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A getty is the generic name for a program which manages a terminal line and its connected terminal. Its purpose is to protect the system from unauthorized access. Generally, each getty process is started by init and manages a single terminal line. Within the context of a typical Arch Linux installation, the terminals managed by the getty processes are implemented as virtual consoles. Six of these virtual consoles are provided by default and they are usually accessible by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1 through Ctrl+Alt+F6.


The agetty program is the default getty in Arch Linux and is part of the util-linux package which is included in the base Arch Linux installation. It modifies the TTY settings while waiting for a login so that newlines are not translated to CR–LFs. This tends to cause a "staircase effect" for messages printed to the console (printed by programs started by Init for instance).


The fgettyAUR unofficial package is available in the Arch User Repository and is derived from mingetty. It does not cause the "staircase effect". The patched fgetty-pamAUR is currently required for Pluggable Authentication Module (including SHA-2) support.


See also