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Home » » The fprint project aims to plug a gap in the Linux desktop: support for consumer fingerprint reader devices.

The fprint project aims to plug a gap in the Linux desktop: support for consumer fingerprint reader devices.

The fprint project aims to plug a gap in the Linux desktop: support for consumer fingerprint reader devices. 

fprintd is a D-Bus daemon that offers libfprint functionality over the D-Bus interprocess communication bus. By adding this daemon layer above libfprint, we solve various problems related to multiple applications simulatenously competing for fingerprint readers. 

While it is not very nice to think of a daemon being necessary in this scenario, fprintd will be launched by D-Bus through the activation mechanism. This means it is launched only when needed, and additionally it will shut itself down after a period of inactivity.


This software is developed using the git version control system. The git user manual is very useful for new users.
  • git://anongit.freedesktop.org/libfprint/fprintd

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. 

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 open source and in the long term we're shooting for adoption by distributions, integration into common desktop environments, etc. 


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 the integration project).
If you're an application developer looking to add support for some kind of fingerprinting to your software, libfprint is exactly what you are looking for. It provides a simple API for you to enroll fingerprints and then identify users later on.


The Integration project details our efforts to integrate libfprint with existing applications, so that users can use their fingerprint reading hardware.


fprint_demo is a simple GUI application used to demonstrate and test libfprint's capabilities.


fprintd is a daemon that provides fingerprint scanning functionality over D-Bus.

You are advised to read the release notes for the version in question before using the software.
There is no guarantee of stability or forwards-compatibility between current and future releases. There is not much user documentation either.
If you need help, ask on the mailing list.

Source releases

Source downloads can be found on freedesktop. Old source releases can be found on SourceForge. The Installation page details how to install from source.


The Installation page includes some troubleshooting questions applicable to all distributions.


The FPrint suite can be installed from the following PPA: https://launchpad.net/~fingerprint/+archive/fprint


Wolfram Schlich maintains fprint ebuilds in the wschlich-testing overlay.
You can get it by invoking:
  • layman -a wschlich-testing
If you have no other overlays, add following line to your make.conf:
  • PORTDIR_OVERLAY="/usr/portage/local/layman/wschlich-testing"
Otherwise append "/usr/portage/local/layman/wschlich-testing" to PORTDIR_OVERLAY variable.


Georges A.K. builds OpenSuSE packages at http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/dgege/


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