Section (1) chfn

Linux manual pages Section 1  


chfn — change your finger information


chfn [ −f full−name ] [ −o office ] [ −p office−phone ] [ −h home−phone ] [−u] [−v] [username]


chfn is used to change your finger information. This information is stored in the /etc/passwd file, and is displayed by the finger program. The Linux finger command will display four pieces of information that can be changed by chfn: your real name, your work room and phone, and your home phone.

Any of the four pieces of information can be specified on the command line. If no information is given on the command line, chfn enters interactive mode.

In interactive mode, chfn will prompt for each field. At a prompt, you can enter the new information, or just press return to leave the field unchanged. Enter the keyword none to make the field blank.

chfn supports non-local entries (kerberos, LDAP, etc.) if linked with libuser, otherwise use ypchfn, lchfn or any other implementation for non-local entries.


−f, −−full−name full−name

Specify your real name.

−o, −−office office

Specify your office room number.

−p, −−office−phone office−phone

Specify your office phone number.

−h, −−home−phone home−phone

Specify your home phone number.

−u, −−help

Display help text and exit.

−v, −−version

Display version information and exit.


chfn reads the /etc/login.defs(5) configuration file. Note that the configuration file could be distributed with another package (e.g. shadow-utils). The following configuration items are relevant for chfn(1):


Indicate which fields are changeable by chfn.

The boolean setting yes means that only the Office, Office Phone and Home Phone fields are changeable, and boolean setting no means that also the Full Name is changeable.

Another way to specify changeable fields is by abbreviations: f = Full Name, r = Office (room), w = Office (work) Phone, h = Home Phone. For example, CHFN_RESTRICT wh allows changing work and home phone numbers.

If CHFN_RESTRICT is undefined, then all finger information is read-only. This is the default.


Returns 0 if operation was successful, 1 if operation failed or command syntax was not valid.


chsh(1), finger(1), login.defs(5), passwd(5)


Salvatore Valente <[email protected]>


The chfn command is part of the util-linux package and is available from

 chfn.1 -- change your finger information
 (c) 1994 by salvatore valente <>

 This program is free software.  You can redistribute it and
 modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
 There is no warranty.