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PAM Fingerprint

PAM Fingerprint is a Linux Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM) for password-less fingerprint authentication. It uses the ZhianTec ZFM-20 fingerprint sensor (known as "Arduino fingerprint sensor") in conjunction with the PyFingerprint library

Per default the password authentication is set as fallback in case no fingerprint sensor is connected. Two-factor authentication is also possible. The module has to be configured by the pamfingerprint-conf program.


There are two ways of installing PAM Fingerprint: Installation of the stable or latest version. The stable version is distributed through the PM Code Works APT repository and is fully tested but does not contain the latest changes.

Installation of the stable version

Add PM Code Works repository

  • Debian 9:

    ~# echo "deb stretch main" | tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pm-codeworks.list

  • Debian 10:

    ~# echo "deb buster main" | tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pm-codeworks.list

Add PM Code Works signing key

~# wget -qO - | apt-key add -
~# apt-get update

Install the packages

~# apt-get install python-fingerprint libpam-fingerprint

Installation of the latest version

The latest version contains the latest changes that may not have been fully tested and should therefore not be used in production. It is recommended to install the stable version.

Install required packages for building

~# apt-get install git devscripts equivs

Clone this repository

~$ git clone

Build the package

~$ cd ./pam-fingerprint/src/
~$ sudo mk-build-deps -i debian/control
~$ dpkg-buildpackage -uc -us

Install the package

~# dpkg -i ../libpam-fingerprint*.deb

Install missing dependencies

~# apt-get install -f


Add group "dialout" for each user which should be able to use PAM Fingerprint

~# usermod -a -G dialout <username>
~# reboot

Enable PAM Fingerprint for a user

~# pamfingerprint-conf --add-user <username>

Test if everything works well

~# pamfingerprint-conf --check-user <username>

Questions and suggestions

If you have any questions to this project just ask me via email: