How to enable the integrated fingerprint reader

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Sub-howtos for enabling the integrated fingerprint reader on ThinkPads:

Free software


The most current effort to support fingerprint readers is the fprint project. The fprint software comprises the libraries libfprint and libpam-fprint (which provides authentication via PAM) and the daemon fprintd.

It seems that lately this project has stalled; no support for newer chips has emerged for some time.

Fingerprint GUI

Makes use of libfprint.

Feb 2011: The following works as smoothly on Ubuntu and T410s:

Be aware the above packages (and the Fingerprint GUI project) include non-free drivers as indicated on the project About page.


An earlier effort was the ThinkFinger project. It only supports the first-generation reader and has not been updated since 2007. See the How to enable the integrated fingerprint reader with ThinkFinger for detailed instructions. It was included in Debian Lenny but has since been removed from Debian.

Non-free software

A closed source driver for the UPEK device is available. It interfaces to the hardware as a user-space USB driver through /proc/bus/usb and provides a BioAPI 1.10 device, which can then be interfaced to pam for authentication by user programs. The driver can be downloaded from It however tends to be less stable than the above open-source drivers.