Messages OFF command ...

Posted on 1998-05-27
Last Modified: 2013-12-27


 Does anybody knows how to disable the information about your mail when a user types finger 'user'.

Usually happens like this when you type 'finger user'

Login: user                            Name: Unix User
Directory: /home/user           Shell: /bin/sh
Last login Wed May 12 22:14 (EDT) on ttyr4 from xxxxx
Last Mail Read on 4:45 on May 12 etc.
No mail.
No Plan.

I have seen many out there that can turn off the message display from the finger command.

When I finger them it comes like: (messages off)
How this can be done. I log on a Solaris.

 How can I disable even showing the last time I login if this can be done ...
Question by:albberat
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Accepted Solution

n0thing earned 20 total points
ID: 2007272
You cannot prevent others from fingering you if the admin leave the finger deamon on.
The message off you're seeing is to stop other from "write"ing to your tty. You could
turn it off by typing "mesg n".
All login information are kept in /var/adm/utmp and wtmp file. You cannot delete your login information unless you are root. The only way to stop people from fingering you is to ask your Unix admin to disable fingerd on your system.

Minh Lai

Author Comment

ID: 2007273
Your answer is partial. I copy some of the finger samples from the system.

This is me before typing 'mesg n' ...
Login name: user                        In real life: UnixUser
Directory: /home/user                   Shell: /bin/csh
On since May 28 07:25:26 on pts/12 from xxxxxxx
37 seconds Idle Time
No unread mail
Plan: No plan for today ...
(I have set the permission 744 for the .plan file)

This is me after typing 'mesg n':

Login name: user        (messages off)  In real life: UnixUser
Directory: /home/user                   Shell: /bin/csh
On since May 28 07:25:26 on pts/12 from xxxxxxxx
37 seconds Idle Time
No unread mail
Plan: No plan for today ...

This is an example of somebody else ... where you can see that he has not displaying the mail selection ...

Login name: user1       (messages off)  In real life: USER1
Directory: /home/user1                  Shell: /bin/csh
On since May 24 10:34:35 on pts/8 from  xxxxxxx

As you see he has not any mail notification outputed by finger. I do not run as a root on that Solaris, but I can run as root in my Linux at home ... You are right. The directory /var/adm where the adminstration files, syslog, xferlog(ftp), users logins and etc. are kept is unreadable by others. I have not play at all with those write, talk command and I had no idea how they were linked with the finger daemon. Is any way I can disable and turn off that mail notification ...?

 Thanks ...

Expert Comment

ID: 2007274
Hmmm .. if you are on the same system. I really don't know how the other guy could do that, .plan file and .project file cannot affect the fact the fingerd display those basic mails on Solaris. Other Unix variant like AIX, OSF don't display that information. It depends on the Unix variant you use.

Minh Lai

Author Comment

ID: 2007275
Well I have tried those .plan and .project files too in my Linux. I log as a root there(Linux) or using 'su' most of the times and I still can not get rid of those in a functional way. I did the same thing on my school Solaris but no effect at all. I do not know the guy who does this kind of trick and I even can ask him either. Well I have attached below these lines what they run.

This display when I log in ... "The welcome day message"
Welcome to xxxxxx, a Sun Enterprise 3000 running Solaris 2.5.1 (SunOS 5.5.1)

When typed 'version' in the command prompt:

Machine hardware:   sun4u
OS version:         5.5.1
Processor type:     sparc
Hardware:           SUNW,Ultra-Enterprise

Installed Applications: ....


Is any solution, configuration, extra file ....? So far n0thing has partially answered what I want, although I want to go this to the bottom. I know Unix is a deep world and I like to know some of it ...

Thank you ....


Expert Comment

ID: 2007276

Have you tried those .project file for any configuration in them. I have seen that some guys do manage those messages outputed by finger through .profile file. However it is logical to me that you can turn that information off as long as it is your mail there.


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