talk - Converses with another user
talk user [tty_name]
Interfaces documented on this reference page conform to industry standards as follows:
talk: XPG4, XPG4-UNIX
Refer to the
reference page for more information
about industry standards and associated tags.
The name of the desired recipient in the form returned by the who utility.
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.
[Compaq] When using full domain names, the only valid form for specifying the user and host is user@host. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org initiates a conversation with user andy at host host17 in the dev.abc.com domain.
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.
command fails when a user lacks the appropriate
privileges to perform the requested action.
command uses the
4.3BSD protocol, which is not compatible with 4.2BSD versions of
The following exit values are returned:
An error occurred or your terminal is incapable of supporting
If john at host1 wants to talk to fred, who is logged in on host2, john enters: $ talk fred@host2
The following environment variables affect the execution of
Provides a default value for the internationalization variables
that are unset or null. If
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
multbyte characters in arguments and input files). If the recipient's locale
does not use an
to yours, the results are undefined.
Determines the locale for the format and contents of diagnostic
messages written to standard error.
Determines the location of message catalogues for the processing
Commands: mesg(1), named(8), stty(1), talkd(8), who(1), write(1)