talk(1) User Commands talk(1)
talk - talk to another user
talk address [terminal]
The talk utility is a two-way, screen-oriented communication program.
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 simultane-
ously, 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 terminal.
o Typing Control-L will cause the sender's screen regions to be
o Typing the erase and kill characters will affect the sender's ter-
minal in the manner described by the termios(3C) interface.
o Typing the interrupt or end-of-file (EOF) characters will termi-
nate the local talk utility. Once the talk session has been termi-
nated 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 recipient's termi-
o When and only when the stty iexten local mode is enabled, addi-
tional 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 writ-
ten to the recipient's terminal as follows: control characters
will appear as a caret (^) followed by the appropriate ASCII char-
acter, 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. Cer-
tain 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 capabilities necessary
to support the simultaneous exchange of messages required for talk.
When this type of exchange cannot be supported on such terminals, the
implementation may support an exchange with reduced levels of simulta-
neous interaction or it may report an error describing the terminal-
The following operands are supported:
address 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.
terminal 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,
TERM Determine the name of the invoker's terminal type. If
this variable is unset or null, an unspecified terminal
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.
/etc/hosts host name database
/var/adm/utmpx user and accounting information for talk
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
tab() allbox; cw(2.750000i)| cw(2.750000i) lw(2.750000i)|
lw(2.750000i). ATTRIBUTE TYPEATTRIBUTE VALUE AvailabilitySUNWrcmds
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 cursor to the bottom of the screen and
restores the terminal to its previous state.
SunOS 5.10 6 Nov 2000 talk(1)