finger - user information lookup program
finger [ -lmsp ] [user [@host] ...]
The finger command has two basic output formats providing essentially the same informa-
The -s option of 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.
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 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 aster-
The -l option 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, and
the contents of the files ``.plan'' and ``.project'' 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''.
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.
The -p option prevents the -l option of finger from displaying the contents of the
``.plan'' and ``.project'' files.
Note that some fields may be missing, in either format, if information is not available
If no operands are specified, finger will print an entry for each user currently logged
into the system. If no options are specified, finger defaults to the -l style output if
operands are provided, otherwise to the -s style.
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
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.
chpass(1), w(1), who(1), getpwent(3)
4th Berkeley Distribution May 18, 1989 FINGER(1)