finger - user information lookup program
finger [-lmsp] [user ...] [user@host ...]
The finger displays information about the system users.
-s Finger displays the user’s login name, real name, terminal name and
write status (as a ‘‘*’’ after the terminal name if write
permission is denied), idle time, login time, office location and
office phone number.
Login time is displayed as month, day, hours and minutes, unless
more than six months ago, in which case the year is displayed
rather than the hours and minutes.
Unknown devices as well as nonexistent idle and login times are
displayed as single asterisks.
-l Produces a multi-line format displaying all of the information
described for the -s option as well as the user’s home directory,
home phone number, login shell, mail status, and the contents of
the files “.plan”, “.project”, “.pgpkey” and “.forward” from the
user’s home directory.
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 -l option; 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.
-p Prevents the -l option of finger from displaying the contents of
the “.plan”, “.project” and “.pgpkey” files.
-m Prevent matching of user names. User is usually a login name;
however, matching will also be done on the users’ real names,
unless the -m option is supplied. All name matching performed by
finger is case insensitive.
If no options are specified, finger 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
If no arguments are specified, finger will print an entry for each user
currently logged into the system.
Finger may be used to look up users on a remote machine. The format is
to specify a user as “user@host”, or “@host”, where the default output
format for the former is the -l style, and the default output format for
the latter is the -s style. The -l option is the only option that may be
passed to a remote machine.
If standard output is a socket, finger will emit a carriage return (^M)
before every linefeed (^J). This is for processing remote finger requests
when invoked by fingerd(8).
~/.nofinger If finger finds this file in a user’s home directory, it
will, for finger requests originating outside the local
host, firmly deny the existence of that user. For this
to work, the finger program, as started by fingerd(8),
must be able to see the .nofinger file. This generally
means that the home directory containing the file must
have the other-users-execute bit set (o+x). See
chmod(1). If you use this feature for privacy, please
test it with ‘‘finger @localhost’’ before relying on it,
just in case.
~/.pgpkey These files are printed as part of a long-format
request. The .plan file may be arbitrarily long.
chfn(1), passwd(1), w(1), who(1)
The finger command appeared in 3.0BSD.