How to use the finger command on linux

Finger command is a user information lookup command which gives details of all the users logged in. This tool is generally used by system administrators. It provides details like login name, user name, idle time, login time, and in some cases their email address even. This tool is similar to the Pinky tool but the Pinky tool is just the lightweight version of this tool.

Installing finger User Information Lookup Tool

To install finger tool use the following commands as per your Linux distribution.

In case of Debian/Ubuntu

In case of CentOS/RedHat

In case of Fedora OS

Working with finger User Information Lookup Tool

1. To finger or get details of a user.

Note: Here “manav” is the username.

How to use the finger command on linux

As can be seen, it displays the login name, name, directory, shell, login time, email, and plan of the user.

2. To get idle status and login details of a user.

As can be seen, it displays the idle status along with the details of the user.

3. To avoid printing PGP key, plan and project details

As can be seen, it displays the login name, name, directory, shell, login time, email, but not the plan, PGP key, and project of the user.

4. To create a plan for a user.

How to use the finger command on linux

Now, after again using finger command it will display a plan for the user.

5. To create a project for a user.

How to use the finger command on linux

Now, after again using finger command it will display a project for the user.

6. To create a PGP key for a user.

How to use the finger command on linux

Now, after again using finger command it will display a PGP key for the user.

How to use the finger command on linux

Finger command is used in Linux and Unix-like system to check the information of any currently logged in users from the terminal. It is a command-line utility that can provide users login time, tty (name), idle time, home directory, shell name, etc.

Finger package is not installed by default in most Linux and Ubuntu, other Debian flavored systems. In this tutorial, we will check how to install and use finger command in Linux.

Finger Command Syntax

The following command shows the syntax of finger command:

Install finger

You can use the following command to install finger command in Linux distributions.

On Ubuntu and Debian systems:

On Fedora systems:

On Redhat and CentOS systems you can install using yum command or download package.

1) Finger command with option -s

With -s option finger command will print the user’s login name, real name, terminal name and write status ( the asterisk before terminal name mean that you don’t have write permission with that device ), idle time, login time, office location and office phone number.

The login time is displayed with MM DD HH:mm format. If the time exceeds six months, the year is displayed rather than the hours and minutes.

How to use the finger command on linux

2) Finger command with option -l

Finger command with -l option displays all of the information described for the -s option as well as the user’s home directory, home phone number, login shell, mail status, etc.

How to use the finger command on linux

The phrase “(messages off)” means that user ‘harry’ doesn’t have write permission to ‘root’ on the devices pts/4 and pts/7. If a user is logged on multiple times, terminal information is repeated once per login.

Also returns ‘.plan’, ‘.project’ and ‘.pgpkey’ files if any. In the above screenshot the user ‘harry’ has ‘no plan’.

3) Finger command with option -p

The option -p is completely same with option -l , except it doesn’t include ‘.plan’, ‘.project’ and ‘.pgpkey’ files of users in returned result.

How to use the finger command on linux

4) Finger command with option -m

With -m option finger command will prevent matching of user names in the returned result. All name matching performed by finger is case insensitive.

For example, our system has two users named ‘harry’ and ‘harry1’. Without option -m , finger command will return information of both users and only return information of user ‘harry’ if there -m follow.

How to use the finger command on linux

Without -m option

How to use the finger command on linux

If no options are specified, finger defaults to the -l style output if operands are provided, otherwise to the -s style.

If no arguments are specified, finger will print an entry for each user currently logged into the system.

How to use the finger command on linux

Conclusion

In this tutorial, we learned how to use finger command to print user information. I hope you enjoyed reading and please leave your suggestion in the below comment section.

In Unix, finger is a program you can use to find information about computer users. It usually lists the login name, the full name, and possibly other details about the user you are fingering. These details may include the office location and phone number (if known), login time, idle time, time mail was last read, and the user’s plan and project files. The information listed varies, and you may not be able to get any information from some sites.

In some cases, you may be able to use the finger command to verify an address or find more information for someone at another institution about whom you already have some information. The finger command is available on most Unix systems. It differs from the whois command, which you can use simply to find the email address of someone at another institution.

To use finger , at your Unix prompt, enter:

Replace node.domain with the appropriate machine and domain address, and username with the name of the person or the person’s username, for example:

You will get output similar to the following:

This is only one of many formats the output may take; for instance, you may see something more like one of the following:

If you are trying to get information from a site that does not allow remote fingering (that is, if you must be logged into that site in order to finger users on that system), you will get results similar to this:

Some sites use a period ( . ) instead of an underscore ( _ ) in the full name (for example, Darth.Vader), or require an extra period to specify middle initials (Darth.E.Vader).

For more information about finger and whois , at your Unix prompt, enter one of the following:

Note: At Indiana University, the finger command may be available on some individual systems, but you can’t finger someone at the indiana.edu domain. To find IU email addresses, use the IU Address Book.

At Indiana University, for personal or departmental Linux or Unix systems support, see Get help for Linux or Unix at IU.

This is document aasp in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 08:52:18 .

How to use the finger command on linux

On Unix-like operating systems, the finger command looks up and displays information about system users.

  • Syntax
  • Examples
  • Related commands
  • Linux commands help

Syntax

Options

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.

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.

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 prints an entry for each user currently logged in to the system.

Finger may be used to look up users on a remote machine. The format is to specify a user as “[email protected]“, 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 passed to a remote machine.

If standard output is a socket, finger will emit a carriage return (^M) before every linefeed (^J). This format is for processing remote finger requests when invoked by fingerd, the finger daemon.

Files

Examples

Display information about the user ch. Output appears similar to the following:

Related commands

ac — Print statistics about the amount of time users were connected.
passwd — Change a user’s password.
who — Report which users are logged in to the system.
whois — An Internet username directory service.