Python Validity

Validity fingerprint sensor prototype
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Validity fingerprint sensor driver.

Table of Contents

Setting up

On Ubuntu system:

$ sudo apt remove fprintd
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:uunicorn/open-fprintd
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt install open-fprintd fprintd-clients python3-validity
...wait a bit...
$ fprintd-enroll

On Arch Linux (Or Arch Linux based system, not including Artix)

$ yay -S python-validity
(Press Enter twice when prompted)
$ fprintd-enroll

On Fedora Linux

$ sudo dnf copr enable tigro/python-validity
$ sudo dnf install open-fprintd fprintd-clients fprintd-clients-pam python3-validity
...wait a bit...
$ fprintd-enroll

Error situations

List devices failed

If fprintd-enroll returns with list_devices failed:, you can check the logs of the python3-validity daemon using $ sudo systemctl status python3-validity. If it's not running, you can enable and/or start it by substituting status with enable or start.

Errors on startup

It systemctl status python3-validity complains about errors on startup, you may need to factory-reset the fingerprint chip. Do that like so:

$ sudo systemctl stop python3-validity
$ sudo validity-sensors-firmware
$ sudo python3 /usr/share/python-validity/playground/

# At some of the above points you may get a 'device busy' error,
# depending on how systemctl plays along. Kill offending processes if
# necessary, or re-run the systemctl stop python3-validity command, 
# in case it has automatically been restarted, or or kill other
# offending processes.

$ sudo systemctl start python3-validity
$ fprintd-enroll

Fingerprint not working after waking up from suspend

Enable open-fprintd-resume and open-fprintd-suspend services:

$ sudo systemctl enable open-fprintd-resume open-fprintd-suspend

For even more error procedures, check this Arch comment thread or this python-validity bug comment thread.

Enabling fingerprint for system authentication

To enable fingerprint login, if it doesn't come automatically, run

$ sudo pam-auth-update

and use the space-bar to enable fingerprint authentication. The change will take effect immediately. At this point, the fingerprint will be tried first, and only if that fails or times out will you see a password prompt. Take note of the led-stripe above the fingerprint sensor to see whether it is active.

The actual change from pam-auth-update

The above mentioned command $ sudo pam-auth-update simply makes a small modification to /etc/pam.d/common-auth:

# In /etc/pam.d/common-auth, the following line is added, and the next line changed.
# The end result (apart from other things that may be in the file) is this:
auth  [success=2 default=ignore] max_tries=1 timeout=10 # debug
auth  [success=1 default=ignore] nullok_secure try_first_pass

Windows interoperability

Note: This section is likely only relevant if you will be dual booting.

To be able to use the same set of fingerprints for Windows and Linux, you first need to extract the Windows user IDs (known as SIDs). To do this, start Windows, start cmd.exe and run wmic useraccount get name,sid. This will provide a list of all users and the corresponding SIDs.

You can then create a mapping from the Linux user names (as written in the first :-separated field of /etc/passwd). This mapping is defined in /etc/python-validity/dbus-service.yaml. For example:

    "myusername": "S-1-5-21-1234567890-1234567890-1234567890-1001"
    "someotheruser": "S-1-5-21-1234567890-1234567890-1234567890-1003"

Note the indentation; each entry has to be preceded by at least one space.


This package contains a set of scripts you can use to do a low-level debugging of the sensor protocol. Here is a couple of examples of how you can use them. Before using the scripts, make sure you've disabled the dbus service shipped with this package. All examples assume that you are in /usr/share/python-validity/playground/ directory and your device is already paired.

Initialize a session

Before talking to a device you will need to open it and start a new TLS session

$ python3
Python 3.6.7 (default, Oct 22 2018, 11:32:17) 
[GCC 8.2.0] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> from prototype import *
>>> open9x()

Enroll a new user

Note: 0xf5 == WINBIO_FINGER_UNSPECIFIED_POS_01 (see ms docs)

>>> db.dump_all()
 8: User S-1-5-21-111111111-1111111111-1111111111-1000 with 1 fingers:
>>> enroll(sid_from_string('S-1-5-21-394619333-3876782012-1672975908-3333'), 0xf5)
Waiting for a finger...
Progress: 14 % done
Progress: 28 % done
Progress: 42 % done
Progress: 57 % done
Progress: 71 % done
Progress: 85 % done
Progress: 100 % done
All done
>>> db.dump_all()
 8: User S-1-5-21-111111111-1111111111-1111111111-1000 with 1 fingers:
10: User S-1-5-21-394619333-3876782012-1672975908-3333 with 1 fingers:

