Finger Daemon on Ubuntu

Since I set up my Ubuntu servers and desktops at home I have wanted to be able to remotely finger the different computers on my network. By default, a remote finger request will look like this:

[email protected]:~$ finger @athos
finger: connect: Connection refused

The solution is to install the required packages:

apt-get install inetutils-inetd fingerd

Then start the Internet super server:

/etc/init.d/inetutils-inetd start

According to the package details: “Inetd is the daemon that listens on various TCP and UDP ports and spawns programs that can’t or won’t do it for themselves.”

Now a remote finger request will look like:

[email protected]:~$ finger @athos
Login     Name           Tty      Idle  Login Time   Office     Office Phone
zac       Zachary Lund   pts/2          May  4 20:12 (dakara.lund)

The contents of the file /etc/inetd.conf show what is necessary for finger:

finger		stream	tcp	nowait	nobody	/usr/sbin/tcpd	/usr/sbin/in.fingerd

It simply takes an incoming finger request and spawns the appropriate process.