talk - Converses with another user
talk user [tty_name]
Interfaces documented on this reference page conform to industry standards
Refer to the standards(5) reference page for more information about indus-
try standards and associated tags.
The name of the desired recipient in the form returned by the who util-
[Tru64 UNIX] If the second user is on a remote host, the name of the
host must be specified in one of the following ways:
If the recipient is logged in more than once, the tty_name argument can
be used to indicate the appropriate terminal name. If tty_name is not
specified, the talk message is displayed on one or more accessible ter-
minals in use by the recipient. The format of tty_name is the same as
that returned by the who command.
The talk command allows two users to enter text simultaneously into windows
displayed on each other's terminals. To initiate a conversation, one user
executes talk and specifies the second user's username.
[Tru64 UNIX] When using full domain names, the only valid form for speci-
fying the user and host is user@host. For example, email@example.com
initiates a conversation with user andy at host host17 in the dev.abc.com
When the first user initiates the conversation, a message is sent to the
second user. If the first user also specifies tty_name, the invitation
message is sent to the specified terminal. Otherwise, the invitation is
sent to the terminal on the remote host on which the second user first
logged in. Once this invitation is received, talk displays two windows on
the first user's terminal and displays progress messages until the second
user responds to the initial message.
If the second user wants to have the conversation, the second user also
executes talk from any terminal and specifies the first user's account name
and hostname, if appropriate. If the second user accepts the invitation,
talk displays two windows on the second user's terminal. One window
displays what is typed by the local user; the other displays what is typed
by the remote user. To end the conversation and close the connection,
either user can press the Interrupt key sequence.
If the second user does not want to permit talk invitations, that user
should issue the mesg n command.
The talk command processes characters as follows:
+ Typing the <<alert>> character alerts the recipient's terminal.
+ Typing <<Ctrl-L>> causes the sender's screen regions to be refreshed.
+ Typing the Erase and Kill characters affects the sender's terminal as
described on the termios reference page.
+ Typing the Interrupt or End-of-File characters terminates the local
talk program. Once the talk session has been terminated on one side,
the other side of the session is notified that the talk session has
been terminated and this side can do nothing except exit.
+ Typing characters from LC_TYPE classifications print or space causes
those characters to be sent to the recipient's terminal.
The talk command fails when a user lacks the appropriate privileges to per-
form the requested action.
[Tru64 UNIX] The talk command uses the talk 4.3BSD protocol, which is not
compatible with 4.2BSD versions of talk.
The following exit values are returned:
0 Successful completion.
>>0 An error occurred or your terminal is incapable of supporting talk.
1. If john at host1 wants to talk to fred, who is logged in on host2,
$ talk fred@host2
The following message is displayed on fred's terminal:
Message from TalkDaemon@host1 at 15:16...
talk: connection requested by john@host1.
talk: respond with: talk john@host1
To accept the invitation, fred enters:
$ talk john@host1
2. To talk to fred only if he is logged in on the console at host2,
$ talk fred@host2 console
The following environment variables affect the execution of *cmd*:
Provides a default value for the internationalization variables that
are unset or null. If LANG is unset or null, the corresponding value
from the default locale is used. If any of the internationalization
variables contain an invalid setting, the utility behaves as if none of
the variables had been defined.
If set to a non-empty string value, overrides the values of all the
other internationalization variables.
Determines the locale for the interpretation of sequences of bytes of
text data as characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to mult-
byte characters in arguments and input files). If the recipient's
locale does not use an LC_CTYPE equivalent to yours, the results are
Determines the locale for the format and contents of diagnostic mes-
sages written to standard error.
Determines the location of message catalogues for the processing of
Commands: mesg(1), named(8), stty(1), talkd(8), who(1), write(1)