The Windows Subsystem for Linux allows you to install a Linux distribution on Windows 10 PCs and run Linux applications and commands in a terminal window. The idea is to let developers and power users run Linux utilities on a Windows PC without the need to reboot or open a virtual machine – but it also allows Linux applications to interact with Windows files and features.

WSL Hello sudo is one of the niftiest third-party tools I’ve seen that take advantage of that last bit. It allows you to use Windows Hello to authentication sudo commands using face or fingerprint recognition on computers that have compatible hardware.

If you’re running a command that requires escalated security privileges, then you often have to type “sudo” at the start of the command and then enter a password before the command will complete.

WSL Hello sudo can save you a few seconds by allowing you to use your face, fingerprint, or a PIN rather than typing a password. It does that by combining a Linux Pluggable Authentication Module with a Windows command line application. The software works with both WSL 2 and hte original version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

xkcd Sandwich
Obligatory xkcd

Keep in mind that this is unofficial software created by a third-party developers, so there’s no guarantee it’ll support all hardware or software. But it is open source software, so if you’re concerned about the security implications of using an unofficial application for security purposes, you can examine the code yourself.

Download, installation, configuration, and troubleshooting instructions are available at GitHub.

via Hacker News

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3 replies on “WSL Hello sudo brings biometric authentication to Windows Subsystem for Linux commands”

  1. Sudo times out so you have to re-enter, the whole selling point here is to not have to type sudo & password. It sort of self-defeating to make sudo timeouts longer.

  2. Somewhat ironically, this is the only thing I might actually WANT to use biometrics to do. Not decrypting the system, or logging in, just stuff I can only do while I’m already logged in, without the possibility of using it to decrypt the system or log in.

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