FINGER(1) BSD Reference Manual FINGER(1)
finger - user information lookup program
finger [-lmsp] [user ...] [user@host ...]
The finger 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, office location and office
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 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.
-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, and the contents of the files
``.forward'', ``.plan'' and ``.project'' from the user's home di-
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''.
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.
-p Prevents the -l option of finger from displaying the contents of
the ``.forward'', ``.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.
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.
/var/log/lastlog last login data base
chpass(1), w(1), who(1),
The finger command appeared in 3.0BSD.
4th Berkeley Distribution May 5, 1994 2