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[Xperia X] Fingerprint sensor does not work [answered]

asked 2018-06-01 12:33:55 +0200

Direc gravatar image

updated 2018-11-20 11:06:31 +0200

I updated to EA yesterday, and was going to put fingerprint sensor to good use. However when I enter the wizard, the screen which asks me to read my fingerprint several times never respons to my attempts. In CSD tool the fingerprint sensor test also fails.

According to other users, it should just work. I did use it when I was still using Android on my device. Could the fact that it may contain previous fingerprints mess up the initialisation? What kind of logs would help pinning down the issue?


Edit: I have cleaned the sensor (power button) and my hands, no change. I have also tried it without protective cover on, no change. I also have another Xperia X with Android still installed, and I use its fingerprint reader daily, with cover on, so I know how it should work.

Edit: I got it working by flashing; see my own answer for details but it soon regressed back to the state of not working and failing the CSD test.

Edit: I flushed the fingerprint index and database, and it worked fine for a few hours again, until it broke by itself again.

Edit: I installed Sailfish early today, and I could add exactly one fingerprint, unlock the device it with three times, and it stopped working again. CSD test for fingerprint reader couldn't register my fingerprint. Then I shut my Xperia X down and started it up, leading to the fingerprint I added earlier today being lost. The reboot deleted my fingerprint. So, the support seems as broken as iit was with SFOSX2.

Edit: I'm running now, and magically my fingerprint reader seems to function correctly. I have been using it for a week now, and it's actually quite nice! Testing continues...

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The question has been closed for the following reason "the question is answered, an answer was accepted" by Direc
close date 2019-05-02 00:46:06.963357



in it would not even show an error.

put snd leave finger multiple times just had no effect

pawel ( 2018-06-01 14:16:18 +0200 )edit

I was able to record two fingers but every time I try to unlock I get asked to enter the unlock password. So it's not working for me.

Sadly I think the Jolla developers have wasted time on a bling item. Their time would have been better spent getting the Bluetooth working properly or improving the functionality of the the various functions that need improving.

AlanBreen ( 2018-06-02 14:34:27 +0200 )edit

I think I met this bug but just in later phase; I wanted to add more fingerprints into the reader, and after the 5th one I started having problems with the reader. It stopped working completely (could not unlock with it anymore). After the restart it was working again, but it still does not register new fingerprints. At first the mapping failed immediately, and after selecting retry reader just does not register any touches anymore.

Also at this point CSD fingerprint test fails immediately with error Timeout while communicating with fingerprint daemon.

Manatus ( 2018-06-05 15:57:10 +0200 )edit

It wouldn't surprise me the least if there were some undocumented "features" that are not publicly available in the AOSP version, hence rendering the whole fingerprint reader useless in the long run. Like, it doesn't accept as many different prints as the Android version. Let's hope this is not the case.

Direc ( 2018-06-05 16:30:57 +0200 )edit

I had problems registering my fingerprint as well. Finally found out that I had to double tap on the fingerprint reader and keep holding my finger on it on the second tap. It's as if I first had to activate the button by tapping before it could register the fingerprint.

siljeba ( 2018-06-11 16:27:16 +0200 )edit

9 Answers

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answered 2018-06-01 12:55:45 +0200

markomm gravatar image

Hello, for me its working without problem on Xperia, I have two separate fingers for finger print and its working. Try again, place your finger on silver sensor on right side of your phone, press and leave until is finger print picture white on the screen. Best regards

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I tried many, many times, tried rebooting, shutdown and starting, shutdown, plugging in the charger and then starting. I really wouldn't be asking, if I hadn't tried the basic stuff first.

Direc ( 2018-06-01 17:06:04 +0200 )edit

May I ask why this answer has been downvoted to -3 (before my upvote)? I don't think, this is nice from the together.jolla community! Maybe not the most helpful answer, yes, but for me it seems @markomm wanted to be helpful (encouraging).

chappi ( 2018-06-02 15:59:38 +0200 )edit

Agreed. It's an an answer with subjective experience how it works. Doesn't deserve downvotes. I upvoted it to balance things.

ajalkane ( 2018-06-02 18:19:08 +0200 )edit

I down voted this answer, because, A. Being told to try again after trying many ways to find it doesn't work, and B. Being told where the sensor is making it seem I didn't know where the sensor was.

I tried the sensor before I flashed Sailfish onto the Xperia. It worked flawlessly. Currently the implementation on Sailfish for me at least and it seems several other people is the finger print sensor isn't any use.

