Swiftpack.co - Package - Yubico/yubikit-ios
Swiftpack.co is a collection of thousands of indexed Swift packages. Search packages.

Yubico Mobile iOS SDK (YubiKit)

YubiKit is an iOS library provided by Yubico to interact with YubiKeys on iOS devices.

The library is provided with a demo application which shows complete examples of how the library can be integrated and demonstrates all the features of this library in an iOS project.

Changes to this library are documented in this Changelog.


YubiKit requires a physical key to test its features. Before running the included demo application or integrating YubiKit into your own app, you need an NFC-Enabled YubiKey or a YubiKey 5Ci to test functionality.

The host application can build the library as a dependency of the application target when used inside a Xcode workspace. In addition, the library can be packed using the build.sh script, which is provided in the root folder of this project.

Getting Started

To get started, you can try the demo as part of this library or start integrating the library into your own application.

Try the Demo

The library is provided with a demo application, YubiKitDemo. The application is implemented in Swift and it shows several examples of how to use YubiKit, including WebAuthn/FIDO2 over the accessory or NFC YubiKeys.

The YubiKit Demo application shows how the library is linked with a project so it can be used for a side-by-side comparison when adding the library to your own project.

Integrate the library

YubiKit SDK is available as a library and can be added to any new or existing iOS Xcode project through SPM, Cocoapods, or manual setup.

[SPM Setup]

The YubiKit SDK for iOS is availble Swift Package Manger (SPM). SPM is a dependency manager built into recent versions of Xcode. Go here to learn more.

  1. Open Xcode and click "File" -> "Swift Packages" -> "Add Package Dependency..."

  2. Paste the following URL: https://github.com/Yubico/yubikit-ios

  3. Click "Next" -> "Next" -> "Finish"

[Cocoapods Setup]

The YubiKit SDK for iOS is available through CocoaPods. CocoaPods is a centralized dependency manager for Objective-C and Swift. Go here to learn more.

Add YubiKit to your Podfile.


pod 'YubiKit', '~> 3.2.0'

If you want to have latest changes, replace the last line with:

pod 'YubiKit', :git => 'https://github.com/Yubico/yubikit-ios.git'

Once YubiKit is added to your Podfile, run pod install and open the *.xcworkspace with Xcode.

Then import the YubiKit module and you can use it's classes and methods.

import YubiKit

Continue SDK setup by skipping over Manual Setup to Enable Custom Lightning Protocol.

Manual Setup

Download or Clone YubiKit SDK source

  1. Download the latest YubiKit SDK (.zip) to your desktop or

    git clone https://github.com/Yubico/yubikit-ios.git

Add YubiKit folder to your Xcode project

  1. Drag the entire /YubiKit[version]/YubiKit folder to your Xcode project. Check the option Copy items if needed. Or add exisiting Yubikit project to your workspace

Linked Frameworks and Libraries

  1. Project Settings > General > Linked Frameworks and Libraries. Click + and add the libYubiKit.a

Header Search Paths

  1. Build Settings > Filter by 'Header Search Path'. Set both Debug & Release to ./YubiKit/** (recursive)

-ObjC flag

  1. Add -ObjC flag Build Settings > Filter by 'Other Linker Flags'. Add the -ObjC flag to Debug and Release.


  1. If your target project is written in Swift, you need to provide a bridge to the YubiKit library by adding #import <YubiKit/YubiKit.h> to your bridging header. If a bridging header does not exist within your project, you can add one by following this documentation.

Enable Custom Lightning Protocol

REQUIRED if you are supporting the YubiKey 5Ci over the Lightning connector.

The YubiKey 5Ci is an Apple MFi external accessory and communicates over iAP2. You are telling your app that all communication with the 5Ci as a supported external accessory is via com.yubico.ylp.

Open info.plist and add com.yubico.ylp as a new item under Supported external accessory protocols

Grant accesss to NFC

To add support for NFC YubiKeys in your application, follow these steps:

