Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online

4.33. How can I find out about users on an Internet system?

By fingering them. finger is a program that returns information about a registered user on a computer. Typing finger alone will show the users logged into the system you are using. finger may show you who's currently using some other computer on the Internet. Certain computers have variations on finger support, where finger ron will show information on ron at your site, and finger will show you all the rons with accounts on a certain computer at MIT.

Note that some finger programs don't take arguments, some will accept only a userid (the exact login name of a user,), and still others will search using a first or last name. If your system has manual pages installed, type man finger for more information. If your system has Internet access but not finger, there are several freely distributable versions, including GNU finger and BSD finger.

Here's an example:

bolero[3] finger
Users who have `ron' in their names:

Aaron Putnam (putnam)
Home: /home/fsg/putnam
Shell: /usr/local/bin/cracked
No mail.
Aaron Putnam (putnam) is not presently logged in.
Last seen at on Sun Apr  5 14:03:27 1992

No plan.

Carol Botteron (botteron)
Home: /home/gp/botteron
Shell: /bin/csh
New mail since Tue Feb 22 00:30:55 1994
Has not read mail for 13:52:00.
Carol Botteron (botteron) is not presently logged in.
Last seen at on Mon Feb 21 13:15:05 1994

No plan.

Ronnie Gay Strong (strongr)
Home: /home/fsg/strongr
Shell: /usr/local/gnubin/bash
No mail.
Ronnie Gay Strong (strongr) is not presently logged in.
Last seen at on Tue Feb 23 10:22:49 1993

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