talk(1) General Commands Manual talk(1)
talk, otalk - talk to another user
talk person [ttyname]
otalk person [ttyname]
The command is a visual communication program which copies lines from your terminal to that of another user.
If you wish to talk to someone on your 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 :
The form user@host 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 by typing
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 Ctrl-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; 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
and disallow messages in order to prevent messy output.
In order to use the program with machines on your network that may be running earlier versions of ULTRIX, you must initiate a session with
the command (/usr/ucb/otalk) instead of the command You must also respond to a request from a machine running an older version of the pro-
gram with the command. See the Restrictions section.
The following example demonstrates how to use the command. In this case, user1, whose system (system1) is running ULTRIX V2.2 initiates a
session with user2, whose system (system2) is running ULTRIX V3.0. User1 types the following:
system1> talk user2@system2
The following message appears on the screen of user2:
Message from Talk_Daemon@system2 at 12:37 ...
talk: connection requested by user1@system1.
talk: respond with: otalk user1@system1
To establish the connection user2 follows the instructions from the Talk_Daemon and types the following at the system prompt:
system2> otalk user1@system1
The version of released with ULTRIX V3.0 uses a protocol that is incompatible with the protocol used in earlier versions. Starting with
ULTRIX V3.0, the program communicates with other machines running ULTRIX, V3.0 (and later), and machines running 4.3 BSD or versions of
UNIX based on 4.3 BSD.
The command is not 8-bit clean. Typing in DEC Multinational Characters (DECMCS) causes the characters to echo as a sequence of a carets (^)
followed by the character represented with its high bit cleared. This limitation makes unusable if you want to communicate using a language
which has DECMCS characters in its alphabet.
to find the recipient's machine
to find the recipient's tty
mail(1), mesg(1), who(1), write(1), talkd(8c)