SUMMARY: finger inconsistancy

From: Dave Haut (
Date: Mon Aug 14 1995 - 23:43:39 CDT


A few days ago, I asked :


I have a funny inconsistancy with the finger command on a machine
running SunOS 4.1.3_U1.

I have about 5 users that have logins that begin with john (Ex. john, johns,
johnb, etc ... ) and I have users that have logins that begin with tony ( tony,
tonyg )

If I finger john, I get all of the information about ALL users that begin
with john as expected. However, if I finger tony, I only get information about
tony and not tonyg !! If I finger tonyg, then I get info on tonyg only as

I did a trace on the finger command. Finger reads /etc/utmp to see if they are
currently logged in, /etc/passwd for user info, and /var/adm/lastlog to see
when was the last time that the user logged in.

All of these users have NEVER logged into the machine that I did the finger
command on, but they ALL have entries in the /etc/passwd file on this

Any Clues why I don't get information on all of the "tony's" like I do with all
of the "john's".

Thanks !!

Most of the people that responded said that the finger command checks both
the login and GECOS entries in the /etc/passwd file and to make sure that
the word Tony was in the GECOS field for both users. Tony WAS in the GECOS
field for both users, so that was not the problem ...

I decided to play with this a little and I found that the problem was caused
by some sort of error in the first tony's entry in the /etc/passwd file. When I
recreated that person's passwd entry, the problem went away !!

Thanks to the following:

  _ /| Dave Haut
  \,o.O' Sys Admin
  =(___)= EXAR Corporation
             (408) 434-6400 x3462

/etc/passwd file and make sure that

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