user information lookup
finger utility displays information
about local and remote system users. By default, the following information
is displayed about each user currently logged-in to the local host:
- login name
- user's full name
- associated terminal name
- idle time
- login time
- office location
- office phone
Idle time is in minutes if it is a single integer, hours and
minutes if a ‘
:’ is present, or days
if a ‘d’ is present. Login time is displayed as the day name
if less than six days, else month, day, hours and minutes, unless more than
six months ago, in which case the year is displayed rather than the hours
The names of terminals for which write permission is denied (see mesg(1)) are prepended with an asterisk (‘*’). Unknown devices as well as nonexistent idle and login times are displayed as single asterisks.
The options are as follows:
- If the
-soption is also specified, the name of the remote host is displayed instead of the office location and office phone.
- Long format. Produces a multi-line format displaying all of the
information available from the
-soption as well as the user's home directory, home phone number, login shell, mail status, and the contents of the “.plan” and “.project” files from the user's home directory.
If idle time is at least a minute and less than a day, it is presented in the form “hh:mm”. Idle times greater than a day are presented as “d day[s]hh:mm”.
Phone numbers specified as eleven digits are printed as “+N-NNN-NNN-NNNN”. Numbers specified as ten or seven digits are printed as the appropriate subset of that string. Numbers specified as five digits are printed as “xN-NNNN”. Numbers specified as four digits are printed as “xNNNN”.
If write permission is denied to the device, the phrase “(messages off)” is appended to the line containing the device name. One entry per user is displayed with the
-loption; if a user is logged on multiple times, terminal information is repeated once per login.
Mail status is shown as “No Mail.” if there is no mail at all, “Mail last read DDD MMM ## HH:MM YYYY (TZ)” if the person has looked at their mailbox since new mail arriving, or “New mail received ...”, “Unread since ...” if they have new mail.
- Enable matching of user names. This is disabled by default on systems running YP or with large password databases.
- Prevent matching of user names.
User is usually a login name; however, matching will
also be done on the users' real names, unless the
-moption is supplied. All name matching performed by
fingeris case insensitive.
- If the
-soption is also specified, the office location and office phone is displayed instead of the name of the remote host.
- Prevents the
fingerfrom displaying the contents of the “.plan” and “.project” files.
- Short format (default). The information as described above is displayed in a columnar fashion.
If no options are specified,
defaults to the
-l style output if operands are
provided, otherwise to the
-s style. Note that some
fields may be missing, in either format, if information is not available for
finger may be used to look up users on a
remote machine. The format is to specify a user as
@host”, where the default output
format for the former is the
-l style, and the
default output format for the latter is the
-l option is the only option that may be
passed to a remote machine.
chpass(1), w(1), who(1), fingerd(8)
D. Zimmerman, The Finger User Information Protocol, RFC 1288, December 1991.
finger command appeared in
Earl T. Cohen.