KDE Plasma 5.21 Bringing Native Fingerprint Manager

2 min

The upcoming KDE Plasma 5.21 desktop bringing a native fingerprint manager to help you to manage your fingerprints for authentication.

KDE Plasma 5.21 is released on 16 Feb 2021. You can our release coverage, download details here.

In the recent past, GNOME added a fingerprint manager in the settings with a dialog to register the fingerprints as part of the GNOME 3.38 release. That brings fingerprint manager for Ubuntu, Fedora, and other distros which features GNOME Desktop.

Deepin desktop already provides a minimal way of registering the fingerprint.

Almost all major Laptop brands such as Dell, Lenovo adds built-in fingerprint scanner for quick password-less fingerprint login. And with more Laptops coming with OEM installed Linux, it is a welcome feature for KDE Plasma 5.21 desktop.

KDE Plasma 5.21 Native Fingerprint Manager

The KDE Plasma native fingerprint manager is capable of registering multiple fingers with finger names. The usability is similar to all other operating systems – so you do not need to learn the feature. During the action, it gives you a visual representation of your fingerprint as it’s being registered. You can add and clear all fingerprints with the provided options.

See the demo below.

KDE Plasma 5.21 - Fingerprint Manager
KDE Plasma 5.21 – Fingerprint Manager (image credit: KDE)

The feature also expected to be added in KAuth, PolKit based dialogs as well. And of course in the lock screen, login screens where it is expected to be used more.

The feature is not yet merged to the master development branch of KDE Plasma 5.21. If all goes well with testing, it is expected to be added to the master in the coming weeks.

What is the overall situation of fingerprint login or authentication in Linux?

Remember, this is a fingerprint manager only dialog. This does not guarantee that your fingerprint scanner device will work without a proper driver.

Right now, not many fingerprint devices driver is supported in Linux Kernel off the shelf. So without a proper driver, this feature won’t work. Many branded Laptops (as early as 2017, 2018 models) with built-in fingerprint devices still don’t work in the stable Linux Kernel 5.4 today. I have checked recently with one Lenovo Ideapad series – still no driver in the latest Linux Kernel.

In case if you are lucky to have the fingerprint driver working on a Laptop in Linux, then you can enjoy the KDE Plasma 5.21 seamless password less authentication.

KDE Plasma 5.21 releases on February 9, 2021. There are many new features that KDE Plasma 5.21 is beginning for the users. – make sure to visit the KDE Plasma 5.21 feature overview page for more insights.

Update on this topic as of Oct 25, 2021

The code for KDE Plasma is ready. But support from the SDDM display manager is required for it to fully work. However, the patch from SDDM is stalled for over a year. Hence, until this is sorted, this entire work can not move to KDE Plasma. Right now, hoping that the SDDM patch is ready, this is planned for KDE Plasma 5.24. More details:

Image credit: KDE


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