Tag Archives: chfn


chfn(1) chfn(1)

chfn – change finger information

chfn [-D binddn] [-P path] [-f name] [-o office] [-p phone] [-h
home_phone] [-m other] [-r service] [-q] [-u] [-v] [user]

chfn is used to change the user finger information. This are the users
fullname, office room number, office phone number and home phone num-
ber. This information is stored in the /etc/passwd file and typically
printed by finger(1) and similiar programs. A normal user may only
change the fields for their own account, the super user may change the
fields for any account. Also, only the super user may use the -o option
to change the undefined portions of the GECOS field.

If no information is given on the command line, chfn operates in an
interactive fashion, prompting the user for each field. Enter the new
value to change the field, or leave the line blank to use the current
value. Enter none or a blank only to remove the current value. The cur-
rent value is displayed between a pair of [ ] marks.

The only restrictions placed on the contents of the fields is that no
control characters may be present, nor any of comma, colon, or equal
sign. The other field does not have this restriction, and is used to
store accounting information used by other applications.

This version of chfn is able to change the shell of local, NIS, NIS+
and LDAP accounts, if the permissions allow it.

-D, –binddn binddn
Use the Distinguished Name binddn to bind to the LDAP directory.
The user will be prompted for a password for simple authentica-

-P, –path path
The passwd and shadow files are located below the specified
directory path. chfn will use this files, not /etc/passwd and
/etc/shadow. This is useful for example on NIS master servers,
where you do not want to give all users in the NIS database
automatic access to your NIS server and the NIS map is build
from special files.

-f, –full-name
Specify your real name.

-o, –office
Specify your office room number.

-p, –phone
Specify your office phone number.

-h, –home-phone
Specify your home phone number.

-m, –other
Specify the undefined portions of the GECOS field.

-r, –service
Specify the service where the GECOS field should be changed.
Supported services are files, ldap, nis and nisplus.

-q, –quite
Don’t be verbose.

-u, –usage
Print a usage message and exit.

Print a more verbose help text and exit.

-v, –version
Print version information and exit.

SHADOW_CHFN – If this environment variable is set to 1, the chfn
options are compatible to the version from the shadow suite.

/etc/passwd – user account information

chsh(1), finger(1), passwd(5)

Thorsten Kukuk <kukuk@suse.de>

pwdutils February 2004 chfn(1)

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