As a footnote I was only trying it for curiosity sake. I wouldn't bother using it as I never lock my phones. I think it's unnecessary bling. There's more important stuff for the Jolla developers to concentrate, so if it never works it won't bother me too much.

AlanBreen ( 2018-06-03 01:53:10 +0200 )edit

for me it y also ot working and i know wbere the sensor is ;-) who did accept the answer ?

pawel ( 2018-06-03 07:41:16 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-06-01 19:57:41 +0200

tmy gravatar image

I had problems when I had a phone cover (Celly) on. The finger print just was not detected. After removing the cover the sensor works fine.

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I have also tried it first with a protective cover (Lastu) and it did not work at all. It works OK without protective cover.

mke ( 2018-06-02 20:10:38 +0200 )edit

Thanks, but removing the cover doesn't help. I edited my question accordingly.

Direc ( 2018-06-03 09:56:58 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-06-02 00:57:00 +0200

tortoisedoc gravatar image

It is very tricky to use. The finger sensor area is not really clear; for me it works when I have my finger towards the upper half rather than the center of the unlock button.

On top of that, sometimes it _just_ doesnt get the fingerprint properly.

Otherwise I was pleasantly surprised by the fingerprint sensor, didnt even know XPeria X has it :)

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I edited my question; I have another Xperia X (Android) and its fingerprint reader in daily use.

Direc ( 2018-06-03 09:58:09 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-06-11 14:04:37 +0200

Direc gravatar image

Please note that messing with fingerprint system files can be dangerous and possibly may cause serious issues or even brick the phone - I really don't know!

Good news, bad news and worse news:

The good news is that I found a way to get ir working. The bad news is that you lose all fingerprints you have entered so far. The worse news is that this may lead into inconsistent state between the fingerprint reader and Sailfish OS, possibly causing some issues (although this works for me just fine...)

So, according to @spiiroin in answer of another question the fingerprint data is located in /var/lib/sailfish-fpd/templates which contains an index file, and a database file in a subfolder. With that info, I renamed (instead of deleting) both the index and the database files, and restarted the phone. Voilá, now the fingerprint reader works again - but let's see, how long...

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This raised some questions: if the data can get corrupted in the files, should that be a situation that should be handled automatically? If the reader doesn't work and the solution really is wiping the user data, could there be for example an extra item in Sailfish Utilities to do that safely and end-user-friendly?

Direc ( 2018-06-11 14:06:24 +0200 )edit

Nope, it broke itself again. I lost my fingerprints at reboot once, so I flushed the database again, and it worked again. I also seem to lose then I stop and start the service. There really is something wrong with the service; everything I do only fixes it temporarily.

Direc ( 2018-06-11 22:09:42 +0200 )edit

There is a automated mechanism for validating fingerprint data in place - but it is (and has to be) disabled in Xperia X because the fingerprint hal does not really implement the required enumerate fingerprints method -> corrupted data / out of sync indexing can't be detected/handled automatically.

However the only cause for fingerprint data corruption known to us at the moment is a bug dealing with database initialization - and fix (#1) for that was already included in the same sailfish release where fingerprint feature was enabled. The symptoms were: Everything seems to be fine, fingerprints can be registered and used for authentication - until the device is rebooted / fingerprint daemon is restarted after which nothing fp related works -> clearing all fingerprint data is required for recovery. In theory it might be possible still trigger this by something like going back and forth with sailfish releases, failing to upgrade some parts of the system, or something to that effect.

@Direc While your above mentioned method should not pose any danger to the device, the "should work in all devices" -way to do a fingerprint data reset is to run - as root:

systemctl stop sailfish-fpd.service
/usr/lib/sailfish-fpd/fpslave --remove-all
/usr/lib/sailfish-fpd/fpslave --flush-cache
systemctl start sailfish-fpd.service # or reboot the device

Probably we should provide some kind of shortcut from UI for doing the equivalent of that (to alleviate the need for root privileges).


spiiroin ( 2018-06-12 08:46:37 +0200 )edit

@Direc "reset makes things work, reboot / service restart breaks it again" sounds like what unfixed fp hal would cause.

You could try whether enabling workaround for that issue makes any difference, i.e. first do as root:

printf > /etc/sailfish-fpd/90-db-init-workaround.ini "[fpslave]\nset_active_group_twice_quirk = 1\n"

Then reset the fingerprint data.

spiiroin ( 2018-06-12 08:54:50 +0200 )edit

@Direc Btw... What device variant you have (f5121, f5122)? What sw release? Official Jolla one? Ever had some community release on that device? Have you used some upgrade methods apart from the regular update via UI?

spiiroin ( 2018-06-12 08:59:40 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-06-01 23:29:50 +0200

josuraki gravatar image

For me it worked the best when just lightly touching the button around 2-3 times a seconds until the scanning progress is done. it works better of course if you change the angle and position of your finger slightly during the scanning process. hope it helps :)

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Thanks, but this is about the sensor failing the CSD test and apparently not working at all. As I wrote in the question, I had used it before installing Sailfish X.

