blog // ~snubspreker

this is just a test

Maybe you want to finger me

April 13, 2020 — ~snubspreker

It sounds filthy

There are much worse ways to spend your day than noodling around in linux fingering other users. It sounds way more fun than it is, but it can be very useful.

What the heck is finger anyway?

From the man page:

     finger — user information lookup program

     finger [-lmsp] [user ...] [user@host ...]

     The finger displays information about the system users.

man: finger

Basically, finger is a way of learning a little bit about your fellow users. Only the bits they are willing to share.

For instance, if you finger me:

finger snubspreker

You'll get:

Login: snubspreker              Name: 
Directory: /home/snubspreker            Shell: /bin/bash
On since Mon Apr 13 11:20 (EDT) on pts/98 from 2600:1702:1220:e450::2f
    5 seconds idle
On since Sun Apr 12 22:51 (EDT) on pts/220 from tmux(16145).%67
   30 minutes 35 seconds idle
On since Wed Apr  8 16:46 (EDT) on pts/236 from tmux(16145).%1
   4 days 2 hours idle
On since Wed Apr  8 16:46 (EDT) on pts/239 from tmux(16145).%3
   3 days 3 hours idle
On since Sat Apr 11 18:44 (EDT) on pts/251 from tmux(16145).%60
   2 hours 21 minutes idle
No mail.
Right now, just tinkering with and remembering the good old days.

Writing a little about chaos and butterflies. Maybe contributing a little too.

If you insist upon being rediculous, I'm gonna make it difficult for you.

But, if you finger another user, you might find that either Plan: or Project: maybe both are missing.

.project and .plan

If you want other users to know a little bit more than finger provides, you can populate these two files in your $HOME directory with that information. What you choose to include is up to you, but creating them is easy.

touch ~/.plan ~/.project
chmod o+rx ~/.plan ~/.project

Now anybody can finger you.

Remote fingering

You don't need to be logged in to your account to finger your favorite user, you don't even need an account. You can remotely finger a user from your own system. You just need a finger client and if you are a linux user, chances are good that you have one already. Unless you are an arch user. The reason is simple, with arch you may need it and you may not but that is for you to decide. If you decide you need it then you can install it. Very simply.

To install finger on arch (which is all I care about because that is what I use) use pacman.

pacman -Syu netkit-bsd-finger

man: pacman(8)

Your system may require you to sudo pacman but pacman will let you know if that is the case.

Now, from your laptop/desktop terminal window just type:


to finger me long distance. I am boring so you will not be entertained.

Well, I think that is all for now.

Better resources

There are much better resources than me for detailed information on finger.

HowtoGeek: How to Use the finger Command on Linux Indiana University: ARCHIVED: In Unix, how do I make plan and project files that will show up when people finger my account?