Fingerprinting under Ubuntu 8.10 on Asus N10Jc (fingerprintGUI-0.5.tar.gz)

this step-by-step howto was performed using fingerprintGUI-0.5.tar.gz with some limitation for gnome-screensaver and polkit (as described inside the packages under “Some Known Limitations”). If you’re interestested to use gnome-screensaver FP login, please use 0.6 ver. and up..
which not covered in this blog

Fingerprinting on Ubuntu 8.10 for my Asus N10Jc doesn’t come out of the box. It doesn’t install the needed software automatically. As for the repository, it only provides fprint-demo which is never work on my N10Jc. Fprint-demo doesn’t recognised the fingerprint device on N10Jc, it also doesn’t provide the option to choose device based on  bus:address, perhaps there’ll be some development to address this issue but currently, as of Jan 2009, it doesn’t have the capability to choose device based on that. So, we must install it manually (and it’s pretty straighforward, hassle-free installation).

And this is the way I did.

After browsing on the net for quite some time, I’ve found this web site :

Download the latest file (at the time of this writing the latest version is fingerprintGUI-0.5.tar.gz).
And do the following :

step 1
$ tar -zxvf ./fingerpintGUI-0.5.tar.gz

step 2
$ cd ./fingerprint-0.5

step 3
$ sudo ./ –with-upek

There must be ‘no errors’ in this step.

Next step is to make sure “gdm” is your default display manager.

step 4
$ cat /etc/X11/default-display-manager

The result should be  “/usr/sbin/gdm”
Make sure you have no face browser for gdm activated like this but use login screen like this (no user list)
Also, make sure autologin is disable

step 5
$ sudo gdmsetup
choose ‘Security’ tab, make sure ‘Enable Automatic Login’ is empty (no tick, no anything)


Then follow these several steps :

step 6
$ sudo cp /etc/pam.d/common-auth /etc/pam.d/common-auth-no-fingerprint

Next is to edit

step 7
$ sudo gedit /etc/pam.d/gdm

edit ‘auth   requisite’ to become ‘# auth   requisite’
This avoids PAM to ask for a username prior to fingerprint authentication

step 8
$ sudo gedit /etc/pam.d/common-auth

Insert at the first line ‘auth   sufficient debug’

step 9
$ sudo gedit /etc/pam.d/polkit

Change the line ‘@include common-auth’ to ‘@include common-auth-no-fingerprint’

step 10
$ sudo gedit /etc/pam.d/gnome-screensaver

change the line ‘@include common-auth’ to ‘@include common-auth-no-fingerprint’
Then, do the following :

step 11
$ lsusb

Notice the ID 147e:1000, this is your fingerprint device. There’s no info when you see it (I don’t know why).
But if you’re curious or not sure just write this command :

step 11a
$ lsusb -v -d 147e:1000

You will see the manufacturer is Touchstrip and the product is Fingerprint sensor

Take a look at Bus xxx Device xxx on the left of ID 147e:1000
After you note the bus and device (they keep changing whenever you restart Ubuntu), then do :

step 12
$ sudo chmod 777 /dev/bus/usb/xxx -R

The ‘xxx’ is the Bus address you see on the step 4 above. This step will allow you to safe your fingerprint scan after you activating the program. If you think it’s unsafe ’cause it gives permission to all, don’t worry. Once you reboot the system, it will back to default permission policy (755)

step 13
From the Menu you can choose
System -> Preference -> Fingerprint GUI

or from the xterm

step 13a
$ fingerprintGUI

Then the program will start. Choose :

step 14
unknown vendor (0x147e) unknown device (0x1000)

step 15
click ‘Next’ button, then choose which finger you want to scan …

step 16
click “Next’ then you start scanning.

At this step, if you don’t perform the 12th step above, you won’t be able to safe the scan result. You should scan the same finger 3 times. After it finish, it will ask whether you want to scan other finger. You can scan all of your fingers, but the default GDM login will only use 1 finger.

