FINGER(1) User Commands FINGER(1)


finger - display information about local and remote users


finger [-bfhilmpqsw] [username]...

finger [-l]
[username@hostname 1 [@hostname 2 .. .@hostname n]...]

finger [-l] [@hostname 1 [@hostname 2 .. .@hostname n]...]


By default, the finger command displays in multi-column format the
following information about each logged-in user:

o user name

o user's full name

o terminal name (prepended with a `*' (asterisk) if write-
permission is denied)

o idle time

o login time

o host name, if logged in remotely

Idle time is in minutes if it is a single integer, in hours and minutes
if a `:' (colon) is present, or in days and hours if a `d' is present.

When one or more username arguments are given, more detailed information
is given for each username specified, whether they are logged in or not.
username must be that of a local user, and may be a first or last name,
or an account name. Information is presented in multi-line format as

o the user name and the user's full name

o the user's home directory and login shell

o time the user logged in if currently logged in, or the time
the user last logged in; and the terminal or host from which
the user logged in

o last time the user received mail, and the last time the user
read mail

o the first line of the $HOME/.project file, if it exists

o the contents of the $HOME/.plan file, if it exists

Note: when the comment (GECOS) field in /etc/passwd includes a comma,
finger does not display the information following the comma.

If the arguments username@hostname1[@hostname2...@hostnamen] or
@hostname1[@hostname2...@hostnamen] are used, the request is sent first
to hostnamen and forwarded through each hostnamen-1 to hostname1. The
program uses the finger user information protocol (see RFC 1288) to query
that remote host for information about the named user (if username is
specified), or about each logged-in user. The information displayed is
server dependent.

As required by RFC 1288, finger passes only printable, 7-bit ASCII data.
This behavior may be modified by a system administrator by using the PASS
option in /etc/default/finger. Specifying PASS=low allows all characters
less than decimal 32 ASCII. Specifying PASS=high allows all characters
greater than decimal 126 ASCII. PASS=low,high or PASS=high,low allows
both characters less than 32 and greater than 126 to pass through.


The following options are supported, except that the username@hostname
form supports only the -l option:

Suppresses printing the user's home directory and shell in a long
format printout.

Suppresses printing the header that is normally printed in a non-
long format printout.

Suppresses printing of the .project file in a long format

Forces "idle" output format, which is similar to short format
except that only the login name, terminal, login time, and idle
time are printed.

Forces long output format.

Matches arguments only on user name (not first or last name).

Suppresses printing of the .plan file in a long format printout.

Forces quick output format, which is similar to short format
except that only the login name, terminal, and login time are

Forces short output format.

Suppresses printing the full name in a short format printout.


user's plan

user's projects

finger options file

password file

time of last login



passwd(1), who(1), whois(1), passwd(5), attributes(7)

Zimmerman, D., The Finger User Information Protocol, RFC 1288, Center for
Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS), Rutgers
University, December 1991.


The finger user information protocol limits the options that may be used
with the remote form of this command.

November 6, 2000 FINGER(1)