UPEK TouchStrip Sensor-only (147e:2016) on Linux

As part of my fprint fingerprint scanning on Linux efforts, I have completed a new driver for a popular bit of hardware that has been unsupported on Linux until now: the UPEK TouchStrip sensor-only variant with USB ID 147e:2016.

We have already supported another variant including a biometric co-processor for some time now, but in the absence of the co-processor, the sensor-only variant required a completely different driver. Support for the sensor-only devices is a significant step forward as this hardware can be found in a lot of laptops. Now you can experience this TouchStrip Sensor on the latest slots online available in 2020, this feature added to the game will make the game more awesome and more user-friendly. I’ve already received some success reports – thanks!

The driver is only available in libfprint development repositories (not any released versions). System76 have created an installation guide which may be useful for keen users.

44 Responses to “UPEK TouchStrip Sensor-only (147e:2016) on Linux”

  1. nightmorph Says:

    Congrats, Daniel, and good job! I know that there are lots of laptops out there with this chip; it was my single biggest (minor) worry when I was looking at ThinkPads several months ago. Everyone from Lenovo to HP has been building laptops with these readers; good to know that Linux users aren’t left out in the cold anymore. Thanks again for your efforts.

  2. eggman Says:

    This fingerprint reader was one of the two devices that didn’t work on my laptop (asus z37e).
    I will give it a try.
    Thanks a lot,

  3. kikvors Says:

    Fantastic. Thanks so much, this works on a Sony Vaio SZ750.

    Only thing I have trouble with is to get gksu working, i.e. accessing administrative tasks under gnome from the gnome panel fails, even if I scan my finger after menu item selection. Any tips?

  4. s0c Says:


    I’ve compiled everything with no problems… However:

    root@aqua:/opt/fpr/fprint_demo-0.4# pam_fprint_enroll
    This program will enroll your finger, unconditionally overwriting any selected print that was enrolled previously. If you want to continue, press enter, otherwise hit Ctrl+C

    No devices detected.

    Do you know where is the problem?

    I’ve got 147e:2016 UPEK TouchStrip sensor.

    Thank you,

  5. s0c Says:

    Aaha, I can see now, I’ve compiled the wrong driver…

  6. s0c Says:

    I’m confused:

    Upeksonly: The device sits on the USB bus with USB ID 147e:2016. The driver does not support the TouchStrip variants which include a biometric co-processor. Those ones are instead supported by the upekts driver.

    Upekts: The driver does not support the TouchStrip fingerprint reader with USB ID’s 147e:2016 found in some of the newer ThinkPads. This version of the device is just a sensor (no biometric coprocessor) and is instead supported by the upeksonly driver.

    So which one is for me? %-| :)

    Thank you,

  7. Daniel Drake Says:

    Not sure that I understand your confusion, since both of those are correct. upeksonly says “I support 147e, the other variant is upekts.” upekts says “I don’t support 147e, use upeksonly”

    but I took a guess at what is a little unclear and changed upeksonly to read as follows:
    This driver supports fingerprint readers found embedded into many commercial laptops, including some System76 laptops and IBM/Lenovo ThinkPads. The device sits on the USB bus with USB ID 147e:2016. The driver does not support the TouchStrip variants which include a biometric co-processor. The co-processor variants have a different USB ID and are instead supported by the upekts driver.

    As for it not working, you need to be using the latest git sources, not any released version. If you still have troubles, please use the mailing list.

  8. Nuno Milheiro Says:

    Is it possible to use ths driver without libusb-1.0 ? I would prefer no to. Is it a feature libusb stable lacks or just a choice of implementation?


  9. Lapoz Says:

    I have tried it today, thanks a lot for your work !
    The installation went OK, but I’m unable to verify my fingers after enrolling them…
    Still playing, my best score is 10 minutiae :-(

    My configuration: Ubuntu 8.04 LTS on Keynux Jet SR (based on Clevo M720R).

  10. Lapoz Says:

    It’s frustrating, I didn’t imagine it would be so hard to match my own fingerprints :D
    I’ve managed to do it two times, then nothing.
    What is good : the most or the less minutiae ?

  11. Willy Weisz Says:

    Installed fprint and companions (and libusb-1) and got it work – at least almost. As has already been mentioned a few times, I could rarely verify the fingerprint that I’ve enrolled. When can I expect a better scanning and/or interpretation of the image.

    It took me some time to figure out how to use get able to use the latest software release. A hint on which file contains the utilities required (e.g. configure) and thus has to be “patched” in order to allow “making” the executable software would have saved me quite some time.

    Thanks for the open source software – UPEK’s libraries are unusable for my notebook running under Linux x86_64, and they don’t have a 64 bit version – so much for the worth of closed source software.

