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How To Enable Fingerprint Login in Ubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu 12

In the world of Linux, Ubuntu stands out as one of the most user-friendly distributions. It’s packed with features that make it a great choice for both beginners and advanced users. One such feature is the ability to enable fingerprint login. This article will guide you through the process of setting up fingerprint login in Ubuntu 20.04.

Quick Answer

To enable fingerprint login in Ubuntu 20.04, you need to ensure that your device has a supported fingerprint scanner. After updating your system and enabling fingerprint authentication in the PAM stack, you can upgrade the firmware and enable fingerprint login in the Settings. Finally, restart your computer for the changes to take effect.


Before we begin, ensure that your device has a fingerprint scanner and that it’s supported by Ubuntu. Not all hardware is supported, so it’s crucial to check this first.

Update Your System

Before making any significant changes to your system, it’s always a good idea to make sure everything is up-to-date. You can do this by opening a terminal and running the following command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

This command will update the package lists for upgrades (sudo apt update) and then upgrade all the packages that have new versions available (sudo apt upgrade -y).

Enable Fingerprint Authentication

Now we’re ready to enable fingerprint authentication. Open a terminal and run the following command:

sudo pam-auth-update

This command opens a utility that manages the authentication modules in your PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules) stack.

In the list of authentication methods, you’ll see an option for “Fingerprint authentication”. Select it by navigating with the arrow keys and pressing the Spacebar. Once selected, press Enter to save your selection and exit.

Upgrade the Firmware

Next, we need to upgrade the firmware. This can be done by running the following command in the terminal:

fwupdmgr upgrade

This command uses the fwupdmgr tool to upgrade the firmware on your device.

Enable Fingerprint Login in Settings

Now, navigate to Settings -> Users. Here, you’ll see an option to enable “Fingerprint Login”. Click on it and follow the prompts to record your fingerprint.

Restart Your Computer

Finally, restart your computer to ensure all changes take effect.

sudo reboot


After following these steps, you should now have the option to login using your fingerprint. However, please note that you may still need to enter a password to unlock your keyring.

Remember, the success of fingerprint login may depend on the hardware support installed on your device. If you encounter any issues, check the Ubuntu forums or for additional troubleshooting steps or alternative solutions.

Ubuntu 20.04 continues to impress with its user-friendly features and robust security options. Fingerprint login is just one of the many ways it helps users maintain security while providing convenience. Enjoy your new, more secure login method!

How do I know if my device has a fingerprint scanner?

You can check if your device has a fingerprint scanner by looking for a physical fingerprint sensor on your device. Additionally, you can check the specifications of your device or consult the manufacturer’s website for information on whether it has a fingerprint scanner.

Can I enable fingerprint login on any version of Ubuntu?

Fingerprint login is supported on Ubuntu 20.04 and later versions. If you are using an older version of Ubuntu, you may need to upgrade to a newer version to enable fingerprint login.

What if the “Fingerprint authentication” option is not available in the authentication methods list?

If the "Fingerprint authentication" option is not available in the authentication methods list, it means that your device may not have proper hardware support for fingerprint authentication. In such cases, fingerprint login may not be possible on your device.

How do I check if my fingerprint scanner is supported by Ubuntu?

You can check if your fingerprint scanner is supported by Ubuntu by searching for your device model or fingerprint scanner model on Ubuntu’s official hardware compatibility list. This list provides information on supported hardware for each Ubuntu release.

What if I encounter issues or errors during the firmware upgrade process?

If you encounter issues or errors during the firmware upgrade process, you can try running the fwupdmgr command with the --force option to force the upgrade. However, be cautious when using the --force option, as it may have unintended consequences. It’s recommended to seek assistance from the Ubuntu forums or for specific troubleshooting steps related to your issue.

Can I use fingerprint login for all user accounts on my Ubuntu system?

Yes, fingerprint login can be enabled for all user accounts on your Ubuntu system. Each user can individually set up and use fingerprint login by following the steps mentioned in the article.

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