  • Add a NEW entitlement for reading NFC specific tags, available since iOS 13. This new entitlement is added automatically by Xcode when enabling the Near Field Communication Tag Reading capability in the target Signing & Capabilities. After enabling the capability the .entitelments files needs to contain the NDEF and TAG formats:
        <string>NDEF</string> // NDEF Tag, available since iOS 11
        <string>TAG</string>  // Application specific tag, including ISO 7816 Tags
  • The application needs to define the list of application IDs or AIDs it can connect to, in the Info.plist file. The AID is a way of uniquely identifying an application on a ISO 7816 tag, which is usually defined by a standard. FIDO2 and U2F use the AID A0000006472F0001 on most FIDO compliant NFC keys, including the YubiKey. After adding the list of supported AIDs, the Info.plist entry should look like this:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
    <string>A000000527471117</string> // YubiKey Management Application AID
    <string>A0000006472F0001</string> // FIDO/U2F AID
    <string>A0000005272101</string>   // OATH AID
    <string>A000000308</string>       // PIV AID
    <string>A000000527200101</string> // YubiKey application/OTP AID (for HMAC SHA1 challenge-response)
  • The Info.plist also needs to include a privacy description for NFC usage, using the NFCReaderUsageDescription key:
<string>The application needs access to NFC reading to communicate with your YubiKey.</string>

Grant accesss to CAMERA

Optional: if you are planning to use the camera to read QR codes for OTP Open info.plist and add the following usage: 'Privacy - Camera Usage Description' - "This application needs access to Camera for reading QR codes."


YubiKit headers are documented and the documentation is available either by reading the header file or by using the QuickHelp from Xcode (Option + Click symbol). Use this documentation for a more detailed explanation of all the methods, properties, and parameters from the API. If you are interested in implementation details for a specific category like U2F, FIDO2, or OATH, check out the ./docs section.

Using the Library

YubiKit is exposing a simple and easy to use API for operations with YubiKey and set of operations named as servie. Each service hides the complexity of managing the logic of interacting with an external accessory on iOS or communicating over NFC. It exchanges specific binary data to the key. The set of operations are accessible via the implementation of YKFAccessorySession or YKFNFCSession. A shared single instance becomes available in YubiKitManager.accessorySession or YubiKitManager.nfcSession when the session with the key is started.

To enable the YKFAccessorySession and YKFNFCSession to receive events and connect to the YubiKey 5Ci, it needs to be explicitly started using startSession. This allows the host application to have a granular control on when the application should listen and connect to the key. When the application no longer requires the presence of the key (e.g. the user successfully authenticated and moved to the main UI of the app), the session can be stopped by calling stopSession

Before starting the key session, the application should verify if the iOS version is supported by the library by looking at the supportsMFIAccessoryKey property on YubiKitDeviceCapabilities

Before calling the APIs for NFC, it is recommended to check for the capabilities of the OS/Device. If the device or the OS does not support a capability the library will fire an assertion in debug builds when calling a method without having the required capability. YubiKit provides a handy utility class to check for these capabilities: YubiKitDeviceCapabilities:

if YubiKitDeviceCapabilities.supportsISO7816NFCTags {
    // Provide additional setup when NFC is available            
    // example
} else {
    // Handle the missing NFC support 
#import <YubiKit/YubiKit.h>
// NFC scanning is available
if (YubiKitDeviceCapabilities.supportsISO7816NFCTags) {
    // Provide additional setup when NFC is available
} else {
    // Handle the missing NFC support

An important property of the YKFAccessorySession is the sessionState( or iso7816SessionState of NFCSession) which can be used to check the state of the session. This property can be observed using KVO. Observe this property to see when the key is connected or disconnected and take appropriate actions to update the UI and to send requests to the key. Because the KVO code can be verbose, a complete example on how to observe this property is provided in the Demo application and not here. When the host application prefers a delegate pattern to observe this property, the YubiKit Demo application provides an example on how to isolate the KVO observation into a separate class and use a delegate to update about changes. The example can be found in the Examples/Observers project group.

The session was designed to provide a list of services. A service usually maps a major capability of the key. Over the same session the application can talk to different functionalities provided by the key. For example, The YKFKeyU2FService will communicate with the U2F functionality from the key. The U2F service lifecycle is fully controlled by the key session and it must not be created by the host application. The lifecycle of the U2F service is dependent on the session state. When the session is opened and it can communicate with the key, the U2F service become available. If the session is closed the U2F service is nil. After the key session was started and a key was connected the session state becomes open so the application can start sending requests to the key.

List of services is documented below with it's own specifics and samples:

  • FIDO - Provides FIDO2 operations accessible via the YKFKeyFIDO2Service.

  • U2F - Provides U2F operations accessible via the YKFKeyU2FService.

  • OATH - Allows applications, such as an authenticator app to store OATH TOTP and HOTP secrets on a YubiKey and generate one-time passwords.

  • OTP - Provides implementation classes to obtain YubiKey OTP via accessory (5Ci) or NFC.

