FINGER(1) BSD General Commands Manual FINGER(1)
finger -- user information lookup program
finger [-46gklmpsho] [user ...] [user@host ...]
The finger utility displays information about the system users.
-4 Forces finger to use IPv4 addresses only.
-6 Forces finger to use IPv6 addresses only.
-g This option restricts the gecos output to only the users' real name. It also has the side-effect of restricting the output of the
remote host when used in conjunction with the -h option.
-h When used in conjunction with the -s option, the name of the remote host is displayed instead of the office location and office
-k Disable all use of utmpx(5).
-l Produce 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 .forward, .plan, .project and .pubkey from the user's home
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 pre-
sented 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''. Numbers specified as four dig-
its 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
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.
-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.
-o When used in conjunction with the -s option, the office location and office phone information is displayed instead of the name of the
-p Prevent the -l option of finger from displaying the contents of the .forward, .plan, .project and .pubkey files.
-s Display the user's login name, real name, terminal name and write status (as a ``*'' before the terminal name if write permission is
denied), idle time, login time, and either office location and office phone number, or the remote host. If -o is given, the office
location and office phone number is printed (the default). If -h is given, the remote host is printed instead.
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. If it is
an ``*'', the login time indicates the time of last login. Login time is displayed as the day name if less than 6 days, else 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.
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 them.
If no arguments are specified, finger will print an entry for each user currently logged into the system.
The finger utility 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 the file .nofinger exists in the user's home directory, and the program is not run with superuser privileges, finger behaves as if the
user in question does not exist.
The optional finger.conf(5) configuration file can be used to specify aliases. Since finger is invoked by fingerd(8), aliases will work for
both local and network queries.
The finger utility utilizes the following environment variable, if it exists:
FINGER This variable may be set with favored options to finger.
/etc/finger.conf alias definition data base
/var/log/lastlog last login data base
chpass(1), w(1), who(1), finger.conf(5), fingerd(8)
D. Zimmerman, The Finger User Information Protocol, RFC 1288, December, 1991.
The finger command appeared in 3.0BSD.
The current FINGER protocol RFC requires that the client keep the connection fully open until the server closes. This prevents the use of
the optimal three-packet T/TCP exchange. (Servers which depend on this requirement are bogus but have nonetheless been observed in the
Internet at large.)
The finger utility does not recognize multibyte characters.
July 17, 2004 BSD