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FINGER(1) OpenBSD Reference Manual FINGER(1)
finger - user information lookup program
finger [-lmMspho] [user ...] [user@host ...]
The finger utility displays information about the system users.
-s finger displays the user's login name, real name, terminal name and
write status (as a ``*'' before the terminal name if write permis-
sion is denied), idle time, login time, and either office location
and office phone number, or the remote host. If -h is given, the
remote host is printed. If -o is given, the office location and
phone number is printed instead (the default).
Idle time is in minutes if it is a single integer, hours and min-
utes if a ``:'' is present, or days if a ``d'' is present. Login
time is displayed as the dayname if less than six 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.
-h When used in conjunction with the -s option, the name of the remote
host is displayed instead of the office location and office phone.
-o When used in conjunction with the -s option, the office location
and office phone information is displayed instead of the name of
the remote host.
-l Produces a multi-line format displaying all of the information de-
scribed 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'' and ``.project'' from the user's home directo-
If idle time is at least a minute and less than a day, it is pre-
sented 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''. 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 en-
try 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 re-
ceived ...'', `` Unread since ...'' if they have new mail.
-p Prevents the -l option of finger from displaying the contents of
the ``.plan'' and ``.project'' files.
-m Prevent matching of user names. User is usually a login name; how-
ever, 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.
-M Enable matching of user names. This is disabled by default on sys-
tems running YP.
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 out-
put 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), fingerd(8)
The finger command appeared in 3.0BSD.
OpenBSD 2.6 July 27, 1991 2
Source: OpenBSD 2.6 man pages. Copyright: Portions are copyrighted by BERKELEY
SOFTWARE DESIGN, INC., The Regents of the University of California, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Free Software Foundation, FreeBSD Inc., and others.
(Corrections, notes, and links courtesy of RocketAware.com)
FreeBSD Sources for finger(1)
OpenBSD sources for finger(1)
Up to: Remote System Information - Obtaining (or providing) system information like status, who is logged in, the local time, et al. Command - FAQs
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