The UNIX finger service can be used to provide a form of user directory service. After you have installed the finger service, remote users will have the ability to query user profiles on your Virtual Private Server. User profiles include information such as full name, login name, home directory, as well as the contents of the .plan, .project, or .forward files. The .plan,.project, and .forward files must be located in each of your users home directories (if they exist).


To install the finger service, simply connect to your Virtual Private Server via Telnet or SSH and type the following command.

% vinstall finger

Using a Finger Client

In order for remote users to query the finger service on your Virtual Private Server, they will need to use a finger client. A finger client is included with the standard distribution of most UNIX operating systems. Finger clients for the Macintosh and Microsoft Windows operating systems are available by searching the major shareware archives.

You can also write a simple CGI script to interface with a finger client. This would allow any remote user that has access to a web browser to perform finger queries. Our provider has written such a Finger CGI script. A form to access this CGI is included below.

To use the script, type in a username in the first text field, and a remote host in the second. For example, to finger the user, type happy in the first text field, and in the second text field, then select the Lookup button (this sample form is non-functional).


Please note: the information on this page applies to ITS web hosting plans. It may or may not apply to other environments. If you are looking for a feature described here, or better support from your hosting provider, please consider hosting your site with ITS!

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