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HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

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tsm — Terminal Session Manager




tsm allows a user to interact with more than one shell or application (session) from a single terminal. Each session is bound to a virtual device emulating the physical terminal. The emulation includes maintaining display state, softkeys, and terminal modes for each session. The virtual device can be manipulated like the actual terminal by using stty and ioctl (see stty(1) and ioctl(2)). Additionally tsm supports cut and paste between sessions, and provides an interface for a local lp device. Each session has its own process group ID.


A session is current if it is being displayed and is the recipient of keyboard input.

The standard search path is:

./ $HOME $TSMPATH /usr/tsm/

Configuration files and such are searched for in the order indicated and defined by these paths.


There are two methods of interacting with tsm: a pull-down menu, and a command line interface. The pull-down menu (when configured) can be activated from a session by pressing the tsm menu hot key (default is ^T) and should be self explanatory. The command line interface can be activated by pressing the tsm hot key (default is ^W) in a session. Pressing a "hot key" twice passes the "hot key" character to the session instead of activating tsm command or menu mode.

Commands to tsm generally have single character invocation, in some cases the user is prompted for more input. The following commands can be issued from the tsm prompt level:


Pressing a number at the command prompt selects the session of the same number to become the current session.


Select the next higher numbered session.


Select the next lower numbered session.


Select the last session.


Display a help screen describing tsm commands.


Copy (cut): Three types:

  • Text (Lines including new-lines). This is the default. Select with T when cut prompt is displayed.

  • String (Lines strung together with white space in place of new-lines). Select with T when cut prompt is displayed.

  • Block (A rectangle). Select with T when cut prompt is displayed.

The user is prompted for the "cut extents". The extents are defined by using arrow keys or the keys u, d, l, and r to move the cursor as desired. Pressing the space bar aborts the cut operation. The selected text is placed in the cut buffer. Trailing whitespace and character attribute information are ignored.


Paste: the contents of the cut buffer is echoed to the current session as if it were typed from the keyboard.


Run a program as a new session. The user is prompted for the program name.


Start a new session containing a shell.


Output the current display to a printer (screen dump). The print mechanism is specified in a file named .tsmprint searched for in the standard way. Character attribute information is ignored.


Load the softkeys of the current session from a file. To load tsm defaults, specify "file" +. To load terminal defaults, specify "file" -.


Same as k above but softkeys are loaded "globally" into all sessions.


Access extended tsm commands as described in the tsm reference manual or on the tsm help screen.


Quit tsm: SIGHUP is sent to all processes started under tsm, and tsm exits.


In general tsm environment variables must be set prior to tsm invocation. TSMLP is the lp(1) name of a printer that gets its output redirected to the printer port of the terminal.

TSMTPATH specifies an alternate search path for tsm files.

TSMTERM specifies an alternate terminal information file to be used by tsm instead of that specified by TERM. TSMHOTKEY specifies an alternate tsm hotkey for invocation ot the tsm command line.


Some operations are not supported on certain terminals.

tsm does not support long user and group names on the current release, HP-UX 11i V3.


tsm was developed by Structured Software Solutions, Inc.



tsm main configuration file (default). Copy to $HOME for user customization.


tsm softkey configuration file (default). Copy to $HOME for user customization.


terminal description files

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