The version of thinkfinger in the Ubuntu 8.10 repositories does not yet work perfectly.  You can install and configure it close to the same way that it was in 8.04, however with one (annoying) difference.  Previously, you could just slide your fingerptint and it would be entered automatically, however a bug in this version makes it so that you have to slide your finger and then press the enter key.  if this doesn’t bother you, or you want to wait for the “official fix”, the follow these instructions (directions that fix this are  further below):

sudo apt-get install thinkfinger-tools libpam-thinkfinger

tf-tool --acquire

If that gives you an error, “could not get USB device” or similar, restart and try again.  Now it will ask you to slide your finger three times, do so until it reads 3 successful swipes.Then,

tf-tool --verify

It will ask you to swipe your finger one time, to verify the data on file. You no longer have to do the “tf-tool –add-user $USERNAME” command, it has been replaced by the above two commands.

At this point, there (thankfully) is a script that edits /etc/pam.d/common-auth so we don't have to. Execute the script with the following command:

sudo '/usr/lib/pam-thinkfinger/pam-thinkfinger-enable'

At this point everything should be working, just restart and you will be able to login and sudo using your fingerprint reader (keep reading to set it up to work on wake from suspend or screensaver).

If you do not want to have to press enter every time, before you install thinkfinger-tools and libpam-thinkfinger, you need to add the following sources to “Third Party Sources” under “Software Sources”:
deb intrepid main
deb-src intrepid main

Now, in order to have the fingerprint reader work to wake up from suspend or screensaver, use the following steps:

create a group “fingerprint” with the following command:

sudo groupadd fingerprint

then create a file with:

sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.d/60-thinkfinger.rules

Then paste in the following lines (use ctrl-shift-v to paste into terminal):

# udev rules file for the thinkfinger fingerprint scanner
# gives access to the fingerprint reader to those in the “fingerprint” group
# Taken from:
# which was taken and modified from:

# SGS Thomson Microelectronics Fingerprint Reader
SYSFS{idVendor}==”0483″, SYSFS{idProduct}==”2016″, SYMLINK+=”input/thinkfinger-%k”, MODE=”0660″, GROUP=”fingerprint”

# the also-needed uinput device
KERNEL==”uinput”, MODE=”0660″, GROUP=”fingerprint”

Exit nano with ctrl-X, and save by hitting “y”.

Now, edit /etc/pam.d/gnome-screensaver with:

<code>sudo gedit /etc/pam.d/gnome-screensaver</code>

and add the lines:

auth sufficient
auth required try_first_pass nullok_secure

Between the two existing lines. save and exit.

Now add each user who has a fingerprint profile, and change the file permissions with the commands:

gpasswd -a $USERNAME fingerprint
chmod +x /home/$USERNAME/.thinkfinger.bir

Restart the computer, and it should work.  If you have any more problems leave a comment and I should be able to help you, or check out these other links that may help:

and the bug report for the bug that requires you to hit enter:

There is one problem that I don’t know how to fix, every time I boot, I get an authentication box telling me that the application “Do” (I assume gnome-do) requires that the gnome-keyring be unlocked.  This only happens when you login with the fingerprint, not when you type in the password. There is no file, so I don’t know what else to add or change to get this to stop.  I will file a bug on launchpad when I get a chance.

I hope that works for everyone, it did for me!


NOTE: I did this yesterday, and today I noticed the fingerprint reader was getting really hot… I saw a mention of a bug that causes this on thinkwiki, but I think the problem only occurs when I am plugged in instead of on battery. I also know that turning on USB Autosuspend does solve it, and powertop will enable that for you… I will investigate further later.

further note: the problem did not persist. Enabling USB Autosuspend once seems to have fixed the problem indefinitely.  Use the powertop program and it should ask you to enable USB autosuspend if you have this problem. If not, read the thinkwiki entry on thinkfinger, and it should help. If that doesn’t help, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

As of Feburary 16th, 2009 an update has broken functionality of thinkfinger. (it wrote over the /etc/pam.d/common-auth file) If the same thing happened to you, I wrote a post describing how to fix this problem.