finger [user[node]]where user is the logon name of the user whose information is to be displayed, and node is that user's machine name.
With no arguments, finger displays all users presently logged on, who they are, and the time each of them logged on.
When information concerning a specific user is sought, the information displayed is more detailed: the logon name, and the real name are displayed , the home directory of the user is displayed, as well as the logon shell, and the last logon time.
user does not need to be logged on for finger to work.
prompt finger cantin
Login name: cantin In real life: Claude Cantin Office: 2025 Sx, 993-0822 Directory: /usr2/people/cantin Shell: /bin/tcsh On since Jul 22 08:49:29 on ttyq0 2 hours 59 minutes Idle Time On since Jul 22 08:49:34 on ttyq1 2 hours 33 minutes Idle Time On since Jul 22 10:11:35 on ttyq4 from dp1.phy.nrc.ca On since Jul 22 09:11:02 on ttyq2 1 hour 53 minutes Idle Time On since Jul 22 11:00:38 on ttyq5 from dp1.phy.nrc.ca 48 seconds Idle Time Plan: Progresser, progresser, progresser...
In the above example, cantin is presently logged on. His real name is Claude Cantin. His home directory is /usr2/people/cantin. He is logged on to his account five times, two of which are from a remote location (dp1.phy.nrc.ca)
Furthermore, he has a file named .plan in his home directory, whose content is
Progresser, progresser, progresser...
If he did not have the .plan file, the string
No Plan.would have been displayed instead.
In the next example, Ratilal Haria, on node nrcnet0, last logged on Friday December 8th, at 10:52, from the node whose I.P. (Internet Protocol) address is 184.108.40.206. That node was using a windowing interface (we know this because it was logged on to ttyp0 on that machine - not the console).
prompt finger ratilalnrcnet0
[nrcnet0.nrc.ca] Login name: ratilal In real life: Ratilal Haria Directory: /home/nrcnet0/ratilal Shell: /bin/csh Last login Fri Dec 8 10:52 on ttyp0 from 220.127.116.11 No Plan.
It should also be pointed out that some systems may not allow local users to be fingered by remote systems. In that that case, and error message would be displayed:
prompt finger email@example.com
finger: cansnd.cisti.nrc.ca: connection refused