How to Use the finger Command on Linux

A terminal window on an Ubuntu-style Linux desktop
Fatmawati Achmad Zaenuri/Shutterstock.com

Knowing who is using your Linux or Unix-like system is a fundamental part of managing it. Pointing at someone might be considered rude, but using your finger can still be enlightening.

The finger command almost certainly isn’t installed by default in your Linux distribution. It was absent on the Ubuntu, Fedora, and Manjaro distributions used to research this article.  We’ve already covered the pinky command, which is the lightweight version of finger. pinky is supplied by default, but if you want to use fingerYou, yed to install it.

The finger and pinky commands perform the same sort of task. They both tell you some information about the currently logged in users on your Linux or Unix-like operating system. The sets of information they each provide are slightly different and pinky has a few more options to progressively prune out the bits you might not want to see.

If you want to have your Linux setup up to be more “Unix-like” than “Linux-like,” you might want to use finger. Perhaps you have inherited some scripts that expect finger to be available.  But regardless of the reason if you are forced to—or just prefer to—use finger, here is how to install it and use it.

RELATED: How to Use the pinky Command on Linux

Installing finger

You can install finger on Ubuntu with this command:

sudo apt-get install finger

sudo apt-get install finger in a terminal window

To install finger on Fedora, use this command:

sudo dnf install finger

sudo dnf install finger in a terminal window

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