I am configuring an old HP Pavilion dv6-2120ew. It has a built in fingerprint sensor which is really important for my use case, but the new Ubuntu 20.04 LTS has problem with it (I don't know if there were problems with it before on previously installed Windows 7 Home).

When I try to set a new fingerprint, this is what shows up - "Problem Reading Device".

As in this question - How to use Fingerprint reader in Ubuntu 19.10 I checked lsusb command and it gave the following output for the fingerprint device.

Bus 002 Device 003: ID 138a:0005 Validity Sensors, Inc. VFS301 Fingerprint Reader

Then I checked that it indeed is on the supported list - https://fprint.freedesktop.org/supported-devices.html

Since the default driver seems to be the correct one, I don't know what to do from now. Googling for this error doesn't give any results, except for the gitlab page with the code that issues this error.

The code isn't very informative though:

#: panels/user-accounts/cc-fingerprint-dialog.c:1100
msgctxt "Fingerprint enroll state"
msgid "Problem Reading Device"
msgstr "Arazoa gailua irakurtzean"

Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I am a Linux newbie.


The vfs301 has been broken since at least 2 years. The device is active for the 1st enroll, but is stalling after that. There seems to be no solution for that.

  • Good to know. I bought two devices 04f3:0c28 Elan Microelectronics Corp. expressly for use with linux, and this hardware also seems to read the fingerprint, but always comes up as no match when using it. Windows 10 works very well with it, but that wasn't the point. Any idea where to file a bug report? – emk2203 Oct 17 '20 at 14:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.