chfn man page

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.

Config File Items

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.

Exit Status

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

See Also

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


Salvatore Valente <>


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

Referenced By

finger(1), groupadd(8), groupdel(8), groupmems(8), groupmod(8), passwd(5), sk(3), useradd(8), userdel(8), userhelper(8), userinfo(1), usermod(8), yppasswd(1).

November 2015 util-linux User Commands