Pippin authentication dongle

A Pippin authentication dongle, used by developers.

Pippin authentication (sometimes called “authentification”) uses a RSA cryptosystem in which only CD-ROMs that have been "authenticated" can be run by Pippin consoles.

Software was submitted to Apple Computer or one of its licensees, such as Bandai or Katz Media for official approval. The contents of the CD-ROM were "digested" through a proprietary hashing algorithm to generate a key that would be included on the disc to be published.[1] If a standard consumer Pippin did not find a valid "PippinAuthenticationFile" in the root directory of a CD-ROM, it would eject the disc before completing the boot process. Otherwise, a Pippin console with a developer ROM or authentication dongle was required to run non-authenticated CD-ROMs or boot from an external drive.[2][3]

Revision 1.3 ROMs in the Katz Media Player 2000 removed the check for authentication of CD-ROMs. However, booting from external drives was not supported.[4][5]


  1. Technical Notes: Pippin Authentication, version 003, Apple Computer.
  2. Demystifying the Bandai Pippin Developer Dongle, Peter Wong. 2010-04-29.
  3. Dongle Rumor, Maison PiPPiN. Archived 2009-08-05.
  4. Hacking the Pippin, Vintage Mac World. 2007-10-22. Archived 2017-08-17
  5. Useful Notes / Pippin, TV Tropes.

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