I just got my new Lenovo T440s and installed Fedora 20 with Gnome 3 on it. Everything runs smoothly, except for the fingerprint reader. Its got a Validity VFS5011 (138a:0017) device which is not yet officially supported by libfprint, but there is experimental support available.

I installed this version of libfprint from source and also build the standard fprintd and pam_fprint. In the Users section of the Gnome settings, I now have an option to enable fingerprint login. I enroll my fingerprint and get a "Your fingerprint was successfully saved. You should now be able to log in using your fingerprint reader." message. However, I'm not. The login screen prompts me for my password as usual. The LED indicator on the fingerprint reader is not blinking.

In a terminal, I can check my fingerprint using fprintd-verify and it works. Enrolling the finger via fprintd-enroll also works and seems to be the same thing as the actual enrollment from the system settings.


From the pam.d files, two already include pam_fprintd.so, one is fingerprint-auth, the other is system-auth:

# This file is auto-generated.
# User changes will be destroyed the next time authconfig is run.
auth        required      pam_env.so
auth        sufficient    pam_fprintd.so
auth        sufficient    pam_unix.so nullok try_first_pass
auth        requisite     pam_succeed_if.so uid >= 1000 quiet_success
auth        required      pam_deny.so

account     required      pam_unix.so
account     sufficient    pam_localuser.so
account     sufficient    pam_succeed_if.so uid < 1000 quiet
account     required      pam_permit.so

password    requisite     pam_pwquality.so try_first_pass local_users_only retry=3 authtok_type=
password    sufficient    pam_unix.so sha512 shadow nullok try_first_pass use_authtok
password    required      pam_deny.so

session     optional      pam_keyinit.so revoke
session     required      pam_limits.so
-session     optional      pam_systemd.so
session     [success=1 default=ignore] pam_succeed_if.so service in crond quiet use_uid
session     required      pam_unix.so

Also, I think the bunch of gdm-* files could be relevant as it's my understanding that gdm is the Gnome login screen? However, non of them has pam-fprintd.so in it and adding it to e.g. gdm-fingerprint had no effect.

  • I don't have a fingerprint reader anymore, but I would check the pam.d settings that the fingerprint reader is enabled.
    – Didi Kohen
    Mar 5 '14 at 14:03
  • Some of the resources here might help.
    – terdon
    Mar 5 '14 at 14:13
  • Which pam.d setting would that be in particular? Mar 5 '14 at 14:38

After all, I fixed the problem at least partially. Apparently,

yum install fprintd-pam

did the trick. Now, I can use the fingerprint reader for sudo authentication and removing a screen lock but not yet for the initial login screen (which I think is quite weird, since the login screen and the screen lock prompt look pretty much the same). Any further answer on how to achieve this is still welcome.


I have a T410 w/o the reader but I'd check out this page to see if there is anything there that can help: Fedora Wiki - Features/Fingerprint.

I'd also start poking around the ThinkWiki T440 category, I didn't see anything specific to this model there, but you can often go up and down a few models to find relevant information.

Also of note I found this forum from Lenovo where someone was asking the same question as you (same model different distro - Ubuntu 13.10). Ubuntu 13.10 on a T440 - Wifi, Sound, Fingerprint reader and TrackPoint issues.

  • The Fedora Wiki page is terribly outdated. As I wrote, my problem is not to get the fingerprint reader working at all. It's about convincing the login screen to accept fingerprint authentication. Mar 5 '14 at 14:35
  • Thus, I don't think the issue is hardware specific. I suspect my manual installation of fprint to be somehow incomplete. Mar 5 '14 at 14:36
  • @Jonas - yes yes, I wasn't implying a hardware issue, but with thinkpads there, in the past, has been custom software one's had to install to make things on them work, so I was directing you to those resources on the off chance that they may be helpful. This issue is difficult for ppl who do not have either a Thinkpad or a scanner to reference, since the problem is localized to having one.
    – slm
    Mar 5 '14 at 15:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.