The fprint project aims to add support for consumer fingerprint reader devices, in Linux, as well as other free Unices.
Previously, Linux support for such devices has been scattered amongst different projects (many incomplete) and inconsistent in that application developers would have to implement support for each type of fingerprint reader separately. For more information on where we came from, see the project history page.
We’re trying to change that by providing a central system to support all the fingerprint readers we can get our hands on. The software is free software and in the long term we’re shooting for adoption by distributions, integration into common desktop environments, etc.
Both libfprint and fprintd’s source code is available through git, as well as released archives, reachable through their respective GitLab pages.
The GNOME desktop supports fingerprint management through its Users Settings panel. Most Linux distributions support fingerprint login through fprintd.
The OpenBSD operating system also has login integration through login_fingerprint.
libfprint is the centre of our efforts. libfprint is the component which does the dirty work of talking to fingerprint reading devices, and processing fingerprint data.
If you’re a user, you probably aren’t interested in libfprint, instead you want to find some software which uses libfprint (see Integration section above).
libfprint is of prime interest to developers wishing to add support for specific fingerprinting hardware.
fprintd is a daemon that provides fingerprint scanning functionality over D-Bus. This is the software developers will want to integrate with to add fingerprint authentication to OSes, desktop environments and applications. It also includes a PAM module to implement user login (
pam_fprintd replacing the obsolete
pam_fprint module), and small command-line utilities if your desktop environment does not integrate support.
While looking for information about fingerprint reader support in Linux and other free OSes, you might find references to the following software. Those are either obsolete, or not related to the fprint project.
pam_fprintis replaced by fprintd’s
pam_fprintdmodule, which splits the PAM conversation from hardware access.
fprint_demois obsolete. Most features are integrated into fprintd’s helpers, and libfprint has an examples section.