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:
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's author has retired, and no new releases have been made since 2016.

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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