Linux News Today: Fingerprint Login Proposed for Ubuntu Phones, Meizu PRO 5 Should Support It
Support for fingerprint logins in Linux remains a mystery even to this day, in the way that it is there, implemented in the kernel, but no one talks about it, and it has almost never been publicized by any distribution.
To be honest, I played with a fingerprint reader on my Ubuntu box a few years ago. While for some time, it was cool to have it, it turned out to be more of a pain to setup than to enjoy, especially when working with the Terminal a lot.
So, long story short, Ubuntu, as it uses the GNOME Stack, still appears to have support for fingerprint logins, and it is implemented somewhere in the User Accounts panel of the System Settings, but it’s hidden until you attach a fingerprint scanner.
On the mobile side of things, fingerprint logins are quite useful, especially when you want to unlock your device quickly, not to mention the extra security if offers. At the moment, Ubuntu Phones lack such a feature.
Meizu MX4 and BQ Aquaris devices won’t get the feature
Thanks to the OMG! Ubuntu staff who spotted this earlier, it would appear that Canonical’s Jonas G. Drange submitted a new Launchpad bug on February 18, 2016, proposing setup of fingerprint authentication support in Ubuntu System Settings.
There, he explains how the feature should work and where it needs to be implemented. Of course, the Security & Privacy panel is the best place to add support for setting up fingerprint authentication, which will be used to unlock the screen.
“The story looks like this, a “Fingerprint” item will be added under “Lock security”, a “Fingerprint” panel will list previously recorded fingerprints, and an “Add fingerprint” item at the end of this list,” said Jonas G. Drange.
“A panel will record fingerprints with buttons “Cancel” and “Next” if recorded successfully and a code will be recorded that corresponds to a fingerprint (used if fingerprint auth fails n times),” adds the developer.
Meizu PRO 5 has a fingerprint scanner
However, at the moment of writing this article, there’s not even a fingerprint API (Application Programming Interface) implemented to get things started, not to mention that existing Ubuntu Phones don’t have a fingerprint scanner.
So the only device we know to bring support for fingerprint logins is the recently announced Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition smartphone, which Canonical will showcase at the upcoming MWC 2016 event next week.