gettytab - terminal configuration data base
Gettytab is a simplified version of the termcap(5) data base used to
describe terminal lines. The initial terminal login process getty(8)
accesses the gettytab file each time it starts, allowing simpler recon-
figuration of terminal characteristics. Each entry in the data base is
used to describe one class of terminals.
There is a default terminal class, default, that is used to set global
defaults for all other classes. (That is, the default entry is read,
then the entry for the class required is used to override particular
Refer to termcap(5) for a description of the file layout. The default
column below lists defaults obtained if there is no entry in the table
obtained, nor one in the special default table.
Name Type Default Description
ap bool false terminal uses any parity
bd num 0 backspace delay
bk str 0377 alternate end of line character (input break)
cb bool false use crt backspace mode
cd num 0 carriage-return delay
ce bool false use crt erase algorithm
ck bool false use crt kill algorithm
cl str NULL screen clear sequence
co bool false console - add \n after login prompt
ds str ^Y delayed suspend character
ec bool false leave echo OFF
ep bool false terminal uses even parity
er str ^? erase character
et str ^D end of text (EOF) character
ev str NULL initial enviroment
f0 num unused tty mode flags to write messages
f1 num unused tty mode flags to read login name
f2 num unused tty mode flags to leave terminal as
fd num 0 form-feed (vertical motion) delay
fl str ^O output flush character
hc bool false do NOT hangup line on last close
he str NULL hostname editing string
hn str hostname hostname
ht bool false terminal has real tabs
ig bool false ignore garbage characters in login name
im str NULL initial (banner) message
in str ^C interrupt character
is num unused input speed
kl str ^U kill character
lc bool false terminal has lower case
lm str login: login prompt
ln str ^V ``literal next'' character
lo str /bin/login program to exec when name obtained
nd num 0 newline (line-feed) delay
nl bool false terminal has (or might have) a newline character
nx str default next table (for auto speed selection)
op bool false terminal uses odd parity
os num unused output speed
pc str \0 pad character
pe bool false use printer (hard copy) erase algorithm
pf num 0 delay between first prompt and following flush (seconds)
ps bool false line connected to a MICOM port selector
qu str ^\ quit character
rp str ^R line retype character
rw bool false do NOT use raw for input, use cbreak
sp num unused line speed (input and output)
su str ^Z suspend character
tc str none table continuation
to num 0 timeout (seconds)
tt str NULL terminal type (for enviroment)
ub bool false do unbuffered output (of prompts etc)
uc bool false terminal is known upper case only
we str ^W word erase character
xc bool false do NOT echo control chars as ^X
xf str ^S XOFF (stop output) character
xn str ^Q XON (start output) character
If no line speed is specified, speed will not be altered from that
which prevails when getty is entered. Specifying an input or output
speed will override line speed for stated direction only.
Terminal modes to be used for the output of the message, for input of
the login name, and to leave the terminal set as upon completion, are
derived from the boolean flags specified. If the derivation should
prove inadequate, any (or all) of these three may be overriden with one
of the f0, f1, or f2 numeric specifications, which can be used to spec-
ify (usually in octal, with a leading '0') the exact values of the
flags. Local (new tty) flags are set in the top 16 bits of this (32
Should getty receive a null character (presumed to indicate a line
break) it will restart using the table indicated by the nx entry. If
there is none, it will re-use its original table.
Delays are specified in milliseconds, the nearest possible delay avail-
able in the tty driver will be used. Should greater certainty be
desired, delays with values 0, 1, 2, and 3 are interpreted as choosing
that particular delay algorithm from the driver.
The cl screen clear string may be preceded by a (decimal) number of
milliseconds of delay required (a la termcap). This delay is simulated
by repeated use of the pad character pc.
The initial message, and login message, im and lm may include the char-
acter sequence %h to obtain the hostname. (%% obtains a single '%'
character.) The hostname is normally obtained from the system, but may
be set by the hn table entry. In either case it may be edited with he.
The he string is a sequence of characters, each character that is nei-
ther '@' nor '#' is copied into the final hostname. A '@' in the he
string, causes one character from the real hostname to be copied to the
final hostname. A '#' in the he string, causes the next character of
the real hostname to be skipped. Surplus '@' and '#' characters are
When getty execs the login process, given in the lo string (usually
"/bin/login"), it will have set the enviroment to include the terminal
type, as indicated by the tt string (if it exists). The ev string, can
be used to enter additional data into the environment. It is a list of
comma separated strings, each of which will presumably be of the form
If a non-zero timeout is specified, with to, then getty will exit
within the indicated number of seconds, either having received a login
name and passed control to login, or having received an alarm signal,
and exited. This may be useful to hangup dial in lines.
Output from getty is even parity unless op is specified. Op may be
specified with ap to allow any parity on input, but generate odd parity
output. Note: this only applies while getty is being run, terminal
driver limitations prevent a more complete implementation. Getty does
not check parity of input characters in RAW mode.
Some ignorant peasants insist on changing the default special charac-
ters, so it is wise to always specify (at least) the erase, kill, and
interrupt characters in the default table. In all cases, '#' or '^H'
typed in a login name will be treated as an erase character, and '@'
will be treated as a kill character.
The delay stuff is a real crock. Apart form its general lack of flexi-
bility, some of the delay algorithms are not implemented. The terminal
driver should support sane delay settings.
Currently login(1) stomps on the environment, so there is no point set-
ting it in gettytab.
The he capability is stupid.
Termcap format is horrid, something more rational should have been cho-
4th Berkeley Distribution 18 July 1983 GETTYTAB(5)