If you choose “No” or “cancel”, you will go to the next screen.
In this screen you can try / verify to use fingerprint under several login scheme. Practically I only need for GDM and sudo.

Once it recognised your fingerprint, then you’re ready to use it. Just reboot and each time you login, it will show you fingerprint scan rather than user and password..

If you want to add more fingers, do perform step 11 to the rest. The same goes for new users who want this fingerprint login. Just login under the designated user account (user and password), then start with the 11th step above up to the 16th.

Good luck,

nb. Thanks to Wolfgang Ullrich and Daniel Drake for hacking the code, source:


15 Responses to “Fingerprinting under Ubuntu 8.10 on Asus N10Jc (fingerprintGUI-0.5.tar.gz)”

  1. Luke Dragilla Sacha Says:


    Nice guide, did everything you said and it worked great.
    I was wondering if you could help me with adding fingerprint support to screen unlocking.
    I have my n10j configured in such a way, that when the screensaver is on for some time the screen is locked. It would be nice to unlock it with a finger slide 🙂
    At first I thought it should be the “gnome-screensaver” part, but well it’s not.

    Thanx in advance, regards

    • PLease use the latest version …. since the one I used (0.5), still have some bugs with gnome-screensaver. Open the install-step-by-step.pdf file. There’s a guide to activated the screensaver..


  2. Hi
    Thank you for FP manual.
    I followed the manual and made it work but it behaves strange.
    In GDM FP works but if i want to write password I have to write it twice.
    Synaptic starts only with FP, with password it tells nothing and dies.
    In console (ctrl alt f1) if i sudo it waits.
    If i use FP it writes ok but i does not do the command.
    Then it asks me for the password.
    Without FP it waits for a keypress and then asks for a password.
    So it works somehow but not good enough.
    Did you have the same problem and solved it?

    • I need to know, what version of fingerprintGUI did you use ?
      In my blog, the steps that I took was based on 0.5 version so it might be different if you use latest version, especially if you notice about the ‘required libraries’.
      Please see 1st inside the fingerprintGUI package for the “install-step-by-step.pdf” file.

  3. Thanks
    After following the guide I made work everything except screensaver.
    It shows the FP picture but does not react on my finger, only password unlocks it.
    Please mention in the manual it works for 0.5 only and for 0.9 the pdf must be follown.

    • Thanks for the suggestion.
      For gnome-screensaver, please use the 0.6 and up …. They fix this issue.

      Since I never use screensaver, so 0.5 ver. is all I need.

    • I think it’s obvious in the install-step-by-step.pdf on troubleshooting ….
      How about gnome-keyring, do you have to type or just swipe your finger for password with 0.9 ver ?

      • I have an issue where I’m running 0.14 and it still prompts me for a password to unlock gnome-keyring after I login. I have tried the workaround of saving the password on an encrypted USB-key from the step-by-step guide but it doesn’t recognise the USB stick as removable media 😦

  4. aenesias Says:

    thanx for the tutorial it works like a charm.
    however i have a little problem. Is it possible to change the default gui position i mean when its asked for a password the small animating one. It closes the login space in my screen i cant write my user id etc …

    • Why you need to type ? All you have to do is to swipe your finger at the login screen the first time you enter your box. It will recognized anyone who already registered with the fingerprint system in your box…

  5. Thats the problem .. It is about guest users. If u didnt assigned fingerprint, u cant log on becuse u cant write anything …

    • Well, perhaps you can play a little bit with /etc/pam.d/common-auth. Get some experience and read the manual that come inside the package, it’s written somewhere …. I think it can be customized as they way you like. Since I use this fingerprinting system for my private box, so no guest login allowed ….

  6. aenesias Says:

    I have already checked it also the fringerprint gui forum which i havent seen such a forum like that before. There is a post about changing the interface with qt4 etc . I ll work on it if i have time. I just wondered if somebody has the same problem with me. Thanx anyway 😀

  7. Murriac Says:

    Thanks Guy… Good tutorial and works for me…

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