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  Common Access Card help for your

Personal Mac Computer



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If you plan on upgrading to Lion [10.7.x], please know that it does NOT have built in Smart Card ability (like your Snow Leopard does).  Please visit the Lion support page for more information.


Apple Snow Leopard logo

Snow Leopard [10.6.x]

Released on 28 August 2009


You "should be able to" use your CAC with your [Snow Leopard (10.6.8)] Apple computer


If you have the Gemalto TOP DL GX4 144 CAC, and an SCR-3310, or 3500, you may be able to use Snow Leopard without installing a CAC enabler.  It will be a simple plug and play


Look here for installation steps


Other versions of Mac OS X supported in this website:

Big Sur (11.0) users, utilize the Big Sur support page

Catalina Catalina tiny image (10.15.x) users, utilize the Catalina support page

Mojave Mojave tiny (10.14.x) users, utilize the Mojave support page

High Sierra Mac OS High Sierra image(10.13.x) users, utilize the High Sierra support page

Sierra Mac OS Sierra(10.12.x) users, utilize the Sierra support page

El Capitan el Capitan(10.11.x) users, utilize the El Capitan support page

Yosemite Yosemite image (10.10.x) users, utilize the Yosemite support page

Mavericks Mavericks logo (10.9.x) users, utilize the Mavericks support page

Mountain Lion  Apple Mountain Lion logo(10.8.x) users, utilize the Mountain Lion support page

Lion Apple Lion logo (10.7.x) users, utilize the Lion support page

Leopard Apple Leopard logo (10.5.x) users, utilize the Leopard support page

TigerApple Tiger logo(10.4.x) users, utilize the Tiger support page



If your CAC does not work, you may have received one of the PIV II CAC's.  You can verify by looking on the back above the black magnetic strip for either of these:  "Gemalto TOP DL GX4 144," "Oberthur ID One 128 v5.5 Dual" (see below).


Gemalto 144 CAC image GemaltoDLGX4-A 144 image  Oberthur 5.5 CAC image Oberthur 5.5a CAC

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Find out how to flip card over video




Army users:  You no longer will have to install Windows in a virtual environment to be able to sign forms.  Go to this page for specifics


Army has migrated to Adobe fillable forms.  Army Publishing Directorate began the conversion of the Army's inventory of existing IBM Lotus forms to PDF-F in FY 2014.  Beginning in FY15, Lotus Forms and ApproveIt / eSign software will no longer be supported.  This is great news for Mac users since Lotus and ApproveIt has never worked for them, however, we have come to find out that we are still unable to sign the forms.



Article on how to utilize Windows on your Mac from Online Tech


How to make a web server think you're using Internet Explorer



Firefox logo


How to configure Firefox on your Snow Leopard Mac video (using CAC key)

How to configure Firefox on your Mac (using Cool key)


You can download the dod_configuration-1.3.3.xpi Firefox installation file from (but you may not need it)


The following information is provided for your situational awareness while setting up your CAC on your Mac.  It is updated as additional information is available and your input is appreciated for solutions not outlined here.  Installation instructions can be found below.

ActivClient is a middleware program used by the DoD to facilitate the communication between your Windows computer and your Common Access Card.  It was offered for the “Tiger” release (Mac OS X 10.4.X) and is not compatible with Snow Leopard.  The use of ActivClient is not supported here for the Mac OS, as it is not required and won't work with Snow Leopard (10.6.8).

NOTICE:  The links to vendors / products is an attempt to save you time searching for the specific item, by linking you directly to the item shown.  You will notice I have multiple [when I can find] vendors to choose from.  I have no personal preference as to who you decide to purchase from.  I am not endorsing any particular product, I'm merely letting you know what works and where you can get it from.

Windows on your Mac (You MUST have an Intel processor, it will NOT work with a PPC processor):  We know you have made a conscious decision to “be a Mac,” but the Government has not, and therefore the easiest solution for some problems, such as:  Digitally signing PDF-F forms or with Lotus Forms and eSign, some websites (including digitally signing / encrypting emails in OWA), is to use Windows through a Virtual Machine, such as Parallels (discounted prices), VMware Fusion (Parallels vs. VMware comparison), or VirtualBox  or through Apple’s native Boot Camp (alternate guide).  This will require you to have a licensed copy of Microsoft Windows.  With these programs, you can install the ActivClient, Adobe Reader, Lotus Forms, and ApproveIt software and also utilize all the DoD tools from your Mac.  The benefit of the Virtual Machines over Boot Camp is that it will allow you to run Windows as an additional program (without restarting your computer) and keep OS X running the entire time. 

