chfn -- change user name and information


chfn [-f full_name] [-h home-phone] [user]


chfn changes user fullname and other information for a user's account. This information is typically printed by finger and similar programs. A normal user may only change the fields for their own account, the super user may change the fields for any account.

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.

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.




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 must 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.

The intention is for chfn to match the behavior of finger; some historical implementations have been broken in the sense that finger and chfn do not agree on what the fields are.