Alternatives to the Finger Service

Recommended option: MCommunity Directory website

ITS recommends that everyone who has relied on the finger command to look up people in MCommunity to instead use the MCommunity Directory website. Please consult the documentation Search Tips for MCommunity.

Advanced Alternative: ldapsearch Command

The following alternative is for highly technical users who need a non-web based alternative—two other options are available. Please note ITS cannot provide assistance with getting either of these alternatives working.

Use the ldapsearch command from a terminal on the ITS Login Service, a Macintosh computer, or a Linux computer.

To look up a person:

ldapsearch -x -LLL -h ldap.umich.edu -b "ou=People,dc=umich,dc=edu" "uid=[uniqname]"

To look up an MCommunity mail group, replace any periods in the group name with spaces, then run:

ldapsearch -x -LLL -h ldap.umich.edu -b "ou=Groups,dc=umich,dc=edu" "cn=somegroup"

These commands return more information than the finger command, and the output is harder to read. Here is an example:

$ ldapsearch -x -LLL -h ldap.umich.edu -b "ou=People,dc=umich,dc=edu" "uid=markmont"
dn: uid=markmont,ou=People,dc=umich,dc=edu
umichPostalAddress: ITS Infra Sys Srvcs & Ops $ 4251 Plymouth Rd. AL1 - 2740 $ Ann Arbor MI 48105-3640
umichPostalAddressData: {addr1=ITS Infra Sys Srvcs & Ops}:{addr2=4251 Plymouth Rd. AL1 - 2740}:
{city=Ann Arbor}:{state=MI}:{postal=48105-3640}:{nation=UNITED STATES}:{nationCode=USA}
umichTitle: Web Platforms and Information Systems Manager
loginShell: /bin/csh
homeDirectory: /users/markmont
gidNumber: 10
uidNumber: 5366
displayName: Mark Montague
mail: markmont@umich.edu
uid: markmont
givenName: Mark
telephoneNumber: 734-615-5509
sn: Montague
ou: Alumni
ou: ITS Infra Sys Srvcs & Ops - Faculty and Staff
ou: ITS Infrastrc - Systems - Faculty and Staff
objectClass: inetOrgPerson
objectClass: posixAccount
objectClass: umichPerson
objectClass: krbForeignPrincipalAux
objectClass: posixGroup
objectClass: organizationalPerson
objectClass: person
objectClass: ndsLoginProperties
objectClass: top
objectClass: DirXML-EntitlementRecipient
objectClass: DirXML-PasswordSyncStatusUser
cn: Mark A Montague
cn: Mark Montague
$

Advanced alternative: Python Script or Perl Script

The following alternative is for highly technical users who need a non-web based alternative—two other options are available. Please note ITS cannot provide assistance with getting either of these alternatives working.

There are two scripts that people can install and run on their computer that provide the same output as the old Finger service.

Python Script

  1. Make sure that you have Python installed and working on the computer you want to use. You can use the ITS Login Service, if desired.
  2. Make sure the python-ldap package is installed. If this is on a Macintosh or Linux computer, you can run sudo pip install python-ldap to install this package centrally or pip install --user python-ldap to install it in just for your user account, if it is not already installed.
  3. Download the script from https://gitlab.umich.edu/its-web-inf-tl/ldapfinger/raw/master/ldapfinger.py
  4. You can then run the script using the command python ldapfinger.py markmont.

Perl Script

  1. Make sure that you have Perl installed and working on the computer you want to use.
  2. Make sure the Net::LDAP Perl module is installed.
  3. Download the script from https://gitlab.umich.edu/its-web-inf-tl/ldapfinger/raw/master/ldapfinger.pl
  4. You can then run the script using the command ./ldapfinger.pl markmont.
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Last Updated: 
Wednesday, June 26, 2019