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talk user [@ hostname ] [tty ]

Exchange typed communication with another user who is on the local machine or on machine hostname . talk might be useful when you're logged in via modem and need something quickly, making it inconvenient to telephone or send email. talk splits your screen into two windows. When connection is established, you type in the top half while user 's typing appears in the bottom half. Type ^L to redraw the screen and ^C (or interrupt) to exit. If user is logged in more than once, use tty to specify the terminal line. The user needs to have used mesg y .


  • There are different versions of talk that use different protocols; interoperability across different Unix systems is very limited.

  • talk is also not very useful if the remote user you are "calling" is using a windowing environment, since there is no way for you to know which tty to use to get their attention. The connection request could easily show up in an iconified window! Even if you know the remote tty , the called party must have done a mesg y to accept the request.

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