FC_InitToken() - initialize or re-initialize a token.


CK_RV FC_InitToken(
  CK_SLOT_ID slotID,
  CK_ULONG ulPinLen,
  CK_CHAR_PTR pLabel


FC_InitToken() has the following parameters:


the ID of the token’s slot


the password of the security officer (SO)


the length in bytes of the SO password


points to the label of the token, which must be padded with spaces to 32 bytes and not be null-terminated


FC_InitToken() initializes a brand new token or re-initializes a token that was initialized before.

Specifically, FC_InitToken() initializes or clears the key database, removes the password, and then marks all the user certs in the certificate database as non-user certs. (User certs are the certificates that have their associated private keys in the key database.)

A user must be able to call FC_InitToken() without logging into the token (to assume the NSS User role) because either the user’s password hasn’t been set yet or the user forgets the password and needs to blow away the password-encrypted private key database and start over.


Note: The SO password should be the empty string, i.e., ulPinLen argument should be 0. FC_InitToken() ignores the pLabel argument.

Return value

FC_InitToken() returns the following return codes.

  • CKR_OK: token initialization succeeded.

  • CKR_SLOT_ID_INVALID: slot ID is invalid.


    • we don’t have a reference to the key database (we failed to open the key database or we have released our reference).

  • CKR_DEVICE_ERROR: failed to reset the key database.

Application usage

FC_InitToken() is used to reset the password for the key database when the user forgets the password.

  • The “Reset Password” button of the Mozilla Application Suite and SeaMonkey (in Preferences->Privacy & Security->Master Passwords) calls FC_InitToken().

  • The “-T” (token reset) command of certutil calls FC_InitToken().


Note: Resetting the password clears all permanent secret and private keys. You won’t be able to decrypt the data, such as Mozilla’s stored passwords, that were encrypted using any of those keys.