Fingerprint reader in ThinkPad Z60m

Various IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad notebooks contain interesting feature – fingerprint reader. It is possible to use it under Linux for authentication. Thanks to PAM module we can easily use fingerprint reader to biometrically authenticate various apps.


To get fingerprint reader working under Linux (PLD/Linux in this case) we need:


Sample programs from BioAPI implementation will allow you to verify if fingerprint reader works correctly and will allow to dump your fingerprints data into *.bin files. *.bin files are later used to verify if fingerprint is correct one.

Example PAM configuration for sudo with authentication done through BioAPI:

[root@tarm ~]# cat /etc/pam.d/sudo
auth sufficient {5550454b-2054-464d-2f45-535320425350} /etc/bioapi/pam/
auth required
account required
password required difok=2 minlen=8 dcredit=2 ocredit=2 retry=3
password sufficient {5550454b-2054-464d-2f45-535320425350} /etc/bioapi/pam/
password required md5 shadow use_authtok
password required /var/db
session required
session required
session required change_uid

(/etc/bioapi/… contains *.bin files with scanned fingerprints)

How it works?

[arekm@tarm ~]$ sudo zsh
Verification start
Put finger

When the finger was moved too fast:

Swipe too fast
Put finger

When the scan had bad quality (I just moved my finger quite fast and not in correct way):

Bad quality
Put finger

The finger was passed over right side of sensor only:

Finger is too right
Put finger

Correct scan, finger passed properly:

Image processing
Scanned good image
Operation succeeded
[root@tarm ~]#

Example of unlocking KDE lock screen:

Unlocking KDE lock screen with fingerprint

Interesting links:

ThinWiki article about ThinkPad FingerPrint reader.

2007-01-18 UPDATE:
There is open source implementation that is able to use fingerprint device in thinkpads:

2 thoughts on “Fingerprint reader in ThinkPad Z60m

  1. Joerg says:

    @Denny and all that are interested. Under any circumstances try the Thinkfinger !

    It’s so much easier to set up! For the lazy ones the rpm package ‘thinkfinger’ should be available for the major distributions as well. Just pay attention you grab the most current one, which is now the v0.2. This includes the respective PAM module to integrate the finger swipe in the applications.

    Great work!

    Reply to Joerg

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