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ReactOS-0.4.13 whoami command 667x434.png
The ReactOS whoami command
Developer(s)Bill Joy, Richard Mlynarik, Intel, Microsoft, ReactOS Contributors, Novell
Operating systemUnix, Unix-like, iRMX 86, Windows, ReactOS, NetWare
LicenseBSD: BSD License
coreutils: GPLv3
iRMX 86, Windows, NetWare: Proprietary commercial software
ReactOS: GPLv2

In computing, whoami is a command found on most Unix-like operating systems, Intel iRMX 86, every Microsoft Windows[1] operating system since Windows Server 2003, and on ReactOS. It is a concatenation of the words "Who am I?" and prints the effective username of the current user when invoked.


The command has the same effect as the Unix command id -un. On Unix-like operating systems, the output of the command is slightly different from $USER because whoami outputs the username that the user is working under, whereas $USER outputs the username that was used to log in. For example, if the user logged in as John and su into root, whoami displays root and echo $USER displays John. This is because the su command does not invoke a login shell by default.

The earliest versions were created in 2.9 BSD as a convenience form for who am i, the Berkeley Unix who command's way of printing just the logged in user's identity. This version was developed by Bill Joy.[2]

The GNU version was written by Richard Mlynarik and is part of the GNU Core Utilities (coreutils).

The command is available as a separate package for Microsoft Windows as part of the GnuWin32 project[3] and the UnxUtils collection of native Win32 ports of common GNU Unix-like utilities.[4]

On Intel iRMX 86 this command lists the currents user's identification and access rights.[5]

The command is also available as part of the Windows 2000 Resource Kit[6] and Windows XP SP2 Support Tools.[7]

The ReactOS version was developed by Ismael Ferreras Morezuelas and is licensed under the GPLv2.[8]

This command was also available as a NetWare-Command residing in the public-directory of the fileserver. It also outputs the current connections to which server the workstation is attached with which username.


Unix, Unix-like[edit]

# whoami

Intel iRMX 86[edit]


Windows, ReactOS[edit]


See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Barrett, Daniel J. (2012). Macintosh Terminal Pocket Guide: Take Command of Your Mac. O'Reilly. ISBN 978-1449328986.
  • Stanek, William R. (2008). Windows Command-Line Administrator's Pocket Consultant, 2nd Edition. Microsoft Press. ISBN 978-0735622623.

External links[edit]