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System User's Guide: Communications and Networks

Communications System Commands

This section describes different commands available for displaying information that identifies users on your system, the system you are using, and users logged in on other systems.

Displaying Your Login Name

The command whoami helps you determine your login name.

whoami Displays the login name being used, similar to the following:


In this example, the login name is denise.

Displaying Your System Name

The command uname helps you determine your system's name.

uname -n The uname command used with the -n flag displays the name of your system if you are on a network. Information similar to the following is displayed:


In this example, the system name is barnard.

To find the node name of another system, you must request that a user on that system enter the uname -n command.

Determining Whether Your System Has Access

To access another system on the network, your local system must have access to information that defines the other system. To determine if your local system has this information, enter the host command with the name of the other system, as in the following example.

host zeus Determines if your system has routing information for system zeus.

If your system responds with a message similar to:

zeus is  (300,11,310,4)

your system has the proper information and you can send a message to system zeus. The address is used by the system to route the mail.

If your system does not have information about the requested system, it responds with the following message:

zeus: unknown host

If you receive an unknown host message, the requested system name:

  • Is not be correct (check the spelling in the address).
  • Is on your network, but not defined to your system (contact the person responsible for setting up your network).
  • Is on another network (To Address Mail to Users on a Different Network) and requires more detailed addressing.
  • Is not connected to your network.

You can also receive the unknown host message if your network is not operating and your local system depends on a remote system to supply network addresses.

Displaying Information about Logged-In Users

The command finger or f displays information about the current users on a specified host. This information can include the user's login name, full name, and terminal name, as well as the date and time of login.

finger @alcatraz Displays the following information about all users logged in to host alcatraz:

brown   Console Mar 15 13:19
smith   pts0    Mar 15 13:01
jones   tty0    Mar 15 13:01

User brown is logged in at the console, user smith is logged in from a pseudo teletype line pts0, and user jones is logged in from a tty0.

finger brown or brown@alcatraz Displays the following information about the user brown:

Login name: brown        
In real life: Marta Brown
Directory:/home/brown    Shell: /bin/ksh
On since May 8 07:13:49 on console
No Plan.

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