I purchased an alienware 15 r3 which comes with Windows Hello enabled which means all hardware included.

Windows Hello is basically a face detection system added on Win10. It works with dual-camera and a laser pointer (dual-camera for 3 dimensions and laser for measuring profundity). It logs me in as soon as the camera (entire set) sees me. Also it can be used as an advanced face recognition security accessory that can store my password and use it only when I am there. Its pretty accurate even in low light (and even no light) because of the infrared that comes in the set.

I have installed Ubuntu 16.04 and couldn't find any package that can substitute for Windows Hello. Please give me a good alternative which can login using face detection and also make use of the infrared in the hardware for detection in low light.


4 Answers 4


If anyone is still searching for a solution, i got my own script working on the same principles as Windows Hello (using the IR camera and face recognition). It's customizable, integrated with the PAM and works basically everywhere: Login, lock screen, sudo, su, etc.

It's available as a PPA on github if you want to give it a spin.

  • I accepted your answer as my friend got it to work and it really does work well
    – akxer
    Commented May 14, 2018 at 9:04
  • Really cool. This works really well. Great job.
    – Gold Masta
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 0:59

As all of the answers seem to misunderstand the question (as far as I understand :]), and I don't have the rep to comment I will just post an attempt at an answer/help.

In short: The Windows Hello login seem to use an infrared point cloud to get 3d depth of the field/face (increased accuracy in face ID). Since this is basically the same as Kinect, I suggest looking into Kinect projects and libraries.

Since there are no finished libraries to just plugin in and use, I suggest taking an existing Ubuntu face ID module, modify it by adding point cloud library (PCL) to the face identification algorithm.

Ubuntu PAM face ID: I would try something more recent than the seemingly abandoned pam-face-authenticate, such as this pam-facial-auth, https://github.com/devinaconley/pam-facial-auth fork it, and modify the input data to be the point cloud image from IR webcam.

PCL python binding to webcam: http://pointclouds.org/documentation/tutorials/depth_sense_grabber.php

Hope it helps!


Up to Ubuntu 17.10, it seems there is no real alternative to Hello. There are some projects, mostly based on dlib (machine learning), such as this Python script: http://pythonopencv.com/worlds-simplest-facial-recognition-api-for-pythonubuntu-only/

However, none of them seem so far to have been integrated with PAM


To add a little to Magnus Persson's suggestion (which is spot-on, IMO) and in hoping someone gets some inspiration from this thread one day:

I think the use-case for this on Linux goes far beyond the login screen.

It would be awesome if we could just encrypt a user's password using some PCL signature as the secret and then trigger it from a shortcut. This would allow facial recognition to be used for sudo commands as well or even for websites, apps, or virtually anywhere.

I don't think I'm the only Linux user that dreads sudoing anything for the mere fact I have to type my password...

Of course, security becomes a slight issue here, but I think there are ways to harden this concept.

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