fingerd - remote user-information server


fingerd [-PSls]  [-p filename]


The fingerd daemon is a simple protocol based on RFC1288 that provides an interface to the name and finger(1) programs at several network sites. The program returns a user-friendly 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.

The fingerd daemon is started by inetd(1), which listens for transmission control protocol (TCP) requests at port 79. Once connected, it reads a single command line terminated by a <CRLF>, which is passed to finger. The fingerd daemon closes its connections as soon as the output is finished.

If the command line is null (that is, just a <CRLF> is sent), finger returns a default report that lists all people logged onto the system at that moment.

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


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

Prevent fingerd from displaying the contents of the .plan and .project files.
Print user information in short mode, one line per user. This overrides the whois switch that might be passed in from the remote client.
Enable logging. The name of the host originating the query is reported through syslog(3) at LOG_NOTICE priority.
Enable secure mode. Forwarding of queries to other remote hosts is denied.
-p filename
Use an alternate program as the local information provider. The default local program executed by fingerd is finger. By specifying a customized local server, this option allows a system manager to have more control over which information is provided to remote sites.


This daemon must be invoked from inetd(1); it cannot be started as a service directly.