There are several "personalization" fields in the /etc/passwd file and files that can be placed in your user directory to let others know what you're up to or how to contact you via the finger program.
The finger command displays information from several fields of a user's /etc/passwd entry, including:
- home directory
- login shell
work phone number
home phone number
The fields in bold can be modified by the user using the chfn command.
Dot files in the user's directory
It also displays information from a few dot files in the user's home directory,
.plan: A multi-line file often used for more than just your current "plan for the day." ASCII art and even animations have entered the plan file, see the jargon entry.
- .project: Generally a one-line file describing your current project. On Debian 3.1, finger 0.17-7 appears to display the contents of multi-line .project files.
- .forward: Where the user's mail is going.
- .pgpkey: The user's public pgp or gpg key block.
These fields and files are as indicated by the finger program commands. If you are querying remote finger daemons or using a different source for finger the exact files and fields may be different due to privacy concerns.
One interesting finger source for a DebianUser and a DebianDeveloper is the finger response from db.debian.org. This command is mentioned on the DebianKeyring page. The finger daemon appears to be using the DebianDeveloper LDAP back-end and allows querying of specific LDAP attributes for a given DebianDeveloper user name. For a list of attributes try finger -l @db.debian.org.