9

Sometimes, I use finger - and I can't help but notice that when I specify a user: finger admin -

The last thing the output says is:

No Plan.

What does that mean? Where can I find out more about this - ?

  • 4
    You could think of it as something meant to convey a short message. The message comes from ~/.plan and No Plan. is the default in absence of that. – devnull Apr 2 '14 at 15:24
  • @devnull i think that counts as an answer. I suggest you post it. – Faheem Mitha Apr 2 '14 at 15:26
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    "Where can I find out more about this - ?" man finger. – Mat Apr 2 '14 at 15:29
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    Oh, I thought it wouldn't be directly associated with finger, but rather, something that a different utility would control. I mean, finger also says "Mail last checked" - but I wouldn't look at the man page for finger expecting to find out more about mail ~ – rm-vanda Apr 2 '14 at 15:37
  • 1
    You could also google for "finger plan" and find something interesting about Copenhagen. – dr01 Nov 14 '18 at 9:47
13

Put some text into the file ~/.plan and try finger again:

$ finger yeti                                      
Login: yeti                             Name: yeti
Directory: /arpa/tz/y/yeti              Shell: /bin/ksh
On since Wed Apr  2 15:24 (UTC) on pts/149
Mail last read Mon Mar 31 11:08 2014 (UTC)
No Plan.
$ echo Mwhuaaaaahahahahahahahahahaaaa... > ~/.plan
$ finger yeti                                      
Login: yeti                             Name: yeti
Directory: /arpa/tz/y/yeti              Shell: /bin/ksh
On since Wed Apr  2 15:24 (UTC) on pts/149
Mail last read Mon Mar 31 11:08 2014 (UTC)
Plan: Mwhuaaaaahahahahahahahahahaaaa...
  • 2
    As an addendum, some systems support a project entry too which will also appear in the finger output (~/.project). – Robbie Dee Nov 4 '16 at 16:09
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    Decades ago we told the Unix newbies to finger themself and that the last line would tell their Unix skill level... and with some minutes delay they got the correct explanation... ;-) – user62916 Nov 5 '16 at 2:11
4

It's an informative feature of the UNIX/LINUX system allowing a user to give an idea as to what he is working on, or in the middle of ...

Much like the .project, which tells you what project he is currently working on, the .plan tells of his process, or intent, or whatever he or she may want to convey, with the .plan file in their home directory.

When I create a new user, I create a .project file, stating their office project, and the .plan file, with the words something to the effect ...

No plan given at this time ... update ~/.plan to update this information.

(this is automatically added by the user account script I created)

  • -yeti (I can't comment yet) ... you're too funny. (finger) . I set up finger, .plan, .project, who, rwho, rusers, etc. on all of my LINUX systems on an internal LAN. – Richard A. Allcorn - rAllcorn Dec 5 '18 at 18:21

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