It is typically used to record general information about the account or its user(s) such as their real name and phone number.
- User's full name (or application name, if the account is for a program)
- Building and room number or contact person
- Office telephone number
- Home telephone number
- Any other contact information (pager number, fax, external e-mail address, etc.)
In most UNIX systems non-root users can change their own information using the chfn or chsh command.
On Internet Relay Chat (IRC), the real name field is commonly referred to as the gecos field.