- Install the necessary libraries: sudo apt-get install thinkfinger-tools libpam-thinkfinger
- Integrate thinkfinger with PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules): sudo /usr/lib/pam-thinkfinger/pam-thinkfinger-enable
- Now acquire your fingerprint: run tf-tool --acquire. If you get an error here (not a failed swipe, you just need to swipe better), running it with sudo might be necessary. If you still get an error that thinkfinger can't interact with your reader, it probably isn't supported, sorry! Otherwise, keep swiping your finger until you get two successful swipes.
- Finally, make sure it worked: run tf-tool --verify and swipe your finger. Try this a few times, and if it doesn't have a good success rate, do another acquire (the previous step), perhaps slower and more intentionally.
Now you can log in by swiping your finger at the password prompt, and more usefully in my opinion, swipe your finger instead of entering the root password at terminal and graphical password prompts. This is one of those little things that, once you get used to it, is hard to ever live without. Check it out:
By the way, while there may be valid security concerns with fingerprint readers, don't listen to the critics who say you can just breathe on it to get a swipe. 2D fingerprint scanners may work this way, but laptop fingerprint readers take a reading in both space and time. Try using tf-tool --verify and finding out for yourself; you can blow and breathe on your fingerprint reader all day without getting it to even recognize a scan, let alone a failed one.