Plan File

What Does Plan File Mean?

In Unix, a plan file (“.plan”) is a text file that contains information about a user. The name “.plan” is actually the filename not the file extension. The file is located in the user’s home directory and is the file opened by the “finger” command when someone checks the profile of another user.


Techopedia Explains Plan File

Unix is a multitasking and multi-user operating system. A user can obtain information about another user by running the “finger” command. The command looks for the “.plan” file in the latter’s home directory and displays its contents if it finds it. If there is no such file, the message “no plan” is displayed instead.

The contents of a plan file are actually user supplied. Some users, instead of putting basic information in their “.plan” file, store ASCII art in it instead. ASCII art is a graphic or presentation drawn using printable ASCII characters.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.