talk - talk to another user
talk address [terminal]
The talk utility is a two-way, screen-oriented communication
When first invoked, talk sends a message similar to:
Message from TalkDaemon@ her_machine at time ...
talk: connection requested by your_address
talk: respond with: talk your_address
to the specified address. At this point, the recipient of
the message can reply by typing:
Once communication is established, the two parties can type
simultaneously, with their output displayed in separate
regions of the screen. Characters are processed as follows:
o Typing the alert character will alert the recipient's
o Typing Control-L will cause the sender's screen
regions to be refreshed.
o Typing the erase and kill characters will affect the
sender's terminal in the manner described by the
o Typing the interrupt or end-of-file (EOF) characters
will terminate the local talk utility. Once the talk
session has been terminated on one side, the other
side of the talk session will be notified that the
talk session has been terminated and will be able to
do nothing except exit.
o Typing characters from LC_CTYPE classifications print
or space will cause those characters to be sent to the
o When and only when the stty iexten local mode is
enabled, additional special control characters and
multi-byte or single-byte characters are processed as
printable characters if their wide character
equivalents are printable.
o Typing other non-printable characters will cause them
to be written to the recipient's terminal as follows:
control characters will appear as a caret (^) followed
by the appropriate ASCII character, and characters
with the high-order bit set will appear in "meta"
notation. For example, `\003' is displayed as `^C' and
`\372' as `M-z'.
Permission to be a recipient of a talk message can be denied
or granted by use of the mesg(1) utility. However, a user's
privilege may further constrain the domain of accessibility
of other users' terminals. Certain commands, such as pr(1),
disallow messages in order to prevent interference with
their output. talk will fail when the user lacks the
appropriate privileges to perform the requested action.
Certain block-mode terminals do not have all the capabili-
ties necessary to support the simultaneous exchange of mes-
sages required for talk. When this type of exchange cannot
be supported on such terminals, the implementation may sup-
port an exchange with reduced levels of simultaneous
interaction or it may report an error describing the
The following operands are supported:
The recipient of the talk session. One form of address
is the username, as returned by the who(1) utility. If
you wish to talk to someone on your own machine, then
username is just the person's login name. If you wish
to talk to a user on another host, then username is
one of the following forms:
although user@host is perhaps preferred.
If the recipient is logged in more than once, terminal
can be used to indicate the appropriate terminal name.
If terminal is not specified, the talk message will be
displayed on one or more accessible terminals in use
by the recipient. The format of terminal will be the
same as that returned by who.
See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environment
variables that affect the execution of talk: LANG, LC_ALL,
LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES, and NLSPATH.
TERM Determine the name of the invoker's terminal type. If
this variable is unset or null, an unspecified termi-
nal type will be used.
The following exit values are returned:
0 Successful completion.
>0 An error occurred, or talk was invoked on a terminal
incapable of supporting it.
host name database
user and accounting information for talk
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attri-
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
| Availability | SUNWrcmds |
| Interface Stability | Standard |
mail(1), mesg(1), pr(1), stty(1), who(1), write(1),
termios(3C), attributes(5), environ(5), standards(5)
Typing Control-L redraws the screen, while the erase, kill,
and word kill characters will work in talk as normal. To
exit, type an interrupt character. talk then moves the cur-
sor to the bottom of the screen and restores the terminal to
its previous state.
Man(1) output converted with