Delete database record (user/finger/whatever)

>>> db.dump_all()
 8: User S-1-5-21-111111111-1111111111-1111111111-1000 with 1 fingers:
10: User S-1-5-21-394619333-3876782012-1672975908-3333 with 1 fingers:
>>> db.del_record(11)
>>> db.dump_all()
 8: User S-1-5-21-111111111-1111111111-1111111111-1000 with 1 fingers:
10: User S-1-5-21-394619333-3876782012-1672975908-3333 with 0 fingers:

Identify a finger (scan)

>>> identify()
Recognised finger f5 (WINBIO_FINGER_UNSPECIFIED_POS_01) from user S-1-5-21-111111111-1111111111-1111111111-1000
Template hash: 36bc1fe077e59a3090c816fcf2798c30a85d8a8fbe000ead5c6a946c3bacef7b

DBus service

When started, DBus service will first try to initialize the device, then it will try to register itself with the open-fprintd service. If open-fprintd is not available it will wait for it to come up.

To start DBus service from the sources (useful for debugging):

PYTHONPATH=. ./dbus_service/dbus-service


If you are curious you can enable tracing to see what flows in and out of device before and after encryption

>>> tls.trace_enabled=True
>>> usb.trace_enabled=True
>>> logging.basicConfig(level=logging.DEBUG)
>>> db.dump_all()
>tls> 17: 4b00000b0053746757696e64736f7200
>cmd> 1703030050c00a7ff1cf76e90f168141b4bc519ca9598eacb575ff01b7552a3707be8506b246d5272cb119e7b8b3eccd991cb7d8387245953ff1da62cebfb07fae7e47b9b536fb1a82185cc9399d30625ee3c1451f
<cmd< 1703030050b7a4a39e256bbe5a2589a6fbeec86057bead96f0b79ab6657dd9e851efaccddf9cd0108865aa98c510a1f8cd9b881b3166db553e5b4330c437f09daccbe261b259019774466ddb0d7f97fa67b6337329
<tls< 17: 0000030002000b00000008004c000a004c0053746757696e64736f7200
>tls> 17: 4a080000000000
>cmd> 1703030040ef982e5d6c403ff636c44cd53e7d0f98c21f67ff3b5b80f53555e4547028bd4d17cf5b0539ac0489238f1f066b8ba849120380cf979088d6c63249c873868c95
<cmd< 1703030090f16f4ed027f50103d5cf274a59323e5f25e084e21e4d42d4eab23abc867504ef80a700c775f03c0fafabee2e373fbf551d46e53ca957b86c53853a913e11c8cab98df41afc86af883b4e1b817024b212dbcdf1057a3bcdbc474381c5a5c37162167ff395e8102902c4e0d00b9b4931f0fa986ec3257c6bf2a5b55ea0b5349c035c20ed583522ac7ef9048e97a589a25e
<tls< 17: 00000800010000004c000900f5000300780b030000001c000000010500000000000515000000c76b9f06c7353a42c7353a42e803000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
>tls> 17: 4a0a0000000000
>cmd> 1703030040b522c55b73480e0d71a322abf8b65d97c9b55e9930206c463f998886cda4410d1b00ab41ec5b213d2ac18bf3bf61ce817446f27d643f99aba5a1d4cb80d18461
<cmd< 170303009061cef46670a21ca87043f1f4d55153eb46a19757de767d4ddbee736e2a775af63850a89ebe814b7e578979f1fb8a1c2133e0c6fa5b468cff9c731ef3f178b33334bdf64c03903dc2d95e9a16c656f1f8d06fa3431c3971607fec56f104ec7d4e73518705a289fac53fe54ddf33b30dad2b8c1fac67b7decf8c7f86dd843414e7f056a2ea8366611e5094c5491d5ade46
<tls< 17: 00000a00000000004c00030000001c000000010500000000000515000000c5698517bcff12e72496b763050d000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
 8: User S-1-5-21-111111111-1111111111-1111111111-1000 with 1 fingers:
10: User S-1-5-21-394619333-3876782012-1672975908-3333 with 0 fingers:
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