribution:
sudo dpkg -i libacsccid1_1.1.3-1~ubuntu14.04.1_amd64.deb
For a 32bit Linux distribution:
sudo dpkg -i libacsccid1_1.1.3-1~ubuntu14.04.1_i386.deb
4. Then restart the pcscd service by rebooting your system or just by typing this command:
sudo service pcscd restart
Or this command, which does the same:
sudo /etc/init.d/pcscd restart
5. Finally, plug in the USB reader. You should now be able to use the reader from any PC/SC application.

Uninstalling the ACR122U NFC USB drivers

Consequently, to uninstall the driver, enter the following command:

For a 64bit Linux distribution:
sudo dpkg -r libacsccid1_1.1.3-1~ubuntu14.04.1_amd64.deb

For a 32bit Linux distribution:
sudo dpkg -r libacsccid1_1.1.3-1~ubuntu14.04.1_i386.deb

ACR122U USB NFC reader label
ACR122U USB NFC reader label
NFC ACR122U RFID Contactless smart Reader + 5pcs Mifare IC Card
Tested and recommended by OneGuyOneBlog.com:

NFC ACR122U RFID Contactless smart Reader + 5pcs Mifare IC Card

This post is also available in Dutch.

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