I have a Lenovo ThinkPad with a fingerprint reader:

Thinkpad fingerprint

How to make Ubuntu recognise it and use it for login?

I already tried:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fingerprint/fingerprint-gui
sudo apt-get update

... but this GUI did not recognizes my device. Does anyone knows any other option?

  • Do you know the fingerprint device's model/manufacturer/id? It may appear in lspci -v or lsusb -v.
    – Wilf
    Aug 15, 2014 at 19:25
  • According to the Arch Linux wiki, you might need to reboot or add yourself to the plugdev and scanner groups (you should alread be in the plugdev group).
    – muru
    Aug 15, 2014 at 20:50
  • how I add my user on the 'plugdev'??? Apr 15, 2015 at 22:34
  • Read man useradd and do something like sudo useradd --groups=plugdev,scanner $USER. Then logout - groups are only applied at login time. Well, not exactly, but logout/login is the easiest way.
    – waltinator
    Aug 4, 2015 at 6:49
  • Can you see the fingerprint reader in the output of sudo lspci -v or sudo lsusb -v? If so, please edit your question to share the information.
    – waltinator
    Aug 4, 2015 at 6:52

6 Answers 6


I tried both Fingerprint Gui and FPrint in my Thinkpad W550S. Fingerprint Gui (Dead link, project is gone???) had a nice interface, but was pretty unstable on the login page and sudo and constantly crashed.

FPrint seems more simple, but works very well:


  • For Ubuntu 20.04 or greater:

    sudo apt install libpam-fprintd
  • For Ubuntu 16.04 or greater:

    sudo apt install libpam-fprintd fprint-demo
  • For Ubuntu 15.04 or less

    sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:fingerprint/fprint
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install libfprint0 fprint-demo libpam-fprintd gksu-polkit


After that, you can test it by running fprint_demo and save the fingerprint with fprintd-enroll. This will automatically make your login screen require a finger swipe instead of a password.

In some cases you also may need to run:

sudo pam-auth-update

... to activate fingerprint reader for elevated privileges, for example with sudo.

  • 7
    For 16.04, apt-get install libpam-fprintd was sufficient to get fprintd-enroll and functioning login page. Sep 20, 2016 at 10:35
  • 11
    I am getting no devices available. in ThinkPad l480 Jul 5, 2019 at 10:14
  • 4
    fprint_demo says no devices found in status Jul 8, 2019 at 1:51
  • 8
    no device found
    – Dibish
    Nov 1, 2019 at 11:17
  • 3
    No device found, too.
    – le hien
    May 28, 2020 at 4:52

Fprint worked perfectly on a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon under Ubuntu 14.04. I strictly followed the instructions :

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:fingerprint/fprint
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libfprint0 fprint-demo libpam-fprintd

and finally saved my fingerprint with fprintd-enroll. I can now login and validate my sudo access with a finger swipe !!

  • Oh wow, had my T440s for 3 years and just now realized that fprint works wonderfully. That's pretty sweet!
    – Ibrahim
    Jul 7, 2016 at 23:19
  • what is the difference in your answer from the previous one?
    – Kostanos
    Jun 15, 2017 at 14:07
  • 4
    @AlbinFreycenon will this works on x1 carbon 5th gen? Sep 17, 2017 at 5:20
  • 3
    no device found in ubuntu 16
    – Dibish
    Nov 1, 2019 at 11:20
  • 8
    list_devices failed: No devices available on Thinkpad P43s , Ubuntu 18.04
    – Ikbel
    Mar 1, 2020 at 21:57

On my Thinkpad X220, I had to enable the fingerprint reader in BIOS (tap F1 repeatedly after starting the computer).

After that, fprint_demo works in the sense that it runs, but it fails to read any fingerprint data ("Bad scan. Please remove your finger before trying again.").

  • 6
    I just want to use like i was using it on windows. Nov 14, 2016 at 0:04

I have a T590 and fingerprint is now working in Ubuntu 20.10!

I installed the update in the "Software" app.


It works on Thinkpad x270 and perhaps others **70 models with python-validity the installation is described on the project repository.
Note this is an experimental package.


Just want to say that this is working on my Thinkpad T14 Gen 2 (a used laptop I got off eBay). These are the instructions I did to make it work

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fingerprint/fprint
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

sudo apt-get install libfprint0 fprint-demo libpam-fprintd


I believe the demo and libpam failed, but I was still able to do fprintd-entroll and log into my computer with my fingerprint. Very cool!

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