How to Enable Fingerprint Login on Ubuntu

Fingerprint login is a convenient and secure way to access your computer without having to remember a password. If you’re an Ubuntu user, you can easily enable fingerprint login using the built-in fingerprint scanner on your laptop or an external fingerprint scanner. In this guide, we’ll show you step-by-step how to enable fingerprint login on Ubuntu using the fprintd and libpam-fprintd packages.

Using fprintd

fprintd is a software component used on Linux-based operating systems for fingerprint authentication. It provides a standard D-Bus interface for applications to access fingerprint readers and perform authentication operations. fprintd also includes a command-line utility for managing fingerprint enrollment and verification.

The fprintd daemon runs in the background and communicates with fingerprint readers through device drivers. When an application requests fingerprint authentication, fprintd coordinates the enrollment or verification process with the reader and returns the result to the application.

fprintd is typically used in conjunction with a graphical interface, such as GNOME’s login manager, to allow users to log in to their accounts using their fingerprints. It is designed to be flexible and extensible, allowing third-party applications to integrate with it using its D-Bus interface.

Step 1: Check Fingerprint Reader

First, check if your laptop has a fingerprint reader. If not, you will need to purchase an external fingerprint scanner that is compatible with Ubuntu.

Step 2: Open Terminal

Open the terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on your keyboard or by searching for it in the applications menu.

Step 3: Install Packages

Install the necessary packages by running:

sudo apt install fprintd libpam-fprintd

Step 4: Enroll Fingerprints

Once the installation is complete, enroll your fingerprints by running:


Follow the on-screen instructions to enroll your fingerprints. You will need to swipe your finger several times to capture the necessary data.

Step 5: Edit PAM File

Once you have enrolled your fingerprints, edit the PAM configuration file by running:

sudo nano /etc/pam.d/common-auth

This command uses nano. You can use the text editor of your choice. Add the following line to the end of the file:

auth sufficient

Step 6: Save Changes

Save and exit the file by pressing Ctrl + X, then Y, then Enter, if you used nano. If you used a different text editor then use the appropriate method of saving and exiting the file for that editor.

Step 7: Update PAM

Restart the authentication service by running:

sudo pam-auth-update

Step 8: Select Fingerprint Authentication

In the authentication window, select Fingerprint authentication and click on Ok to confirm.

Step 9: Restart Your Computer

Restart your computer and test the fingerprint login by swiping your enrolled finger on the fingerprint reader when prompted.


By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can enable fingerprint login on your Ubuntu system and enjoy a more convenient and secure way to access your computer. With just a few simple commands, you can enroll your fingerprints, edit the PAM configuration file, and restart the authentication service to enable fingerprint login. Whether you’re using an internal or external fingerprint scanner, Ubuntu makes it easy to set up and use this feature.

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