The finger command displays information about the users in the passwd file.
By default, information for each user on the host is listed. This information includes the login name, terminal name and write status (an * (asterisk)) before the terminal name appears (if write permission is denied), and login time.
The finger command uses a longer output format when you specify a user or a list of users. You can use account name, given name, or surname (as listed in /etc/passwd) to specify users. This multiline format includes the information described previously, as well as full name, office number, and phone number (if known); the user's home directory and login shell; idle time; any plan that the user has placed in the file .plan in the user's home directory; and the project on which the user is working from the file .project in the home directory. (Idle time is minutes if it is a single integer, hours and minutes if a : (colon) is present, or days and hours if a d is present.)
If a host is not specified, the information is for users on the local host; otherwise, the information is for users at the specified host. You can specify a user on a remote host by using the form user@host; if you specify @host alone, the standard format listing is provided on the remote system. If a long format printout is to be produced, the -l flag is passed to the remote finger daemon. No other flags are honored for remote finger queries.
The finger command displays user information only if the specified host has a fingerd server running or inetd is configured to start fingerd. (For more information on setting up this server for your host, see the fingerd(8) daemon reference page.)
If you want to make information available to other users who run finger on your user ID, you can create the following files in your home directory: A file that contains plans. The .plan file can contain more than one line. A file that states what project you are currently working on. The .project file can contain only one line.
The f command is a supported alias for the finger command.
Produces a briefer version of long format output. Suppresses display of header line (the first line that defines the displayed fields). Suppresses printing of .project files in long and brief long formats. Produces a quick listing with idle times. Forces long output format. Assumes user specified is an account name, not a given name or surname. Suppresses printing of .plan files in long and brief long formats. Produces a quick listing, including only login name, terminal name, and login time. Forces short output format. Forces narrow, short format listing.
To get information about user frankel at
$ finger frankel@host1
Login name: frankel In real life: Sam Frankel
Office: 3D08 ext5555 Home phone: 555-9982
Directory: /u/frankel Shell: /usr/bin/sh
Last login Thu Jun 28 10:37 on tty56 from venus.abc.org No plan. To get information about user chen at host1, when chen has both a .plan and a .project file in his home directory, enter: $ finger chen@host1 Login name: chen In real life: A. B. Chen
Office: 3D10 ext5322 Home phone: 210-9876
Directory: /u/chen Shell: /usr/bin/sh
On since May 16 11:06 on tty3 1 minute 2 seconds Idle Time
Project: aquatic entomology Plan: Complete Phase 1 research by end of second quarter. Produce draft report by end of year. To get information about all users logged in to the host host1, enter: $ finger @host1
Contains user and accounting information. Contains user information. Contains last login times. Contains a user's plan. (Optional file) Contains one-line description of a user's project assignment. (Optional file)
Commands: fingerd(8), hostname(1), inetd(8), rwho(1), users(1). delim off