In Unix, what is the finger command?
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
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
finger, at your Unix prompt, enter:
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:
[mentor.cc.purdue.edu] Login name: dvader In real life: Darth Vader Directory: /home/mentor/d/dvader Shell: /bin/csh Last login Tue Jul 17 15:21 on ttyQ7 from expert.cc.purdue.edu Unread mail since Wed Jul 18 13:00:54 2001
This is only one of many formats the output may take; for instance, you may see something more like one of the following:
finger firstname.lastname@example.org Luke Skywalker (skywalke) is not presently logged in. Last seen at moe on Mon Jul 23 05:13:06 2001 from larry.cc.emory.edu Mail forwarded to email@example.com. Project: Save the galaxy! Plan: *Star-hopping Friday night with Han *Appointment with Yoda Monday at 3:15pm
finger firstname.lastname@example.org [tiger.depauw.edu] Login name: HSOLO In real life: HAN SOLO Is not logged in. No Plan.
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:
finger email@example.com [law.weblaw.com] connect: Connection refused
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
at your Unix prompt, enter one of the following:
man finger man whois
Note: At Indiana University, the
command may be available on some individual systems, but you can't
finger someone at the
To find IU email addresses, use the IU
At Indiana University, for personal or departmental Linux or Unix systems support, see At IU, how do I get support for Linux or Unix?
This is document aasp in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2010-06-29.
- Fill out this form to submit your issue to the UITS Support Center.
- Please note that you must be affiliated with Indiana University to receive support.
- All fields are required.