Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
Soon a myth no more.

Soon a myth no more.

The new work that Bastien Nocera is doing on fingerprint scanner support in Fedora is totally awesome. Now, a few months ago this wouldn’t have been that big an impact on me personally, but my laptop suddenly changed unexpectedly.

Remember my suicidal Dell laptop? Well, the fine folks at Dell told me that it would be 1-3 weeks before I got a new one — but delivered a replacement in only 4 days. They had told me they would be building an exact duplicate of the unit that was originally ordered, which accounted for the delay. But instead, I got what amounted to an enormous upgrade (with one small exception).

  • 200 GB HDD ? 320 GB HDD
  • 2 GB RAM ? 3 GB RAM
  • 2.2 GHz Intel C2D ? 2.5 GHz Intel C2D
  • thick-screen lid ? slim & light lid
  • no fingerprint scanner ? fingerprint scanner
  • Intel 3945 ABG wifi ? Intel 4965 ABGN wifi

The only downside was my Intel GMA 945 had become an nVidia GeForce 8400M GS. I guess I can live with it, but it’s a pity that now I can’t stand in front of an audience and do anything 3D related with 100% out of the box Fedora software. ? On the other hand, my original purchase at least was in support of a vendor with a pretty good record of working with FOSS communities.

Everything on the laptop is working fine with Fedora 10 right now, of course. Thanks to all you kernel, X, webcam, and other hardware driver folks for that. It’s nice to be running an OS where I was literally up and working out of the box in 20 minutes, including all the latest security updates.

I do wish the Dell folks had asked me before pulling the switcheroo on me, but honestly I know that the customer service people felt they were going above and beyond, despite what the rep on the phone told me in my initial call. So I don’t see this as a bad reflection on them. Makes me wish video hardware was more modular, but at least now I’ll get a chance to try Bastien’s new fingerprint work!


  1. Felix Kaechele

    If you find an adequate way please let us know 🙂
    I tried to use pam_fprint but failed due to PolicyKit not allowing users to access the fingerprint hardware.

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