FINGERD(8) BSD System Manager's Manual FINGERD(8)
fingerd -- remote user information server
fingerd [-8ghlmpSsu] [-P filename]
fingerd is a simple protocol based on RFC 1288 that provides an interface
to the Name and Finger programs at several network sites. The program is
supposed to return a friendly, human-oriented status report on either the
system at the moment or a particular person in depth. There is no
required format and the protocol consists mostly of specifying a single
fingerd is started by inetd(8), which listens for TCP requests at port
79. Once handed a connection, fingerd reads a single command line termi-
nated by a <CRLF> which it then passes to finger(1). fingerd closes its
connections as soon as the output is finished.
If the line is null (i.e., just a <CRLF> is sent) then finger(1) returns
a ``default'' report that lists all people logged into the system at that
If a user name is specified (e.g., eric<CRLF>) then the response lists
more extended information for only that particular user, whether logged
in or not. Allowable ``names'' in the command line include both ``login
names'' and ``user names''. If a name is ambiguous, all possible deriva-
tions are returned.
The following options may be passed to fingerd as server program argu-
ments in /etc/inetd.conf:
-8 Enable 8-bit output.
-g Do not show any gecos information besides the users' real
-h Display the name of the remote host in short mode, instead
of the office location and office phone.
-l Enable logging. The name of the host originating the
query, and the actual request is reported via syslog(3) at
LOG_NOTICE priority. A request of the form '/W' or '/w'
will return long output. Empty requests will return all
currently logged in users. All other requests look for
specific users. See RFC 1288 for details.
-m Prevent matching of user names. User is usually a login
name; however, matching will also be done on the users'
real names, unless the -m option is supplied.
-P filename Use an alternate program as the local information provider.
The default local program executed by fingerd is finger(1).
By specifying a customized local server, this option allows
a system manager to have more control over what information
is provided to remote sites.
-p Prevents finger(1) from displaying the contents of the
``.plan'' and ``.project'' files.
-S Prints user information in short mode, one line per user.
This overrides the ``Whois switch'' that may be passed in
from the remote client.
-s Disable forwarding of queries to other remote hosts.
-u Queries without a user name are rejected.
The fingerd command appeared in 4.3BSD.
Connecting directly to the server from a TIP or an equally narrow-minded
TELNET-protocol user program can result in meaningless attempts at option
negotiation being sent to the server, which will foul up the command line
interpretation. fingerd should be taught to filter out IAC's and perhaps
even respond negatively (IAC WON'T) to all option commands received.
BSD September 12, 2002 BSD