re: Differences between `whoami`, `who` and `w` - Linux Tips VIEW POST

re: Gonna throw finger into the mix?

oh, I never used finger before, thank you Ben for sharing this.

Seems it doesn't come with the default shell commands set, need to do apt install finger, and the output seems similar to w? Can you share more of the benefits using it compare to w if you don't mind?


It used to be used all the time, but it's fallen out of favour. It's insecure, it was a plain-text client-server system so you could say finger ben@scramble.moopet.net or even just finger @scramble and it would interrogate the finger daemon on that host. If you set a file in your home directory called .plan it would display as part of the finger output:

$ finger teasmade@scramble.
Login: teasmade                 Name: Teasmade
Directory: /home/teasmade               Shell: /bin/bash
Last login Mon Feb 15 10:53 2016 (EST) on pts/0 from x.x.x.x
No mail.
Make tea

There's a good overview of it here: computerhope.com/unix/ufinger.htm

Benefits include being able to query remote hosts, and being able to control what people can see about you by editing files in your home.

There's also the last command, which will give a listing of who was logged in:

$ last

moopet   pts/0     Sun Aug  4 19:20 - 19:21  (00:01)
moopet   pts/0     Sun Aug  4 19:19 - 19:20  (00:00)
reboot   system boot  5.2.5-arch1-1-AR Sun Aug  4 18:49 - 13:32 (10+18:43)
moopet   pts/0     Sun Aug  4 17:40 - 17:40  (00:00)
moopet   pts/0     Sun Aug  4 17:39 - 17:39  (00:00)
root     tty1                          Sun Aug  4 17:32 - 17:42  (00:09)
reboot   system boot  5.2.5-arch1-1-AR Sun Aug  4 17:32 - 17:42  (00:09)

I see, "being able to query remote hosts" this would be useful in some cases, gonna read more on it, thank you Ben :D

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