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 '14 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 '14 at 20:50
  • how I add my user on the 'plugdev'??? – Yosved Villar Apr 15 '15 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 '15 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 '15 at 6:52

I tried both Fingerprint Gui and FPrint in my Thinkpad W550S. Fingerprint Gui 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.

[Update] In some cases you also may need to run:

sudo pam-auth-update

to activate fingerprint reader for elevated privileges for example with sudo

  • 5
    For 16.04, apt-get install libpam-fprintd was sufficient to get fprintd-enroll and functioning login page. – Samuli Pahaoja Sep 20 '16 at 10:35
  • 1
    after setting this how to get back to entering the password – Kasun Siyambalapitiya Nov 7 '16 at 9:23
  • 6
    I am getting no devices available. in ThinkPad l480 – Akhil Surapuram Jul 5 '19 at 10:14
  • 2
    fprint_demo says no devices found in status – Akhil Surapuram Jul 8 '19 at 1:51
  • 4
    no device found – Dibish Nov 1 '19 at 11:17

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 '16 at 23:19
  • what is the difference in your answer from the previous one? – Kostanos Jun 15 '17 at 14:07
  • 4
    @AlbinFreycenon will this works on x1 carbon 5th gen? – Kasun Siyambalapitiya Sep 17 '17 at 5:20
  • 3
    no device found in ubuntu 16 – Dibish Nov 1 '19 at 11:20
  • 6
    list_devices failed: No devices available on Thinkpad P43s , Ubuntu 18.04 – Ikbel benab Mar 1 '20 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.").

  • 5
    I just want to use like i was using it on windows. – Yosved Villar Nov 14 '16 at 0:04

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