talk - Converses with another user
talk user [tty_name]
Interfaces documented on this reference page conform to
industry standards as follows:
Refer to the standards(5) reference page for more information
about industry standards and associated tags.
The name of the desired recipient in the form returned by
the who utility.
[Tru64 UNIX] If the second user is on a remote
host, the name of the host must be specified in one
of the following ways:
user@host host!user host.user host:user If the
recipient is logged in more than once, the tty_name
argument can be used to indicate the appropriate
terminal name. If tty_name is not specified, the
talk message is displayed on one or more accessible
terminals in use by the recipient. The format of
tty_name is the same as that returned by the who
The talk command allows two users to enter text simultaneously
into windows displayed on each other's terminals.
To initiate a conversation, one user executes talk and
specifies the second user's username.
[Tru64 UNIX] When using full domain names, the only valid
form for specifying the user and host is user@host. For
example, email@example.com initiates a conversation
with user andy at host host17 in the dev.abc.com domain.
When the first user initiates the conversation, a message
is sent to the second user. If the first user also specifies
tty_name, the invitation message is sent to the specified
terminal. Otherwise, the invitation is sent to the
terminal on the remote host on which the second user first
logged in. Once this invitation is received, talk displays
two windows on the first user's terminal and displays
progress messages until the second user responds to
the initial message.
If the second user wants to have the conversation, the
second user also executes talk from any terminal and specifies
the first user's account name and hostname, if
appropriate. If the second user accepts the invitation,
talk displays two windows on the second user's terminal.
One window displays what is typed by the local user; the
other displays what is typed by the remote user. To end
the conversation and close the connection, either user can
press the Interrupt key sequence.
If the second user does not want to permit talk invitations,
that user should issue the mesg n command.
The talk command processes characters as follows: Typing
the <alert> character alerts the recipient's terminal.
Typing <Ctrl-L> causes the sender's screen regions to be
refreshed. Typing the Erase and Kill characters affects
the sender's terminal as described on the termios reference
page. Typing the Interrupt or End-of-File characters
terminates the local talk program. Once the talk session
has been terminated on one side, the other side of the
session is notified that the talk session has been terminated
and this side can do nothing except exit. Typing
characters from LC_TYPE classifications print or space
causes those characters to be sent to the recipient's terminal.
The talk command fails when a user lacks the appropriate
privileges to perform the requested action.
[Tru64 UNIX] The talk command uses the talk 4.3BSD protocol,
which is not compatible with 4.2BSD versions of talk.
The following exit values are returned: Successful completion.
An error occurred or your terminal is incapable of
If john at host1 wants to talk to fred, who is logged in
on host2, john enters: $ talk fred@host2
The following message is displayed on fred's terminal:
Message from TalkDaemon@host1 at 15:16...
talk: connection requested by john@host1. talk:
respond with: talk john@host1
To accept the invitation, fred enters: $ talk
john@host1 To talk to fred only if he is logged in
on the console at host2, enter: $ talk fred@host2
ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES [Toc] [Back]
The following environment variables affect the execution
of *cmd*: Provides a default value for the internationalization
variables that are unset or null. If LANG is unset
or null, the corresponding value from the default locale
is used. If any of the internationalization variables
contain an invalid setting, the utility behaves as if none
of the variables had been defined. If set to a non-empty
string value, overrides the values of all the other internationalization
variables. Determines the locale for the
interpretation of sequences of bytes of text data as characters
(for example, single-byte as opposed to multbyte
characters in arguments and input files). If the recipient's
locale does not use an LC_CTYPE equivalent to yours,
the results are undefined. Determines the locale for the
format and contents of diagnostic messages written to
standard error. Determines the location of message
catalogues for the processing of LC_MESSAGES.
Commands: mesg(1), named(8), stty(1), talkd(8), who(1),
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