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ThinkPad Fingerprint In Ubuntu 14.04

Recently I switched to Ubuntu 14.04 trying to give Linux another chance (previously I tried Linux Mint which I find  an excellent distro for users migrating from Windows) and after finishing setting up my ThinkPad W520 I wanted to enable the fingerprint reader.

I found multiple solutions describing how to enable the fingerprint reader using, one of them was using fPrint but it wasn’t so “elegant” as Fingerprint GUI.

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Installing ThinkPad Fingerprint In Ubuntu

To enable the ThinkPad fingerprint in Ubuntu 14.04 you will need to add the following PPA and install Fingerprint GUI: ppa:fingerprint/fingerprint

Fingerprint GUI 1.05

On the Finger tab you have to register one or more fingers, then log out and log in so the new defaults take effect.

Fingerprint GUI Choose Finger

Now you can unlock your screen and run commands with root privileges using your fingerprints.

Uninstalling Fingerprint GUI

If you decide to uninstall the Fingerprint GUI you must install back the standard PolicyKit daemon.

More information about Fingerprint GUI can be found on the Launchpad project page.


11 Responses to ThinkPad Fingerprint In Ubuntu 14.04

  1. Todor Velichkov Aug 31, 2014 at 4:26 AM #

    I recently bought thinkpad t440 and just install ubuntu 14.04 with 3.16.1 kernel. And there is no device shown…anyway this is what lsusb give me
    [email protected]:~$ lsusb
    Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:8000 Intel Corp.
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
    Bus 002 Device 004: ID 5986:0268 Acer, Inc
    Bus 002 Device 003: ID 8087:07dc Intel Corp.
    Bus 002 Device 002: ID 138a:0017 Validity Sensors, Inc.
    Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    any idea how to make it work?

  2. Nicu Zecheru Sep 9, 2014 at 8:27 AM #

    Try the following commands:

    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fingerprint/fprint

    $ sudo apt-get install fprintd libpam-fprintd

    Install the fingerprint driver –

    $ sudo dpkg -i fprint-vfs5011_0-1_amd64.deb

    If this doesnt work then you may have a hardware problem: the cable is disconnected or the fingerprint sensor is not working.

  3. Misha Ushakov Nov 9, 2014 at 10:27 PM #

    Dear friends, have somebidy solve the unworkability for:
    Bus 002 Device 003: ID 138a:0017 Validity Sensors, Inc.
    for Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2nd?
    Is this info
    “This fingerprint reader requires libfprint to be build from the current git as yet no stable fprint release supports it. ” still actual?
    I am looking Intel driver. Thanx!

  4. Nicu Zecheru Nov 10, 2014 at 11:44 AM #

    You can try here:
    Even though is for 138a:0018 Validity Sensors…

  5. FromΛmsterdam Nov 29, 2014 at 9:17 PM #

    I’m about to give this a go. can you use it to unlock the pc?

    • Nicu Zecheru Dec 4, 2014 at 6:59 PM #

      Yes. Today I installed elementary OS Luna and it’s also working great on it. Fingerprint GUI is at version 1.06 now.

  6. Vitor Malafaia Jan 1, 2015 at 12:53 AM #

    Thanks, works perfectly 🙂

  7. pablo Sep 4, 2015 at 5:37 PM #

    I did all process was fine, the problem is when i try to identify with it never get my fingerprint always say failed to match fingerprint, any idea? I windows fingerprint get 4 or 5 scans from same finger could be the problem but I tried as well take all my fingers scan with my right finger and do the same failed to match

  8. Nicu Zecheru Sep 5, 2015 at 10:03 AM #

    Most probably is the fingerprint sensor since you had difficulties in Windows as well – it collected dust and cannot read as it should. Did you get any errors when registering the fingerprints?

  9. Michael Oct 10, 2015 at 7:08 PM #

    I’m running a full version of Zorin on a lenovo T520. The software package works fine for the fingerprint reader and I was able to enter fingerprints. The problem is that there is no where in User Accounts, Passwords, or anywhere else to enable the function.

    It never asks for a fingerprint or gives the option of a fingerprint or password for log-in. How do I tell Zorin to ask for a fingerprint?

  10. kishan Dec 16, 2015 at 11:13 PM #

    i have copy pasted both of above commands but it’s not showing me that UI….what i need to do?

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