Linux / Unix: whoami Command Examples

Posted on in Categories , , , last updated January 25, 2014
whoami command

I am a new Linux and Unix system user. How do I listing my own username? How can I display my login name on Linux or Unix-like systems?

You need to use the whoami command to display your login name. This command display the user name associated with the current logged in user at your console.

whoami command details
DescriptionShow your login name
Root privilegesNo
Estimated completion time1m
This command is only useful if you are using a shared Linux/Unix terminal at your school, library or home, to find out whether or not it is your account that you are using it.


Displays your login name without root authority.


The basic syntax is as follows:

whoami --version
whoami --help

whoami command examples

To simply display your username, type:
$ whoami
Sample outputs:

Animated gif 01: Displaying your username using whoami and id commands
Animated gif 01: Displaying your username using whoami and id commands

You can use this command in a shell script as follows:

## if username is admin, do something ##
if [ "$(whoami)" == "admin" ]
     echo "Welcome back admin. Updating repo data in $HOME/foo/bar..."
     ## your commands for admin user ##

Recommend alternative to whoami command

The whoami command has been obsoleted by the id command. You need to use the following command which is equivalent to id -un:
$ id -un
Sample outputs:

See also
  • /etc/passwd file
  • whoami(1)
  • Man pages – id(1),passwd(5)
Category List of Unix and Linux commands
File Managementcat
Network Utilitiesdighostip
Package Managerapkapt
Processes Managementbgchrootdisownfgjobskillkillallpwdxtimepidofpstree
User Informationgroupsidlastlastcommlognameuserswwhowhoamilidmembers

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.