The Finger Daemon Project

General Information

I am maintaining an enhanced version of a custom fingerd originally written by Mike Shanzer. This release started as a security enhancement to Mike's original, but has grown to be a more complete and modern implementation with command-line options mostly compatible with those of the native daemon included in NetBSD, as well as supporting additional unique features.


fingerd implements the server side Remote User Information Program (RUIP) of the the FINGER (or NAME) protocol, specified in RFC-1288. The FINGER protocol provides a remote interface to programs which display information on system status and individual system users. The protocol imposes little structure on the format of the exchange between client and server. The client provides a single command line to the fingerd server which then normally returns a friendly human-oriented status report listing the users of the system at the moment, or an in-depth report of information about a particular user.

This version of fingerd is indended to be run from inetd, which is normally configured to start it when connections arrive on TCP port #79. Each client connection is handed to a freshly created fingerd process which reads a single ASCII carriage-return and linefeed terminated command line from the client.

fingerd uses an access control file to see if user listings from the originating host (and optionally the originating user) are permitted, and what permissions are granted to the client host (and user). If user listings are allowed, and if the request sepcifies a user-name then fingerd checks to see if that user-name is listed in a ``users'' file. If the requested user-name is listed in the ``users'' file, the program specified for that user-name is run. Otherwise the finger program is run with the appropriate options. Output from whichever program is run is passed back to the client.


So, just what does this fingerd have to offer? Here's a list of some of the most interesting features taken from the README file in the latest release:

Release Information

As of the last time this web page was updated the current release was: 1.4.

You can read about the history of user-visible changes up to the current release in the online copy of the NEWS file.

The most recent release is always available as .


You can read the fingerd manual page online. Reference

My version of fingerd is listed on at

Future Plans

You can read about any ideas I've recorded for possible future implementation in the online copy of the ToDo file.

You might also find new entries in the current version of the NEWS file from my working directory.


The original version of fingerd upon which this version is based was available until recently from

As Mike said in the last copy of I was able to find: ``I have not touched this code in like 4 years [[note he means since 1995, so now almost 5 years as of the 1.4 release of this version]]. It should still all work, but it is not currently in active development.''

For further information about the Fingerd project in particular, or to comment on this particular web page, please contact me at this address:

Last updated on 06/03/29 at 00:58:30 (version 1.3).
Copyright 2001 - Greg A. Woods. All rights Reserved
Last modified: