I am working on developing an application so that user can login to their Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 desktop using fingerprint. I have the required driver and SDK for the Secugen fingerprint sensor that I want to use. The sensor works with the sample given in SDK.

I see that there is an inbuilt option to enable fingerprint authentication (Gnome Desktop Manager?). I enabled it but I don't see any fingerprint option on login. It looks like there exists some inbuilt libraries to support this but it looks like it doesn't recognize the sensor that I am using. (libfprint / fprintd) https://fprint.freedesktop.org?

Question is how do I approach this task? Do I need to modify the libfprint and add Secugen sensor support (any links or tutorials?) or I have to develop my own PAM module that talks to the sensor and authenticates on login?

This is my first project on Linux and I come from Windows development background where a credential provider would be the right place to work on.

  • 1
    Welcome @pp99 . Would only suggest you to edit your actual question (Fingerprint login on Linux) to something more in line with what you need, as it's not actually a question or expresses what you need. Doing so will make your question easier to spot for others who might know the answer or who might be interested in knowing it.
    – Zip
    Commented May 21, 2020 at 15:31
  • Thanks @zip. Edited my question.
    – pp99
    Commented May 21, 2020 at 17:27
  • Why are you targeting an unsupported release (latest is 6.10) of a platform that is going to be end of life this November?
    – jsbillings
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 18:25
  • @jsbillings - are you talking about RHEL 6.4? Yes, I understand it is an old platform. However, that is the customer requirement.
    – pp99
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 22:35
  • Your customer requires an old, insecure, soon-to-be end of life OS. You should be spending time getting them ready to move to a supported OS.
    – jsbillings
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 22:37

1 Answer 1


The framework for Gnome already exists. A bit simplified, it looks like this:

hardware -> libfprint ---> fprintd    --
                      |                 |-> Gnome
                      |--> pam module --

Once you add support for your device in libfprint, the rest will work.

Check fprint's project page, specially the section about libfprint. You can head over to their git repository and create an issue to ask for support for your hardware. Include all the information you have on the board. Let them know you might be ready to write yourself.

From what I've seen, somebody will quickly tell you if it is possible and might even give you some pointer (such a similar hardware) on how to start.

  • Yes, I have gone through the framework @Eduardo Trápani suggests and will look into it more. I am looking to add the new sensor support on my own. Figuring out what libfprint code does. The latest libfprint code builds in meson and that looks like is not supported in RHEL 6.4.
    – pp99
    Commented May 21, 2020 at 23:27
  • Ah, sorry, your asking if you had to develop a pam module or not led me to think that that information was useful. If anything, don't try to go at it alone, an issue can help a lot, besides the developers, there might be other users needing that, and willing to help. Good luck! Commented May 22, 2020 at 0:40
  • I have created another question but let me ask here because it is related. How do I add my own GUI on desktop login? I understand pam provides the authentication service but how do I plugin my own user interface. How will they communicate with each other?
    – pp99
    Commented May 26, 2020 at 17:47

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