  • RAW - Allows sending raw commands to YubiKeys over two channels: YKFKeyRawCommandService or over a PC/SC like interface.

  • Challenge-response - Provides a method to use HMAC-SHA1 challenge-response.

  • MGMT - Provides ability to enable or disable available application on YubiKey

Customize the Library

YubiKit allows customizing some of its behavior by using YubiKitConfiguration and YubiKitExternalLocalization.

Customizing YubiKit Behavior

For providing localized strings for the user facing messages shown by the library, YubiKit provides a collection of properties in YubiKitExternalLocalization.

One example of a localized string is the message shown in the NFC scanning UI while the device waits for a YubiKey to be scanned. This message can be localized by setting the value of nfcScanAlertMessage:

let localizedAlertMessage = NSLocalizedString("NFC_SCAN_MESSAGE", comment: "Scan your YubiKey.")
YubiKitExternalLocalization.nfcScanAlertMessage = localizedAlertMessage
#import <YubiKit/YubiKit.h>
NSString *localizedAlertMessage = NSLocalizedString(@"NFC_SCAN_MESSAGE", @"Scan your YubiKey.");
YubiKitExternalLocalization.nfcScanAlertMessage = localizedNfcScanAlertMessage;

For all the available properties and their use look at the code documentation for YubiKitExternalLocalization.

Note: YubiKitExternalLocalization provides default values in English (en-US), which are useful only for debugging and prototyping. For production code always provide localized values.

YubiKit FAQ

Q1. Does YubiKit store any data on the device?

Yubikit doesn't store any data locally on the device. This includes NSUserDefaults, application sandbox folders and Keychain. All the data required to perform an operation is stored in memory for the duration of the operation and then discarded.

Q2. Does YubiKit communicate with any services?

Yubikit doesn't communicate with any services, like web services or other type of network communication. YubiKit is a library for sending, receiving and processing the data from a YubiKey.

Q3. Can I use YubiKit with other devices which are not from Yubico?

YubiKit is a library which should be used only to interact with a device manufactured by Yubico. While some parts of it may work with other devices, the library was developed and tested to work with YubiKeys. When attaching a MFI accessory, YubiKit will always check if the manufacturer of the device is Yubico before connecting to it.

Q4. Is YubiKit compiled with support for Bitcode and Position Independent code?

Yes, YubiKit is compiled to accommodate any modern iOS project. The supplied library is compiled with Position Independent code and Bitcode. The release version of the library is optimized (Fastest, smallest).

Q5. Is YubiKit logging or asserting in release mode?

No, YubiKit is not logging in release mode. The logs from YubiKit will show only in debug builds to help the developer to see what YubiKit does. The same stands for assertions. YubiKit will assert in debug mode to warn the developer when invalid parameters are passed to the library or when something unexpected happened with the key. In release, the library will handle invalid states in different ways (e.g. returning nil if the object was not properly initialized, returning errors, etc.).

Q6. Are there any versions of iOS where YubiKit does not work?

YubiKit should work on any modern version of iOS (10+) with a few exceptions*. It's recommended to always ask the users to upgrade to the latest version of iOS to protect them from known, old iOS issues. Supporting the last 2 version of iOS (n and n-1) is usually a good practice to keep the old versions of iOS out. According to Apple statistics, ~90-95% of all iOS devices run the latest 2 versions of iOS because upgrading the OS is free and Apple usually provides a device with upgrades for 5 years.

* Some versions of iOS had bugs affecting all external accessories. iOS 11.2 was one of them where the applications could not communicate with accessories due to some bugs in the XPC communication. The bug was fixed by Apple in iOS 11.2.6. For these reasons it's recommended to take in consideration rare but possible iOS bugs when designing the application.

Q7. How can I debug the application while using a MFi accessory YubiKey?

Starting from Xcode 9, the IDE provides the ability to debug the application wirelessly. In this way the physical connector is not used for connecting the device to the computer, for debugging the application. This WWDC session explains the wireless debugging functionality in Xcode.

Q8. Are the USB-C type iOS devices supported by the YubiKey 5Ci?

The USB-C type iOS devices, such as the iPad Pro 3rd generation, have limited support when using the YubiKey 5Ci or another type of YubiKey with USB-C connector. The OS is not officially supporting external accessories on these devices. However these devices support external USB keyboards, so the OTP functionality of the key will work and the key can be used to generate Yubico OTPs and HOTPs.