Direc ( 2018-06-03 09:48:55 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-06-01 19:06:41 +0200

SaimenSays gravatar image

I struggled with setup too! Tapped on the sensor for abot 20 times, but nothing. Canceled and tried again and agin. Then suddendly the fingerprint on screen gets enlighted in the middle. It takes me half an hour until it finishes. It seems very unpredictable when it recognizes a finger, so keep calm and try different angels holding your finger...

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Please see my updated question.

Direc ( 2018-06-03 09:59:20 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-06-03 11:37:36 +0200

Dreej gravatar image

it workes perfect for me...

the only thing I found out, is that it's working as a double tap button. press it, phone wakes up, lift the finger from the button, light press again and it's unlocked.

not the way I know from my X with Android but working fast and precisely

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answered 2018-06-03 15:12:57 +0200

pawel gravatar image

updated 2018-06-11 10:47:09 +0200

Direc gravatar image

In my case it seems to be related to:
was working on android

image description

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This is the same test result I get.

Direc ( 2018-06-03 19:18:13 +0200 )edit

Also I get this same result with my F5122, my wifes F5121 works just fine. Would be nice to know if nonworking models are dual SIM models...

japsi ( 2018-06-05 11:35:47 +0200 )edit

My device is F5121.

On the other hand, was your fingerprint sensor in use during Android? Mine was, and I can't get it to work.

How about the F5122?

Direc ( 2018-06-05 12:48:42 +0200 )edit

Sensor worked in both models with Android, now only in F5121. Maybe I start to remove patches and aps one by one to check if I can fix it that way.

japsi ( 2018-06-05 13:34:35 +0200 )edit

I'm facing the same problem. Updated to, fingerprint was working. Did a downgrade to 2.1 and updated again to 2.2. Get the same error in CSD, it is because sailfish-sfp.service does not start anymore...maybe they fix this when the public release is released.

miau ( 2018-06-06 18:37:13 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-06-10 22:52:27 +0200

Direc gravatar image

updated 2018-06-11 10:39:25 +0200

Edit: It worked for an hour or so after flashing, but after a few hours it went back in to not working state again. This really seems to be an issue with Sailfish X side.

I finally got it working. Here's what I did:

  • Make backups, because you will lose all your data!
  • Install Sony Emma
  • Flash the latest firmware (you made the backup, right?)
  • Boot to Android, install all updates, reboot a few times
  • Add a few prints
  • Test that the prints work in lock screen
  • Remove the read fingers
  • Remove lock code
  • Flash back to SFOSX
  • Get "white Sony screen of death"
  • Manually flash the right blob to OEM partition of the device
  • Boot to SFOSX
  • Try the fingerprint reader, it works!

So, if all else fails, this is what you should do:

  • Make backups, because you will lose all your data!
  • Install Sony Emma
  • Flash the correct firmware; (you made the backup, right?)
  • Boot to Android, install all updates, reboot a few times
  • Add a few prints
  • Test that the prints work in lock screen
  • Remove the read fingers
  • Remove lock code
  • Flash back to SFOSX and boot the device
  • Try the fingerprint reader, it shoud work now!

This was a roller coaster ride for me, but it turned out just fine. In the end it seems to have been some glitch in either the firmware, or internal device state. Using the Android and reflashing the device did the trick.

Reflashing really is a heavy weapon, but it seems that it could not be avoided at this time. Should any issues arise, I'll comment them back to this answer.

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Well, all was well for an hour or so. CSD test was successful, too. I successfully added one fingerprint, and tested it for a few times; I could reliably get my fingerprint read to unlock the device. Soon it didn't work every time any more, until finally I could not unlock my device at all. At this point the CSD test initialized, but didn't recognize my finger any more. Finally the test initialisation failed, so the situation is now right back where it started.

I would like to again clarify, that the sensor works as expected when I used Android (both before SFOSX and when I yesterday used it for a couple of hours and tens or hundreds of reads) on this device, and also on my work phone which I have no choice but use Android.

There is something fundamental wrong in the implementation. Jolla, could you please finally have a look at this? Thanks.

Direc ( 2018-06-11 10:37:51 +0200 )edit

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Asked: 2018-06-01 12:33:55 +0200

Seen: 3,895 times

Last updated: Nov 20 '18