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How to use the who command: 2-Minute Linux Tips

Network World | Oct 18, 2019

In this Linux tip, learn how to use the who command. It will show you details regarding who is logged in and about the system.

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Hi, this is Sandra Henry-Stocker, author of the “Unix as a Second Language” blog on NetworkWorld.
In this Linux tip, we’re going to look at the who command and the details it will show you regarding who is logged in and about the system.
The most obvious use of the who command is to ask who is logged in.
Notice that the output shows us not just who is logged in, but where they logged in from and when they logged in. The first column in this output shows us the usernames, the second is their terminal IDs, but :0 means the system console. The third shows us the date and time each user logged in and, if they logged in from another system, the IP address of that system.
One user in this example has been logged into the system console for days while another logged in today from another system.
But that’s not all the who command can tell you. Want to see when the system was last booted? Try who -b:
Want to see what the current run level of the system is? Try who -r.
Want a simple count of logged in users along with a one-line list of usernames? Try who -q.
Don’t forget that you can create aliases for these commands if who -b, who -r and who -q don’t fall from your lips.
That’s your Linux tip for the who command. If you have questions or would like to suggest a topic, please add a comment below. And don’t forget to subscribe to the IDG Tech(talk) channel on YouTube.
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