TALK(1) BSD General Commands Manual TALK(1)
talk -- talk to another user
talk person [ttyname]
talk is a visual communication program which copies lines from your terminal to that of
person If you wish to talk to someone on your own machine, then person is just the per-
son's login name. If you wish to talk to a user on another host, then person is of
the form 'user@host'.
ttyname If you wish to talk to a user who is logged in more than once, the ttyname argument
may be used to indicate the appropriate terminal name, where ttyname is of the form
When first called, talk 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 '^L' will cause the screen to
be reprinted, while your erase, kill, and word kill characters will behave normally. To
exit, just type your interrupt character; talk then moves the cursor to the bottom of the
screen and restores the terminal to its previous state.
Permission to talk may be denied or granted by use of the mesg(1) command. At the outset
talking is allowed. Certain commands, in particular nroff(1) and pr(1), disallow messages
in order to prevent messy output.
If the TALKHOST environment variable is set, its value is used as the hostname the talk
packets appear to be originating from. This is useful if you wish to talk to someone on
another machine and your internal hostname does not resolve to the address of your external
interface as seen from the other machine.
/etc/hosts to find the recipient's machine
/var/run/utmp to find the recipient's tty
mail(1), mesg(1), who(1), write(1)
The talk command appeared in 4.2BSD.
The version of talk released with 4.3BSD uses a protocol that is incompatible with the pro-
tocol used in the version released with 4.2BSD.
BSD January 7, 2007 BSD