Discounted prices on these programs below can be viewed here

  If your CAC reader is not being recognized by your virtual Windows, follow this guidance: 
VMware Fusion From the the menu bar, select Virtual Machine, then USB.  Find your CAC reader and select it.

Parallels Desktop - (In Coherent mode):  Click the red parallel lines in the menu bar, Select Devices, USB, find your CAC reader and select it.

Parallels Desktop - (Not in Coherent mode):  Simply plug your reader into the computer and select whether you want to use it in Mac or Windows.  You may also need to click the word Devices in the top row, USB, then your CAC reader.

VirtualBox:  Click the word Devices (at the top of the screen), then USB Devices, and select your CAC reader. When you want to use it on your Mac, go to the same location and remove the checkmark.  If you receive an error message when trying to select the reader here follow these instructions:

* In the VirtualBox GUI, click on USB (small icon in the list of devices).
* Then check "Enable USB Controller" and "Enable USB EHCI controlling."
* Lowest on the beach, you'll see a list of icons to your right. Check first. A box appears "a new filter". Check it.
* By clicking on the icon below, representative of a USB plug with a +, you'll see a list of drivers.
* Select the one that corresponds to your USB drive. Check it added in the filter window.


DTS (Defense Travel System) See the DTS specific page for support


DCO (Defense Connect Online) works with your Snow Leopard Mac since the servers have been updated.  Make sure you select the check box to Allow all applets from "" with this signature and select Allow.  You "should" now see a Java based screen with logon / password, or CAC PIN.  Select the CAC PIN option.


CAC Readers:  With a variety of CAC readers available today there are also a variety of issues.  The SCR series of CAC readers work very well.  The SCR-331 reader may need a Firmware Update.  See several models of  USB CAC readers here.  You will see a small note on some of the readers to show you how to make them compatible with your Mac.  Here is a web page that lists all known CAC readers and whether they are supported, should work, or unsupported with the Mac OS'.


HQDA Citrix access information for your Mac  How to guide


DoD Root certificates on your Mac only go up to CA 26, so, if your CAC has a CA between 27-32 you need to install all of the CAs 27-32 and CA Email 27-32.  You can download the file, then double click each certificate in the folder. 


Outlook Web Access / App (OWA):  The use of OWA on Mac sometimes times out.  Beware that when using OWA on your Mac if you are inactive on the primary window, for example: the Inbox, while replying to an email, the browser may time out.  On a Windows computer ActivClient (middleware) software maintains communications with the server and re-requests validation of your credentials.  On a Mac this is not so, Safari will respond to a direct request for validation of your credentials, however it will not re-request that you verify as the server requires.  Be sure that prior to selecting the Send button that you copy your work to the clipboard as you will most likely have to restart Safari and log back in.  You also will not be able to digitally sign / encrypt / decrypt emails since the S/MIME software is proprietary for Microsoft Internet Explorer (32 bit) only, therefore, it doesn't exist for a Mac.


Internet Explorer Emulation (NOT applicable to OWA): If you visit a website with your Mac that states it can only be accessed via Internet Explorer, or some web pages simply won't work while using your CAC with Safari, try this:  Open Safari, Click on the word Safari (in the bar at the top), select Preferences..., Advanced, click the Show Develop menu in the menu bar box.  Close Advanced screen.  Now to emulate IE, click on the word Develop (at the top), click User Agent, then choose Internet Explorer 9, 10, or 11


Air Force Users look here for some helpful information

Navy Users look here for some specific information


NOTE3:  If you previously had Leopard installed on this computer and were using your CAC.  You will need to go into the Login section of Keychain access and remove all of the URLs you manually added.


If you are still having problems, contact us
 If you have questions or suggestions for this site, contact Michael J. Danberry



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