who am i

find out who you logged onto the machine as -- and not just who you are now

In my work environment, we log onto the servers as our user ('user', in the sample ouput), and 'sudo su - root' to other accounts. This trick allows us to return the account name we logged in as -- and not the account name we currently are ('root', in this example). Using this trick, you can build other commands: Set your CVSROOT env variable to your account name: CVSROOT=$(who am i | awk '{print $1}')@cvs.server.example.com:/cvsroot SCP a file to another server: scp file.txt $(who am i | awk '{print $1}')@some.other.server.com:. This works out great in my environment, as we can include this in our documentation and make the comands more easy to copy/paste for different users, and not have to set all sorts of variables, or modify the docs for each user. whoami gives you the name of the user you currently are, not the user you logged on originally as. who gives you a listing of every single person logged onto the server. who am i gives you the name of the user you logged on as, and not who you changed to with su. Look at the following scenario: whoami user su - # whoami root # who am i user pts/51 2009-02-13 10:24 (:0.0) whoami != who am i
Sample Output
user  pts/51       2009-02-13 10:24 (:0.0)

-18
2009-02-20 16:26:11
who

What Others Think

so is there a shell that this actually works on? Maybe you mean 'whoami' ?
bartman · 482 weeks and 2 days ago
or maybe just 'who' ?
bartman · 482 weeks and 2 days ago
Those are actually all distinct. 'who am i' gives you just the line of the 'who' output that relates to your current session. whoami gives you your current username and who gives you the complete list of logged in users including terminal time and origination info. As a side note, the critical thing is the *number* of arguments to 'who' and the 'am i' is just used as a mnemonic device. In face it's faster to type who o o which does the same thing. Still, not really a 'Fu' command, though.
adminzim · 482 weeks and 2 days ago
@adminzim who o o usage: who [-HmqsTu] [am I] [file] whoami grep also works
grep · 482 weeks and 2 days ago
bartman whoami gives you the name of the user you currently are, not the user you logged on originally as. who gives you a listing of every single person logged onto the server. who am i gives you the name of the user you logged on as, and not who you changed to with su. Grep, look at the following scenario: whoami user su - #whoami root #who am i user pts/51 2009-02-13 10:24 (:0.0) whoami != who am i
ozymandias · 482 weeks and 2 days ago
bartman, Also, this seems to work on the following machines -- and I just confirmed : RHEL3,4,5, (and CentOS), Fedora 8,9,10, Debian Etch, Sid, Ubuntu 7.10, 8.4, 8.10, 9.04 alpha, Solaris 9, 10, all with bash. I tested ksh on the RHEL3,4,5, Fedora, and Solaris hosts, and they all worked in my test environment. I am not sure what shell/OS you are using, or if we perhaps installed some package on all these, but I doubt it.
ozymandias · 482 weeks and 2 days ago
On Debian/Lenny, it seems that it does not work if I run it from an xterm. If I ssh in, it works. In both cases running just 'who' works.
bartman · 482 weeks and 2 days ago
bartman, When I run who, I get output for each user logged on with no indication of which one 'I' am...
ozymandias · 482 weeks and 2 days ago
@grep [zim@host ~]$ who o o zim pts/4 2009-02-20 14:33 (:0.0) gnu coreutils.
adminzim · 482 weeks and 2 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

You must be signed in to comment.

What's this?

commandlinefu.com is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.

Share Your Commands



Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.

» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu3
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu10

Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for: