write - send a message to another user
write user [ttyname]
write allows you to communicate with other users, by copying
your terminal to theirs.
When you run the write command, the user you are writing to
gets a message
of the form:
Message from yourname@yourhost on yourtty at hh:mm ...
Any further lines you enter will be copied to the specified
If the other user wants to reply, they must run write
When you are done, type an end-of-file or interrupt character. The other
user will see the message ``EOF'' indicating that the conversation is
You can prevent people (other than the superuser) from writing to you
with the mesg(1) command. Some commands, for example
nroff(1) and pr(1),
disallow writing automatically, so that your output isn't
If the user you want to write to is logged in on more than
you can specify which terminal to write to by specifying the
name as the second operand to the write command. Alternatively, you can
let write select one of the terminals - it will pick the one
shortest idle time. This is so that if the user is logged
in at work and
also dialed up from home, the message will go to the right
The traditional protocol for writing to someone is that the
``-o'', either at the end of a line or on a line by itself,
it's the other person's turn to talk. The string ``oo''
means that the
person believes the conversation to be over.
mesg(1), talk(1), who(1)
A write command appeared in Version 2 AT&T UNIX.
The ``EOF'' message seen when the other write terminates is
from that party simply typing ``EOF'' to make you
any future messages did not come from them. Especially messages such as:
 Done rm -rf *
OpenBSD 3.6 June 6, 1993
[ Back ]