chfn - change real user name and information
chfn [-f full_name] [-r room_no] [-w work_ph] [-h home_ph] [-o other]
The chfn command changes user fullname, office number, office
extension, and home phone number information for a users account. This
information is typically printed by finger(1) and similar programs. A
normal user may only change the fields for her own account, subject to
the restrictions in /etc/login.defs. (The default configuration is to
prevent users from changing their fullname.) The superuser may change
any field for any account. Additionally, only the superuser may use the
-o option to change the undefined portions of the GECOS field.
These fields must not contain any colons. Except for the other field,
they should not contain any comma or equal sign. It is also recommended
to avoid non-US-ASCII characters, but this is only enforced for the
phone numbers. The other field is used to store accounting information
used by other applications.
If none of the options are selected, chfn operates in an interactive
fashion, prompting the user with the current values for all of the
fields. Enter the new value to change the field, or leave the line
blank to use the current value. The current value is displayed between
a pair of [ ] marks. Without options, chfn prompts for the current user
The following configuration variables in /etc/login.defs change the
behavior of this tool:
This parameter specifies which values in the gecos field of the
/etc/passwd file may be changed by regular users using the chfn
program. It can be any combination of letters f, r, w, h, for Full
name, Room number, Work phone, and Home phone, respectively. For
backward compatibility, yes is equivalent to rwh and no is
equivalent to frwh. If not specified, only the superuser can make
any changes. The most restrictive setting is better achieved by not
installing chfn SUID.
Shadow password suite configuration.
User account information.
chsh(1), login.defs(5), passwd(5).