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This article is part of the HOWTO series.
Installation Kernel & Hardware Networks Portage Software System X Server Gaming Non-x86 Emulators Misc



The thinkfinger project offers an open source driver for a widely used fingerprint reader by UPEK / SGS Thomson Microelectronics. It is used by some notebooks from Asus, Dell, IBM/Lenovo and Toshiba.

Note: This howto is based on the ThinkWiki HowTo.
Warning: Integration in KDE and kdm seems not to be easily possible now. There is a filed bug (116682) at where you can vote for this.


Linux Kernel Configuration: Kernel support
Device Drivers  --->
    Input device support  --->
        [*]   Miscellaneous devices  --->
            <*>   User level driver support

The thinkfinger package is available in portage, but currently keyworded. To unmask it, add the following line to your /etc/portage/package.keywords:

File: /etc/portage/package.keywords
sys-auth/thinkfinger ~x86

Then emerge thinkfinger:

# emerge -a thinkfinger

Testing the driver

Now the driver is installed and should be working. You can try it (as root) with tf-tool --acquire. This will ask you to swipe your finger three times and save the fingerprint to /tmp/test.bir.

# tf-tool --acquire

To verify your fingerprint with the bir-file:

# tf-tool --verify

System Integration

To add a fingerprint to PAM:

# tf-tool --add-user $USERNAME

Also add auth sufficient to /etc/pam.d/system-auth after the line:

File: /etc/pam.d/system-auth
auth     required
auth     sufficient
auth     sufficient try_first_pass likeauth nullok

Not fully integrated yet?

modprobe uinput

Is your finger print reader an USB-device?

Gentoo USB


See the ThinkWiki HowTo.


See the ThinkWiki HowTo.


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Last modified: Mon, 28 Jul 2008 08:01:00 +0000 Hits: 6,722