Additional resources

  1. Xcode Help - Add a capability to a target
  2. Xcode Help - Build settings reference
  3. Technical Q&A QA1490 - Building Objective-C static libraries with categories
  4. Apple Developer - Swift and Objective-C in the Same Project
  5. Yubico - Developers website
  6. Yubico - Online Demo for OTP and U2F
  7. Yubico - OTP documentation
  8. Yubico - What is U2F?
  9. Yubico - YKOATH Protocol Specifications
  10. FIDO Alliance - CTAP2 specifications
  11. W3.org - Web Authentication: An API for accessing Public Key Credentials


Stars: 86


YubiKit 3.2.0 - 2020-09-23T13:03:09

  • Support for Swift Package Manager

  • Added support for renaming OATH credentials (supported by Yubikeys from version 5.3.1)

  • iPad Pro 4 and iPad Air with USB-C now correctly reports its capabilities in the SDK

  • Improved Base32 decoding

YubiKit 3.1.0 - 2020-03-17T17:30:58

  • Raw commands service YKFKeyRawCommandService now allows to specify timeouts on each command using YKFKeyCommandConfiguration in case if user wants to speed up communication with YubiKey or getting timeouts on execution of specific command.

  • Reduced default timeout between sending command to YubiKey and receiving response from YubiKey in order to be more performant over Lightning.

  • This SDK version now provides YKFKeyChallengeResponseService which allows to calculate HMAC-SHA1 on pre-programmed YubiKey. Read more about usage of Challenge-response

  • Added YKFKeyMGMTService which allows to check whether application is available on YubiKey. And can enable or disable interfaces/application on YubiKey (if they are available). Read more about usage of management service

  • Fixes OATH credential parser for credentials that contain "\" or ":".

  • Added YKFKeyOATHService method selectOATHApplication that provides response on selection of OATH applet. It contains firmware version which can be used as one of the methods to detect firmware version over NFC.

  • Improvements in YubiKitDemo application: U2F and FIDO2 in Other demo section now support NFC-Enabled YubiKeys.

YubiKit 3.0.0 - 2019-12-16T18:41:10

Updated list of supported devices (and list of devices that doesn't support NFC)

Improvements to NFC API:

  • Allows multiple tags to be scanned during one open NFCSession
  • Added method to customize NFC alert message at any state of NFC session (see nfcScanAlertMessage for initial text message, nfcScanSuccessAlertMessage and setAlertMessage for updating message when NFC session is already open)
  • Exposes iso7816SessionError to check the cause why session was closed

Some improvements to OATH service:

  • Support YubiKey NEO that returns response without algorithm tag on applet selection
  • Allow to rename credentials that were scanned with QR code

YubiKit 3.0.0 Preview - 2019-11-04T23:15:00

To use YubiKit 3.0.0-Preview, the application needs to be compiled with Xcode 11 or newer (iOS 13 SDK).

3.0.0-Preview [2.0.1 -> 3.0.0-Preview] This version now supports NFC-Enabled YubiKeys for FIDO2. Note: All NFC capabilities (except Yubico OTP) require iOS 13+ on the user's device. See NFC-Notes.md for more details on the addition of NFC support and notable changes to the key sessions.

The YubiKit 3.0.0-Preview adds support for ISO 7816 tags which allows your application to use the FIDO2 functionality of the YubiKey over NFC on devices running iOS 13 or newer.

The FIDO2 protocol implementation now supports any NFC-Enabled YubiKey, in addition to the YubiKey 5Ci. The library provides examples for implementing FIDO2 over an accessory (YubiKey 5Ci) or NFC. In addition, the YubiKit Demo application provides an end-to-end solution for both protocols.

Adds support for OATH protocol over NFC on devices running iOS 13 or newer. Also wraps and simplifies raw APDU communication with NFC-Enabled YubiKeys.

Note: There are some breaking changes. See Refactoring Changes section under NFC-Notes.md

YubiKit 2.0.1 - 2019-09-23T12:12:10

2.0.1 [2.0.0 -> 2.0.1]

  • Fixed an edge case for CCID when the WTX responses are concatenated with the payload. This issue mostly affects the calculation of OATH credentials with touch.

  • Added the possibility to attach a custom application logger to process the library logs. For more details check the Examples/CustomLogger in the YubiKit Demo application.

  • Several other improvements to OATH, including the possibility to create OATH credentials without issuer and the ability to read and add credentials with 7 digits.

