finger, f - Displays user information
finger [-bfhilmpqsw] [user...]
The finger command displays information about the users in the passwd
Produces a briefer version of long format output. Suppresses display
of header line (the first line that defines the displayed fields).
Suppresses printing of 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. Sup‐
presses printing of 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 list‐
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 in the user's home directory; and the project on which the user is
working from the file 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
option is passed to the remote finger daemon. No other options 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.
If fingerd is not running, the command returns a "Connection refused"
error message. (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 direc‐
tory: A file that contains plans. The file can contain more than one
line. Set the protection on this file to 644. A file that states what
project you are currently working on. The file can contain only one
line. Set the protection on this file to 644.
Set the protection on your home directory to 755 in order for the world
to access it. Keep in mind that all other files in your home directory
will also be accessible.
The f command is a supported alias for the finger command.
To get information about user frankel at host1, enter: $ 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 and a 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 informa‐
tion about all users logged in to the host host1, enter: $ finger
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
Commands: fingerd(8), hostname(1), inetd(8), rwho(1), users(1)finger(1)