Fingerprint with Ubuntu logo

Using a fingerprint scanner to login to the Ubuntu desktop about to get a touch easier in the coming months.

Ubuntu developers are working with the libfprint project to improve support for biometric authentication methods in GNOME-based Linux distros, including its own, Ubuntu.

‘Many devices are now shipping with fingerprint readers, and this has become a natural way to unlock the user session,” says Ubuntu desktop lead Martin Wimpress in a blog post to showcase the work that’s gone in to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

Wimpress adds that “Linux support for such devices has been typically poor in recent years.”

So, together with the GNOME design team and the libfprint project, a better UI for adding/enrolling, managing, and removing fingerprints is underway.


GNOME Shell (and thus Ubuntu) already support fingerprint login. This can be set up through the Settings > Users panel but it’s… Well, I hear there’s some room for improvement.

I don’t have a device swanky enough to have a fingerprint scanner but hearing that a better one is on the way is something I can get behind, especially when it looks this good!

Wondering when you can get your hands on the improved experience?

All of the improved fingerprint work will be available to users in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS in the near future, arriving as as stable release update (SRU).

In the mean time, if you have a fingerprint reader that works on Linux, you can use the current UI to login in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS — which just like many Focal Fossa fans already are.

fingerprint reader Ubuntu 20.04 LTS