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Investigation: Why I can't use my ThinkPad L14 fingerprint reader in Ubuntu 21.04?

Tomasz Giba
Software Engineer
Updated on ・1 min read

Running Ubuntu I wanted my Thinkpad fingerprint reader to work. It's not working out of the box and there are no first-page results when googling the problem.

So, I need to investigate.

This is the device my ThinkPad L14 has built-in:

➜  ~ lsusb | grep Fingerprint
Bus 002 Device 003: ID 27c6:55b4 Shenzhen Goodix Technology Co.,Ltd. Fingerprint Reader
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OK. Device ID is 27c6:55b4 - got it

Now, most common lib that is used in fingerprint reading is libfprint.

Alright. Visiting its GitLab page, there's a link to list of unsupported devices: https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/libfprint/wiki/-/wikis/Unsupported%20Devices

..and my fingerprint reader is listed as unsupported:
alt text

..and libfprint developers are stating the following:

These are devices that are not supported. For most of them support is unlikely to ever happen, and if then only through reverse engineering efforts as vendors are only officially supporting a small subset of devices.

Oops.

Perhaps because it's a new device, the vendor "Shenzhen Goodix Technology" will support their devices in near future?

Nope..

Found this forum post where user asks Goodix for Linux support: https://developers.goodix.com/en/bbs/detail/2cc68cdf9f824e28b247f626c4a9374b

alt text

Well, it's 2021 and still no support.

Bummer Lenovo couldn't pressure their hardware providers to open-source the drivers or take care of this themselves. Shame.

Discussion (1)

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Tomasz Giba Author

There are people who try to crack this: gitlab.freedesktop.org/libfprint/l...