By default, the finger command displays in multi-column format the following information about each logged-in user:
user's full name
terminal name (prepended with a `* ' (asterisk) if write-permission is denied)
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 follows:
the user name and the user's full name
the user's home directory and login shell
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
last time the user received mail, and the last time the user read mail
the first line of the $HOME/.project file, if it exists
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 printout.
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 printed.
Forces short output format.
Suppresses printing the full name in a short format printout.
finger options file
time of last login
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
|ATTRIBUTE TYPE||ATTRIBUTE VALUE|
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.