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TALK(P)                    POSIX Programmer's Manual                   TALK(P)

       talk - talk to another user

       talk address [terminal]

       The talk utility is a two-way, screen-oriented communication program.

       When first invoked, talk shall send a message similar to:

              Message from <unspecified string>
              talk: connection requested by your_addresstalk: respond with: talk your_address

       to  the  specified address. At this point, the recipient of the message
       can reply by typing:

              talk your_address

       Once communication is established, the two parties can type  simultane-
       ously,  with  their output displayed in separate regions of the screen.
       Characters shall be processed as follows:

        * Typing the alert character shall alert the recipient's terminal.

        * Typing <control>-L shall cause the sender's  screen  regions  to  be

        * Typing  the erase and kill characters shall affect the sender's ter-
          minal in the manner described by the termios interface in  the  Base
          Definitions volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, Chapter 11, General Ter-
          minal Interface.

        * Typing the interrupt or end-of-file characters shall  terminate  the
          local talk utility. Once the talk session has been terminated on one
          side, the other side of the talk session shall be notified that  the
          talk  session  has  been  terminated and shall be able to do nothing
          except exit.

        * Typing characters from LC_CTYPE classifications print or space shall
          cause those characters to be sent to the recipient's terminal.

        * When  and only when the stty iexten local mode is enabled, the exis-
          tence and processing of additional special  control  characters  and
          multi-byte or single-byte functions shall be implementation-defined.

        * Typing  other  non-printable  characters shall cause implementation-
          defined sequences of printable characters to be sent to the  recipi-
          ent's terminal.

       Permission to be a recipient of a talk message can be denied or granted
       by use of the mesg utility. However, a  user's  privilege  may  further
       constrain  the  domain  of accessibility of other users' terminals. The
       talk utility shall 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-
       related deficiency.


       The following operands shall be supported:

              The recipient of the talk session. One form of  address  is  the
              <user name>,  as returned by the who utility. Other address for-
              mats and how they are handled are unspecified.

              If the recipient is logged in more than once, the terminal argu-
              ment  can  be used to indicate the appropriate terminal name. If
              terminal is not specified, the talk message shall  be  displayed
              on one or more accessible terminals in use by the recipient. The
              format of terminal shall be the same as that returned by the who

       Characters  read from standard input shall be copied to the recipient's
       terminal in an unspecified manner. If standard input is not a terminal,
       talk shall write a diagnostic message and exit with a non-zero status.


       The following environment variables shall affect the execution of talk:

       LANG   Provide  a  default value for the internationalization variables
              that are unset or null. (See  the  Base  Definitions  volume  of
              IEEE Std 1003.1-2001,  Section  8.2,  Internationalization Vari-
              ables for the precedence of internationalization variables  used
              to determine the values of locale categories.)

       LC_ALL If  set  to a non-empty string value, override the values of all
              the other internationalization variables.

              Determine the locale for  the  interpretation  of  sequences  of
              bytes  of  text  data as characters (for example, single-byte as
              opposed to multi-byte characters in arguments and input  files).
              If the recipient's locale does not use an LC_CTYPE equivalent to
              the sender's, the results are undefined.

              Determine the locale that should be used to  affect  the  format
              and  contents  of  diagnostic messages written to standard error
              and informative messages written to standard output.

              Determine the location of message catalogs for the processing of
              LC_MESSAGES .

       TERM   Determine the name of the invoker's terminal type. If this vari-
              able is unset or null,  an  unspecified  default  terminal  type
              shall be used.

       When  the talk utility receives a SIGINT signal, the utility shall ter-
       minate and exit with a zero status. It shall take the  standard  action
       for all other signals.

       If  standard  output  is a terminal, characters copied from the recipi-
       ent's standard input may be written to standard output.  Standard  out-
       put also may be used for diagnostic messages. If standard output is not
       a terminal, talk shall exit with a non-zero status.




       The following exit values shall be returned:

        0     Successful completion.

       >0     An error occurred or talk was invoked on a terminal incapable of
              supporting it.


       The following sections are informative.

       Because  the  handling  of  non-printable, non- <space>s is tied to the
       stty description of iexten, implementation extensions within the termi-
       nal  driver  can be accessed. For example, some implementations provide
       line editing functions with certain control character sequences.


       The write utility was included in this volume  of  IEEE Std 1003.1-2001
       since  it  can  be implemented on all terminal types. The talk utility,
       which cannot be implemented on certain terminals, was considered to  be
       a  "better"  communications  interface.  Both  of these programs are in
       widespread use on historical implementations.  Therefore,  both  utili-
       ties have been specified.

       All  references  to  networking abilities (talking to a user on another
       system) were removed as being outside  the  scope  of  this  volume  of
       IEEE Std 1003.1-2001.

       Historical BSD and System V versions of talk terminate both of the con-
       versations when either user breaks out of the session. This can lead to
       adverse consequences if a user unwittingly continues to enter text that
       is interpreted by the shell when  the  other  terminates  the  session.
       Therefore,   the   version   of   talk  specified  by  this  volume  of
       IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 requires both users to terminate their end of  the
       session explicitly.

       Only messages sent to the terminal of the invoking user can be interna-
       tionalized in any way:

        * The original "Message from <unspecified string> ..." message sent to
          the  terminal  of  the recipient cannot be internationalized because
          the environment of the recipient is as yet inaccessible to the  talk
          utility. The environment of the invoking party is irrelevant.

        * Subsequent  communication between the two parties cannot be interna-
          tionalized because the two parties may specify  different  languages
          in  their  environment (and non-portable characters cannot be mapped
          from one language to another).

        * Neither party can be required to communicate  in  a  language  other
          than  C  and/or  the  one  specified  by  their  environment because
          unavailable terminal hardware support (for example,  fonts)  may  be

       The text in the STDOUT section reflects the usage of the verb "display"
       in this section; some talk implementations actually use standard output
       to  write to the terminal, but this volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 does
       not require that to be the case.

       The format of the terminal name is unspecified, but the descriptions of
       ps,  talk,  who, and write require that they all use or accept the same

       The handling of non-printable characters is  partially  implementation-
       defined  because  the details of mapping them to printable sequences is
       not needed by the user. Historical implementations, for  security  rea-
       sons,  disallow  the  transmission of non-printable characters that may
       send commands to the other terminal.


       mesg  ,  stty  ,  who  ,  write  ,  the  Base  Definitions  volume   of
       IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, Chapter 11, General Terminal Interface

       Portions  of  this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form
       from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2003 Edition, Standard for Information Technology
       --  Portable  Operating  System  Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base
       Specifications Issue 6, Copyright (C) 2001-2003  by  the  Institute  of
       Electrical  and  Electronics  Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. In the
       event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and
       The  Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard
       is the referee document. The original Standard can be  obtained  online
       at .

IEEE/The Open Group                  2003                              TALK(P)

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