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FINGER(1)                   NetBSD Reference Manual                  FINGER(1)

     finger - user information lookup program

     finger [-8ghlmops] [user ...] [user@host ...]

     The finger displays information about the system users.

     Options are:

     -8    Pass through 8-bit data.  This option is intended for enabling
           8-bit data output in the fingerd(8) service.  Using this from the
           command line is dangerous, as the output data may include control
           characters for your terminal.

     -g    This option restricts the gecos output to only the users' real

     -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.

     -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 ``.forward'', ``.plan'' and ``.project'' from the user's
           home directory.

           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
           received ...'', ``Unread since ...'' if they have new mail.

     -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.

     -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.

     -p    Prevents the -l option of finger from displaying the contents of
           the ``.forward'', ``.plan'' and ``.project'' files.

     -s    finger displays the user's login name, real name, terminal name and
           write status (as a ``*'' after 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 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.

     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.

NetBSD 1.6                    September 12, 2002                             2

©1994 Man-cgi 1.15, Panagiotis Christias <>
©1996-2001 Modified for NetBSD by Kimmo Suominen <>