Manual browser: fingerd(8)

FINGERD(8) System Manager's Manual FINGERD(8)


fingerdremote user information server


fingerd [-8ghlmpSsu] [-P filename]


fingerd is a simple protocol based on RFC 1288 that provides an interface to the Name and Finger programs at several network sites. The program is supposed to return a friendly, human-oriented status report on either the system at the moment or a particular person in depth. There is no required format and the protocol consists mostly of specifying a single “command line”.

fingerd is started by inetd(8), which listens for TCP requests at port 79. Once handed a connection, fingerd reads a single command line terminated by a <CRLF> which it then passes to finger(1). fingerd closes its connections as soon as the output is finished.

If the line is null (i.e., just a <CRLF> is sent) then finger(1) returns a “default” report that lists all people logged into the system at that moment.

If a user name is specified (e.g., eric<CRLF>) then the response lists more extended information for only that particular user, whether logged in or not. Allowable “names” in the command line include both “login names” and “user names”. If a name is ambiguous, all possible derivations are returned.

The following options may be passed to fingerd as server program arguments in /etc/inetd.conf:

Enable 8-bit output.
Do not show any gecos information besides the users' real names.
Display the name of the remote host in short mode, instead of the office location and office phone.
Enable logging. The name of the host originating the query, and the actual request is reported via syslog(3) at LOG_NOTICE priority. A request of the form ‘/W’ or ‘/w’ will return long output. Empty requests will return all currently logged in users. All other requests look for specific users. See RFC 1288 for details.
Prevent matching of user names. User is usually a login name; however, matching will also be done on the users' real names, unless the -m option is supplied.
-P filename
Use an alternate program as the local information provider. The default local program executed by fingerd is finger(1). By specifying a customized local server, this option allows a system manager to have more control over what information is provided to remote sites.
Prevents finger(1) from displaying the contents of the “.plan” and “.project” files.
Prints user information in short mode, one line per user. This overrides the “Whois switch” that may be passed in from the remote client.
Disable forwarding of queries to other remote hosts.
Queries without a user name are rejected.


finger(1), inetd(8)


The fingerd command appeared in 4.3BSD.


Connecting directly to the server from a TIP or an equally narrow-minded TELNET-protocol user program can result in meaningless attempts at option negotiation being sent to the server, which will foul up the command line interpretation. fingerd should be taught to filter out IAC's and perhaps even respond negatively (IAC WON'T) to all option commands received.
September 12, 2002 NetBSD 7.0