chfn -- change user name and information


chfn [-f full_name] [-h home_phone] [user]


chfn shall update the user database. An unprivileged user may only change the fields for their own account, a user with appropriate privileges may change the fields for any account.

The fields full_name and home_phone may contain any character except:

any control character
equal sign

If none of the options are selected, chfn operates in an interactive fashion. The prompts and expected input in interactive mode are unspecified and should not be relied upon.

As it is possible for the system to be configured to restrict which fields a non-privileged user is permitted to change, applications should be written to gracefully handle these situations.

Standard Options

-f full_name 

sets the user's full name.

-h home_phone 

sets the user's home phone number.

Future Directions

The following two options are expected to be added in a future version of the LSB:

-o office 

sets the user's office room number.

-p office_phone 

sets the user's office phone number.

Note that some implementations contain a "-o other" option which specifies an additional field called "other". Traditionally, this field is not subject to the constraints about legitimate characters in fields. Also, one traditionally shall have appropriate privileges to change the other field. At this point there is no consensus about whether it is desirable to specify the other field; applications may wish to avoid using it.

The "-w work_phone" field found in some implementations should be replaced by the "-p office_phone" field. The "-r room_number" field found in some implementations is the equivalent of the "-o office" option mentioned above; which one of these two options to specify will depend on implementation experience and the decision regarding the other field.