    My platform: Acer 6292, openSuSE 11.0 x86_64

  12. pettman Says:

    Will this be put into fprints main package before the Intrepid feature freze?

  13. Giovanni Pellerano Says:


    i’ve a sony vaio with a 147e:1000;

    can you give me some help to try to get it work?


  14. Giovanni Pellerano Says:

    if it can help i think is a TouchStrip® Fingerprint Sensor (TCS4)


  15. mistrall Says:

    i have 147e:1000 too and fprint cant use it.
    any solutions?

  16. Vik Says:


    I have the same problem.. 147e:1000 TouchStrip sensor and i can’t get it work under Vista 32bit.. Daniel or someone! Pls help!

  17. Giovanni Pellerano Says:

    Mistral, vik on what latpop is intalled that chipset?

    Vik, you specified that you can’t get it work on vista 32bit, why? on vista 64 bit does it work?
    [i don't mind it all becouse i'm a unix like user, but the thing sounds interesting]

  18. UPEK TouchStrip unter Linux - Michael Klemm - Website von Michael Klemm aus Dachau Says:

    [...] http://www.reactivated.net/weblog/archives/2008/07/upek-touchstrip-sensor-only-147e2016-on-linux/ [...]

  19. MikeW Says:

    I’ve got the 147e:2016 on Kubuntu 64bit 8.10 with kernel 2.6.27-7. I was able to install right from the repositories but I can’t get the fprint_demo application to recognize the hardware. I get the same “no devices detected” that others have reported.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!!!

  20. Imre Ispanovits Says:

    I’ve got 147e:2016 on my Thinkpad R61. Thanks to this project my fingerprint reader works now.
    It is still experimental, so it is not too reliable, but something started. Thank for the authors.
    It would be good to have more then only one possibilities to read the fingerprint. Now if it is unsuccesfull (which is very often), gives up immediately.

  21. thx Says:

    to solve “no devices detected” problem you have to compile >= libfprint-0.1.0



  22. yybrazo Says:

    For Ubuntu 9.04 64b not run, I’ve got 147e:2016 on my Acer 8630G, can u help me pls.

  23. pilu Says:

    Hi there!

    could sombebody help me?I run a Ubuntu 9.04 on a MSI PR201 everything works fine but i have 147e:1000 TouchStrip fingerprint reader and i cant use it. under Vista is ok but i hate M$. Please help. I googled a couple days but i cant find usable information about this device.

  24. Ed Says:

    Cool! I got fprint_demo working on my Malibal Satori laptop (ID 147e:2016 Upek Biometric Touchchip/Touchstrip Fingerprint Sensor), seems to work pretty well. Took me a while to figure out that all the config steps were in autogen.sh (stupidity on my part), I had to configure –prefix=/usr –libdir=/usr/lib64 to make it play nice with 64-bit Mandriva.

  25. docet Says:

    I have MSI pr201 too @ Xubuntu 9.04 and same issue. I tried to compile 1.0 pre2 but when i try to ./configure no libcrypto is found and no package is available on synaptics. Any tip? I installed libcypto++ with no change. Also libmagick9 is not available in synaptics.

  26. dbringer Says:

    docet, you’ll need the package libssl-dev for libcrypto, and I think libmagickcore-dev for the ImageMagick stuff.

  27. docet Says:

    Thanks, i’m not used tu synaptic and -dev pkgs coming from Zenwalk. Anyway compiling and installing passed, but still no device detected… 147e:1000!

  28. monomakh Says:

    I can scan my finger after install libfprint0-0.1.0.pre2-15.1.x86_64.rpm on OpenSuse 11.2

  29. dedieko Says:

    I’m using Clevo TN120R equipped with Bus 004 Device 002: ID 147e:2016 Upek Biometric Touchchip/Touchstrip Fingerprint Sensor
    Using Ubuntu Karmic
    I’ve managed to compile & install libusb, fprint, fprint demo, but still “No Device Detected”
    Then I found this on PPA Launchpad:
    There is libfprint package for IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad R61i.
    Now, I manage to install it, at least at fprint demo or fingerprintgui stage (enroll,verify) but no success yet on Identify and pam_fprint.
    Hope it helps

  30. Gonzalo Aguilar Says:

    It worked for me!

    My laptop is a Sony Vaio VGN-SZ61WN. After enrolling and verifying my fingerprints I installed the pam module and it worked flawlessly.

    Thank you a lot for your support.

    Best regards,

  31. tom7.1 Says:


    I installed
    libfprint0 (20100820git-1ubuntu1) …
    fprint-demo (20080303git-5ubuntu1) …
    libpam-fprint (20080330+git-5) …
    on Kubuntu 11.04

    fprint-demo works !

    How can I get the finger print check to unlock my screen in kde ?

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