YubiKey Manager CLI

Python 3.6 (or later) library and command line tool for configuring a YubiKey. If you’re looking for the full graphical application, which also includes the command line tool, it’s here.


For more usage information and examples, see the YubiKey Manager CLI User Manual.

Usage: ykman [OPTIONS] COMMAND [ARGS]...

  Configure your YubiKey via the command line.


    List connected YubiKeys, only output serial number:
    ykman list --serials

    Show information about YubiKey with serial number 0123456:
    ykman --device 0123456 info

  -v, --version                   Show version information about the app
  -d, --device SERIAL             Specify which YubiKey to interact with by serial number.
                                  Enable logging at given verbosity level.
  --log-file FILE                 Write logs to the given FILE instead of standard error; ignored
                                  unless --log-level is also set.

  -r, --reader NAME               Use an external smart card reader. Conflicts with --device and list.
  --diagnose                      Show diagnostics information useful for troubleshooting.
  -h, --help                      Show this message and exit.

  info     Show general information.
  list     List connected YubiKeys.
  config   Enable/Disable applications.
  fido     Manage the FIDO applications.
  oath     Manage the OATH Application.
  openpgp  Manage the OpenPGP Application.
  otp      Manage the OTP Application.
  piv      Manage the PIV Application.

The --help argument can also be used to get detailed information about specific subcommands:

ykman oath --help


YubiKey Manager can be installed independently of platform by using pip (or equivalent):

pip install --user yubikey-manager

On Linux platforms you will need pcscd installed and running to be able to communicate with a YubiKey over the SmartCard interface. Additionally, you may need to set permissions for your user to access YubiKeys via the HID interfaces. More information available here.

Some of the libraries used by yubikey-manager have C-extensions, and may require additional dependencies to build, such as swig and potentially PCSC lite.

Pre-build packages

Pre-built packages specific to your platform may be available from Yubico or third parties. Please refer to your platforms native package manager for detailed instructions on how to install, if available.


The command line tool ykman.exe is provided as part of the installer for the YubiKey Manager on Windows.


Packages for MacOS are available from Homebrew and MacPorts.

Input Monitoring access on MacOS

When running one of the ykman otp commands you may run into an error such as: Failed to open device for communication: -536870174. This indicates a problem with the permission to access the OTP (keyboard) USB interface.

To access a YubiKey over this interface the application needs the Input Monitoring permission. If you are not automatically prompted to grant this permission, you may have to do so manually. Note that it is the terminal you are using that needs the permission, not the ykman executable.

To add your terminal application to the Input Monitoring permission list, go to System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Privacy -> Input Monitoring to resolve this.


Packages are available for several Linux distributions by third party package maintainers. Yubico also provides packages for Ubuntu in the yubico/stable PPA (for amd64 ONLY, other architectures such as arm should use the general pip instructions above instead):

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:yubico/stable
sudo apt update
sudo apt install yubikey-manager


Althought not being officially supported on this platform, YubiKey Manager can be installed on FreeBSD. It’s available via its ports tree or as pre-built package. Should you opt to install and use YubiKey Manager on this platform, please be aware that it’s NOT maintained by Yubico.

For more information about how to install packages or ports on FreeBSD, please refer to its official documentation: FreeBSD Handbook.


To install from source, see the development instructions.

Shell completion

Experimental shell completion for the command line tool is available, provided by the underlying CLI library (click) but it is not enabled by default. To enable it, run this command once (for Bash):

source <(_YKMAN_COMPLETE=bash_source ykman | sudo tee /etc/bash_completion.d/ykman)

More information on shell completion is available here: https://click.palletsprojects.com/en/8.0.x/shell-completion

If your version of the Click dependency is older than 8.0 you need to use source_bash for the variable instead.