Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Both commands look like have same purpose but their output is different. what is the difference?

share|improve this question

migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 23 '10 at 12:20

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

add comment

4 Answers 4

$ man finger

NAME
  finger — user information lookup program

$ man who

NAME
   who - show who is logged on
share|improve this answer
1  
Always check the man pages. –  Ivan Petrushev Apr 23 '10 at 13:28
add comment

who tells you very basic information about what users are logged on. finger tells you personal information about a user, possibly including real name, office location, and office phone number. Obviously finger is less used now, for various reasons including privacy.

Note that finger has a long-form option, -l, that provides additional information.

share|improve this answer
add comment
  1. finger, when pointed at a specific user, can display detailed information (shell, homedir, last login time, mailbox status, ~/.plan)

  2. finger can also be used over the network: finger @athena.dialup.mit.edu

  3. Because of #2, finger is also sometimes used for simplistic database queries: finger john@db.debian.org, finger help_general@mit.edu, finger @bathroom.mit.edu

share|improve this answer
add comment

Finger was a way to get information about a user from another system. You could do a finger gandalf@example.com and see my full name, phone number, where I connect from, and a short message from me.

Who is used when you are on a machine to see who else is on the machine.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.