Fingerprint reader on Ubuntu 12.04

Yesterday I finally upgraded my Dell D830 laptop to Ubuntu 12.04 Precise. Everything went smoothly – great!

Today I decided to give the fingerprint sensor another try – after reinstalling my machine last year I hadn’t bothered to get the fingerprint reader to work again. The Thinkfinger package that I had used for older Ubuntu versions wasn’t available anymore, so I did some googling. It turns out that thinkfinger is superseded by a new project named FPrint (https://launchpad.net/~fingerprint/+archive/fprint). Turns out that the packages are already in the official repos – but in an older version that didn’t work on my machine. So I added the FPrint ppa and installed the recommended packages:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fingerprint/fprint
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libfprint0 fprint-demo libpam-fprintd gksu-polkit

Then I ran the test program

fprint_demo

and it recognized my fingerprint reader right away and I was able to scan my finger in the test program. Then I ran

fprintd-enroll

to enroll my right index finger, and now it asks me to scan my finger in all password dialogs. This works much nicer than what I had before, so I’m quite satisified.

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