[Ubuntu-ZW] Ubuntu with webcam face recognition/authentication

Kalpesh Thaker luminary06 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 4 11:49:15 BST 2010

Hi all...

If you have/havent seen Neil Coetzers demonstrations on our
ubuntu.org.zwfacebook page,..ubuntu can use a onboard/usb webcam for
user authentication
on your desktop.

so when you turn on your machine, and the login prompt comes up.. instead of
you having to type a password...
it pops up with a webcam feed.. which prompts you into moving closer to the
camera...it scans your face,
and if its okay... logs you in. if it doesnt log you in, it drops you into a
plain old password login.

i've been using this for the last couple of days.. and i find it to be
EXTREMELY useful.. especially since im one of
those people who hate being prompted for passwords everytime i want to do
something that the computer deems as

installing this function can be a little complicated.. so i've drawn up a
little how-to.. that can be followed step by step.
its quite easy to setup if you follow my instructions..... but you need to
make sure your machine is connected to
the internet before trying this, as it need to download packages from the

i noticed that there is quite alot of downloading involved with my method...
but if you connected to our local repository..
it should'nt be much of an issue..on a broadband connection:


basically, you will be installing opencv, and a face-pam-authentication
module to get this to work.... just follow
everything step by step..and you should be fine...

run these commands within a terminal logged in as YOU.. NOT root!!

- install opencv
1 - sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gijzelaar/opencv2
2 - sudo apt-get update
3 - sudo apt-get install opencv

- install documentation/dev files/python module (optional)
1 - sudo apt-get install libopencv-dev
2 - sudo apt-get install python-opencv
3 - sudo apt-get install opencv-doc

- install pam-face-authentication module prerequisites
1 - sudo apt-get install build-essential cmake qt4-make libx11-dev libcv-dev
libcvaux-dev libhighgui4 libhighgui-dev libqt4-dev libpam0g-dev

- install pam-face-authentication module
1 - cd /tmp
2 - wget
3 - tar zxf pam-face-authentication-03.tar.gz && cd
4 - mkdir build && cd build
5 - cmake -D CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr ..
6 - make
7 - sudo make install

- configure pam-face
1 - turn on your webcam! then in the terminal, type "qt-facetrainer" and
press enter
2 - follow the trainer to make images of yourself(the more the better..and
more secure it becomes)

- enable pam-face on login
1 - sudo sed -i 'li auth sufficient pam_face_authentication.so enableX'
2 - sudo sed -i 'li auth sufficient pam_face_authentication.so enableX'

- If using GNOME (GDM)
1 - sudo sed -i 'li auth sufficient pam_face_authentication.so enableX'
2 - sudo sed -i 'li auth sufficient pam_face_authentication.so enableX'

- If using Kubuntu (KDE)
1 - sudo sed -i 'li auth sufficient pam_face_authentication.so enableX'

finally reboot.. and enjoy this new feature!!

p.s i've set this up on Ubuntu 10.04 desktop, and it runs perfectly with the
above instructions... i havent tested this
on any other version. please be advised that I take no responsibility for
any issues that may happen during/after
you run these steps, and If you do follow the above instructions, and come
across issues, please dont contact
me and ask for help, because i did not develop this application, rather i
have just laid out the installation in an
easy to understand manner. This authentication module installation is not
recommended for high security systems..
or machines with sensitive data. you are advised to install this at your own

if you are not sure if this is for you or not, please take heed.. and do not
try this! :)

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