Packaging effort to add support for fingerprint-based authentication to Ubuntu

To find out the ID of your fingerprint reader, run the “lsusb” command and look into the sixth column of the output.

Overview of open-source fingerprint recognition projects:

1. FPrint
FPrint is the most recent and most advanced project (yet slightly dormant at the moment). It supports a wide range of hardware and sports a full integration into the GNOME desktop environment.

Supported readers:
     045e:00bb    08ff:1683    08ff:2660    08ff:268f    147e:2020
     045e:00bc    08ff:1684    08ff:2680    08ff:2691    147e:3001
     045e:00bd    08ff:1685    08ff:2681    08ff:2810    1c7a:0603
     045e:00ca    08ff:1686    08ff:2682    08ff:5501
     0483:2015    08ff:1687    08ff:2683    08ff:5731
     0483:2016    08ff:1688    08ff:2684    138a:0001
     04f3:0907    08ff:1689    08ff:2685    138a:0005
     05ba:0007    08ff:168a    08ff:2686    138a:0008
     05ba:0008    08ff:168b    08ff:2687    138a:0010
     05ba:000a    08ff:168c    08ff:2688    138a:0011
     061a:0110    08ff:168d    08ff:2689    138a:0017
     08ff:1600    08ff:168e    08ff:268a    138a:0018
     08ff:1660    08ff:168f    08ff:268b    138a:0050
     08ff:1680    08ff:2500    08ff:268c    147e:1000
     08ff:1681    08ff:2550    08ff:268d    147e:1001
     08ff:1682    08ff:2580    08ff:268e    147e:2016

Packages are available at

2. Fingerprint GUI
Fingerprint GUI is based on FPrint's shared library. Although it offers slightly less seamless GNOME integration, thanks to inclusion of non-free drivers it supports a number of readers manufactured by UPEK and not supported by FPrint. The design goal of Fingerprint GUI is to include as many available drivers as possible (even proprietary ones) and thus to gain a much wider range of supported hardware than any purely open-source project can achieve.

Supported readers: all devices supported by FPrint (see above) plus all UPEK devices, i.e., the following additional IDs:
     0483:2015    147e:1003    147e:3000
     0483:2016    147e:2015    147e:3001
     147e:1000    147e:2016    147e:5002
     147e:1001    147e:2020    147e:5003

Packages for fingerprint-gui are available at

3. ThinkFinger
ThinkFinger is an abandoned project, supporting only reader 0483:2016, used in many IBM/Lenovo laptops. Obsoleted by the FPrint project.
Packages for ThinkFinger are included in the standard Ubuntu repositories.

4. BioAPI
Old & dead.

Support for other fingerprint readers
Users often ask how it is looking with support for readers not listed above. Here is the answer:

The FPrint project is not very active, and not many new drivers are being developed at the moment. For more details check out the upstream bug tracker and mailing list:

Fingerprint GUI is happy to integrate any proprietary drivers that the manufacturers make freely available. Vendors that have promised to release drivers for Linux are:
 • Validity (original ETA Q4 2012, the driver should support VFS301, 5011, 5111 and 5131, in addition to VFS451, 471 and 491)
 • EgisTec

DigitalPersona (now CrossMatch) released an SDK but it relies on a kernel-mode driver (see

For all the other readers you cannot expect any support in the near future.

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David Jurenka
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