YubiKit 2.0.0 - 2019-08-19T10:15:29

2.0.0 [2.0.0 RC1 -> 2.0.0]

  • The internal CBOR encoder used by the FIDO2 API is now sorting the map keys according to canonical CBOR rules when the keys are text strings. This fixes a bug with the order of the keys in the webauthnAttestationObject returned by the YKFKeyFIDO2MakeCredentialResponse.

  • Improved the error handling when the applications are disabled on the YubiKey. In case of FIDO (FIDO2 and U2F) the application is shared (the CTAP specifications use the same AID). In this specific scenario, when only one of them is enabled, YubiKit was returning YKFKeyAPDUErrorCodeInsNotSupported. Now the library will return YKFKeySessionErrorMissingApplicationCode when trying to use the disabled application, similar with the scenario when both applications are disabled.

  • Added a new constant, YKFKeyFIDO2GetInfoResponseOptionUserVerification, which can be used to test if the authenticator supports UV (User Verification). Removed from the YubiKit Demo application the explicit set of the UV options flag when creating FIDO2 credentials or getting assertions because the YubiKey 5Ci is not capable of verifying the user within itself. This update is available from firmware version 5.2.x and reflects the latest CTAP2 specifications.

  • Renamed the supportsLightningKey property from YubiKitDeviceCapabilities to supportsMFIAccessoryKey. The property will also return NO/false when the iOS device has an USB-C connector, such as the iPad Pro 3rd generation. These devices do not officially support MFi external accessories.

  • Renamed several classes, properties and UI labels in the YubiKit Demo application to not use the term Lightning. This change was made to avoid possible trademark issues with this term.

  • Some minor improvements to the PC/SC API to dynamically read some properties, like the name and the model of the key, from the YKFKeySession instead of returning hardcoded values.

  • Several OATH improvements, including support for touch credentials and improved compatibility with other libraries/applications which implement the YOATH protocol, such as Yubico Authenticator for Android and desktop.

  • Improved the ability to manually build OATH credentials using the YKFOATHCredential model provided by the library.

  • The build.sh script will generate a release-universal flavour of the library, together with the previous flavours (release and debug-universal).

YubiKit 2.0.0 RC1 - 2019-06-28T10:47:55

2.0.0 RC1 [2.0.0 B8 -> 2.0.0 RC1]

  • The YKFKeyFIDO2MakeCredentialResponse has two new properties: ctapAttestationObject and webauthnAttestationObject:

    • The ctapAttestationObject is identical to the rawResponse from the key. This attestation format follows the CTAP2 specifications for packing the attestation object from the authenticator. In this format the top level CBOR map is using numeric keys for authData, fmt and attStmt.
    • The webauthnAttestationObject is similar with the ctapAttestationObject. The only difference is in the top level CBOR map keys which are text, as defined in the WebAuthN Attestation Object specifications.
  • The attStmt property from the YKFKeyFIDO2MakeCredentialResponse is an opaque object now (NSData/Data) instead of a parsed CBOR map to comply with the CTAP2 specifications on how the clients need to handle this object.

  • The U2F external accessory protocol support has been removed from both YubiKit and YubiKit Demo application. The library supports from this version only the com.yubico.ylp external accessory protocol. Make sure to remove the U2F protocol from the application Info.plist file before submitting the application for an AppStore review.

  • The YubiKitDeviceCapabilities contains a new property: supportsLightningKey. This property should be used in the application before starting the key session. If the check is not performed, in debug builds the library will assert when trying to start the key session on an unsupported iOS version. This property returns YES/true when:

    • the iOS version is iOS 10 or newer.
    • the iOS version is not in a blacklist of versions where the external accessories don't work due to iOS bugs.
  • Moved the WebAuthN clientData into the library. The new class provided by the library is called YKFWebAuthnClientData. This change avoids duplicate implementations of the Client Data in every application which could lead to different results when using the FIDO2 APIs. When using Swift 5, this change avoids a random memory corruption of the old implementation from the YubiKit Demo application, when creating and passing the data to the library. Make sure to use the new implementation if the demo application code was reused.

  • Several improvements and bug fixes to the logging of the library in debug builds. The library check in debug builds if the application is configured properly when starting the key session by looking at the application external accessory protocols.

  • The firmware version, available in YKFKeyDescription.firmwareRevision returns now the format [major].[minor].[patch] instead of a number.

  • Improvements and bug fixes to the YubiKit Demo application:

    • Removed a bug in the Other demos, Raw Commands where the logs were wiped immediately after running a demo, if the flow was successful.
  • Several internal library improvements related to: debug assertions, unit testability and performance.