nCore v12.81 Developer Tutorial


This guide describes how to write applications using the nCore API, the native application programming interface for nShield modules. It also describes various programming libraries and utility functions that Entrust supplies.

Read this guide in conjunction with the nCore API documentation located in:

  • Windows: %NFAST_HOME%\document\ncore\html\index.html (C) and %NFAST_HOME%\java\docs\index.html (Java)

  • Linux: /opt/nfast/document/ncore/html/index.html (C) and /opt/nfast/java/docs/index.html (Java).

Read this guide if …​

Read this guide if you are an application developer who is writing cryptographic applications using the nCore API. If you are writing an application using a standard API, such as Java JCE/JCA, MS CAPI, CAPI NG or PKCS #11, you should read the Cryptographic API Integration Guide.

The nCore Developer Tutorial:

  • explains the nCore programming architecture

  • presents a tutorial on using the nCore API in C

  • presents a tutorial on using the nCore API in Java.

Model numbers

Model numbering conventions are used to distinguish different nShield hardware security devices. In the table below, n represents any single digit integer.

Model number Used for


Connect 6000


Connect 1500


Connect 500


Connect 6000+


Connect 1500+


Connect 500+


Connect XC Base


Connect XC Medium


Connect XC High


Connect XC SCAP


Connect XC Base - Serial Console


Connect XC Mid - Serial Console


Connect XC High - Serial Console


Connect CLX Base - Serial Console


Connect CLX Mid - Serial Console


Connect CLX High - Serial Console

nC2021E-000, NCE2023E-000

nToken PCIe

nC3nnnE-nnn, nC4nnnE-nnn

nShield Solo PCIe

Further information

This guide forms one part of the information and support provided by Entrust. You can find additional documentation in the documentation directory of the installation media for your product.

The nCore API Documentation is supplied as HTML files installed in the following locations:

  • Windows:

    • API reference for host: %NFAST_HOME%\document\ncore\html\index.html

    • API reference for SEE: %NFAST_HOME%\document\csddoc\html\index.html

  • Linux:

    • API reference for host: /opt/nfast/document/ncore/html/index.html

    • API reference for SEE: /opt/nfast/document/csddoc/html/index.html

The Java Generic Stub classes, nCipherKM JCA/JCE provider classes, and Java Key Management classes are supplied with HTML documentation in standard Javadoc format, which is installed in the appropriate nfast\java or nfast/java directory when you install these classes.

Release notes containing the latest information about your product are available in the release directory of your installation media.

We strongly recommend familiarizing yourself with the information provided in the release notes before using any hardware and software related to your product.

Security advisories

If Entrust becomes aware of a security issue affecting nShield HSMs, Entrust will publish a security advisory to customers. The security advisory will describe the issue and provide recommended actions. In some circumstances the advisory may recommend you upgrade the nShield firmware and or nShield Connect image file. In this situation you will need to re-present a quorum of administrator smart cards to the HSM to reload a Security World. As such, deployment and maintenance of your HSMs should consider the procedures and actions required to upgrade devices in the field

The Remote Administration feature supports remote firmware upgrade of nShield Solo and nShield Connects and remote ACS card presentation.

We recommend that you monitor the Announcements & Security Notices section on Entrust nShield Support,, where any announcement of nShield Security Advisories will be made.

Contacting Entrust nShield Support

To obtain support for your product, contact Entrust nShield Support,