Linux “who am i” command

Posted by Planet Malaysia on February 27, 2009


Linux “who” command is use to show who is logged on the Linux server.

For an example:

planetmy:~ # who am i
user1 pts/0 Feb 27 08:14 (

planetmy:~ # who am i|cut -d! -f2|cut -d\ -f1

Yesterday, one of the Linux box show an empty result with “who am i” or “who” command.

If you look at “man who“,

If FILE is not specified, use /var/run/utmp. /var/log/wtmp as FILE is common. If ARG1 ARG2 given, -m presumed: `am i’ or `mom likes’ are usual.

1. Make sure /var/run/utmp exist?
2. Make sure /var/run/utmp update if any user login.
3. Rename existing /var/run/utmp and create an empty /var/run/wtmp with same permission.

Linux who am i command

Solve your problem?

Probably you may ask why “who am i” and not “whoami“? Try login with normal user and type “sudo su -” and enter “who am i” and “whoami” command and you will notice the differential.

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4 Responses to “Linux “who am i” command”

  1. Mohd Shakir Zakaria on March 9th, 2009 8:34 am

    Why make life difficult? Just use whoami instead of who am i|cut -d! -f2|cut -d\ -f1
    They give the same result.

  2. Planet Malaysia on March 10th, 2009 10:24 am

    I think you missed out last sentence. Why use “who am i” instead of “whoami” command.

  3. Noah on June 12th, 2010 5:12 pm

    but whats the difference between whomai and ‘who am i ” says that they are same thing ? but their output is slightly different from each other

  4. rezapb on October 2nd, 2010 2:39 am

    Thanks for the post. I am having this problem too, but only when I am logged directly onto the box. If I am logged in remotely, ‘who am i’ works just fine.

    Noah: As Malaysia indicated, the difference is that when you are executing a script as root via sudo, ‘whoami’ will show ‘root’, but ‘who am i’ will show your actual user name. Actually, ‘who am i’ is actually the same as ‘who -m’, while ‘who’ by itself will show ALL of the users logged in, ‘who -m’ will show only the user associated with stdin.

    Hope that helps…

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