Most of us with fingerprint readers and such devices probably use the software provided by the vendor, to enable biometric OS login or single sign-on functionality. However, I've recently wondered if there is any third-party software that will do the same thing.

This would be similar to how you don't need the manufacturer's software to use a scanner, printer, or webcam - you just use their drivers and your choice of software. Is there anything like this for fingerprint readers or other biometric devices?

Additional info from merged question: Many fingerprint readers and other biometric authentication devices come with software for single-factor authentication to the OS. Is there any third-party software (F/OSS or otherwise) available for making OS authentication a two-factor process, such as by requiring both a fingerprint and a passcode?

Free or Open Source projects are preferred, but I'd be interested in learning about any existing solutions regardless. I personally am particularly interested in Windows-compatible software, but I'll leave the query open for any OS.

  • 2
    Interesting question, I was kind of wondering if something to this effect was available as well. I never found anything. Also like facial recognition as well would be cool. I've found propitiatory ones, but nothing free and open source.
    – Jeff
    Jan 14 '11 at 19:32
  • AFAIK Windows 7 includes built-in biometric support.
    – kinokijuf
    Jan 1 '13 at 12:12
  • 1
    @kinokijuf Yes, but without any third-party apps it's useless.
    – user11153
    Sep 10 '13 at 11:10

HP Protect Tools Security Manager integrates well with Windows and it lets you configure requirements to require a fingerprint and password if you want. I haven't had a look at any other current ones.

  • 1
    Does this qualify as "Non-OEM"? Will it work on systems without HP hardware?
    – Iszi
    Feb 3 '11 at 19:03
  • @Iszi - erm - good point. Check out my inability to properly read the question. I'm pretty certain it's only HP biometric hardware that is supported.
    – Rory Alsop
    Feb 3 '11 at 19:17
  • To your credit, I believe this answer was originally in response to the pre-merge "two-factor authentication" question. However, that one did (albeit perhaps more generally) specify "third-party". In any case, it's nice to know this for my personal reference since I primarily have HP products at home.
    – Iszi
    Feb 4 '11 at 18:47

You may want to also look at a company called Softex, www.softexinc.com - I believe that they have a solution which will allow multi-factor authentication configuration as well. Hope that helps.

  • Softex's OmniPass products do support multi-factor authentication. It should be noted that the consumer-grade product costs around $50, and extra plugin purchases (approx. $5) may be required for certain authentication devices.
    – Iszi
    Jan 17 '11 at 20:37

There's a pam module which certainly supports fingerprint scanning, and its trivial to configure pam to use n-factor authentication.

Of course, pam (only?) works on Linux, Solaris, BSD, most flavours of Unix but I beleive that there's at least one port to a MSWindows Gina floating about somewhere.

  • 1
    Note to the uninformed, MS' GINA is only applicable to pre-Vista, i.e. Windows XP and Server 2003.
    – AviD
    Jan 19 '11 at 8:37

Here's an open source project on facial recognition:


It doesn't look like there's a big market for regular users needing two-factor authentication software on standalone machines. Looking at some of the products out there look like an enterprise solution is more common. At one time I eve developed my own two factor authentication system for a website using keystroke dynamics (see the live demo) but I'm not too sure about modifying an OS such as windows to do the same.


linux already has this, it's just a couple PAM modules and some libs.


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