talk - talk to another user
talk person [ ttyname ]
Talk is a visual communication program which copies lines from your terminal to that of
If you wish to talk to someone on you own machine, then person is just the person's login
name. If you wish to talk to a user on another host, then person is of the form :
though host@user is perhaps preferred.
If you want to talk to a user who is logged in more than once, the ttyname argument may be
used to indicate the appropriate terminal name.
When first called, it sends the message
Message from TalkDaemon@his_machine...
talk: connection requested by your_name@your_machine.
talk: respond with: talk your_name@your_machine
to the user you wish to talk to. At this point, the recipient of the message should reply
It doesn't matter from which machine the recipient replies, as long as his login-name is
the same. Once communication is established, the two parties may type simultaneously,
with their output appearing in separate windows. Typing control L will cause the screen
to be reprinted, while your erase, kill, and word kill characters will work in talk as
normal. To exit, just type your interrupt character; talk then moves the cursor to the
bottom of the screen and restores the terminal.
Permission to talk may be denied or granted by use of the mesg command. At the outset
talking is allowed. Certain commands, in particular nroff and pr(1) disallow messages in
order to prevent messy output.
/etc/hosts to find the recipient's machine
/var/run/utmp to find the recipient's tty
mesg(1), who(1), mail(1), write(1)
The version of talk(1) released with 4.3BSD uses a protocol that is incompatible with the
protocol used in the version released with 4.2BSD.
4.2 Berkeley Distribution November 27, 1996 TALK(1)