I recently bought a Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E420s, which comes with a fingerprint reader. I have installed the fingerprint-gui and libbsapi to get it fully working (make: UPEK).

Is there a way to unlock the keyring on login using the fingerprint reader?

Apparently you can get it working by setting a blank password when using Thinkfinger, but that's not an option for me.

Running lsusb in the terminal returns Bus 001 Device 003: ID 147e:1002 Upek

  • Could you post the make of your fingerprint reader or at least the usb id? – LayerCake May 15 '11 at 15:59
  • Check out my second sentence :) I'm pretty sure it's an UPEK. – JLinden May 15 '11 at 16:23
  • Yes that's the brand but there is more than one upek fingerprint reader usbid would be very helpful. – LayerCake May 15 '11 at 16:44
  • I've updated my question with the usbid of the fingerprint reader. – JLinden May 15 '11 at 17:22

The whole pourpose of the keyring is to store your passwords and data on your storage device. To do that securely, they must be encrypted with something you know (your password). To unlock the keyring, you must provide the password so that gnome-keyring can decrypt the stored passwords. Your fingerprint can not be used as a password because it is not always the same. Fingerprint readers apply some fuzzy logic to tell if the stored fingerprint matches the read fingerprint and tell yes or no. That's why it can be used for authentication, but not for decryption of stored passwords (unless you have a blank password or would accept storing your master password unencrypted) The only way it could work is if the fingerprint device could store your master password on a chip in plaintext that could only be read if the fingerprint matches. And that's assuming that reading the internal memory/registers of a chip is much much harder than reading your local storage. I really don't know how it is done under windows, and I hope it is not security through obscurity. But if they're not using hardware to do this, they're simply using some obscure (but insecure) method to store your passwords.

  • 1
    Can't anything be connected to the pam.d pipe to unlock keyrings on login? – cprn Mar 13 '14 at 15:57
  • 2
    Pingback: This issue is still unresolved in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – Piotr Czekalski Apr 28 '20 at 13:13
  • The whole purpose of the fingerprint login is to not to type in a password on login. If I have to type the password just after the login to unlock the keyring, this defeats the whole purpose of that fingerprint reader. – Елин Й. Apr 29 at 20:37

this is currently a bug with GNOME-Keyring it was listed as invaild during the previous year but they recently opened back up for 11.04 and are working on it as of May 7th 2011 hope this helps



You might wanna try to get fprint working though I'm not sure it will work because it's not on the list of supported devices however it is not on the list of unsupported devices either.

There are packages for upek in general included, so it might just work.

Here are some instructions on how to set it up: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=760018

  • It seems like my reader is not supported, "No devices detected." is returned when I try to set it up. – JLinden May 16 '11 at 9:48
  • Hmm ok it was worth a try. – LayerCake May 16 '11 at 14:33

According to this post from Ubuntu Forums, there is no way to do this.

  • i don't know if their are work around. – dsaint May 15 '11 at 13:57

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