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  Common Access Card help for your

Personal Mac Computer

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Apple Leopard logo

Leopard [10.5.x]

Released on 26 October 2007


You may be able to use your CAC with your [Leopard (aka 10.5.8)] Apple computer



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

Snow Leopard Apple Snow Leopard logo (10.6.x) users, utilize the Snow 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 newer 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," "Oberthur ID One 128 v5.5a D", "GEMALTO DLGX4-A 144," or "G&D FIPS 201 SCE 3.2." (see below). 


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

G&D FIPS 201 SCE 3.2 image



Find out how to flip card over video


We're seeing a lower success rate of Leopard computers working with the current CACs, it used to work fine with the older CACs (which were supposed to have been replaced by 1 October 2012).
A 100% success rate fix for Leopard computers with an Intel Chip is to upgrade to Snow Leopard.  However, if you have a PPC chip, your only option is to purchase PKard or CSSI, or it may be time for a new computer.  :)



Army users:  You will have to install Windows in a virtual environment to be able to use Lotus Forms and ApproveIt.  NOTE:  Your computer must have an Intel processor.


A version of Lotus Forms is available for your Mac (Intel processor only).  So, IF you only need to complete a form (and NOT sign it) give it a tryAlternate link


An older version of PureEdge [with a few tweaks] is available here for your Mac.  So, IF you only need to complete a form (and NOT sign it) give it a try.


IF the lack of Lotus Forms and ApproveIt for Mac "bothers" you, I recommend you contact the Army Publishing Directorate and let them know your thoughts.


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 the web server "think" your using Internet Explorer


Information on why your CAC may not work with Safari after updating



Firefox logo



How to configure your 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 Leopard (the current release of Mac OS X (10.5.8)).  The program was available for purchase through the manufacturer, and is not available for download from DoD.  The use of this program is not supported here for Apple operating systems, as it is not required and won't work with Leopard (10.5.x).


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 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.

* 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


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. 


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 different 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'.


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


Written by Bill Hankins, Revised by Michael J. Danberry while following the instructions on my own iBook G4.

Another single file for CAC installation instructions for your Mac.


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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