Talkd and the talk command

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Reason: Should mention ytalk, too. (Discuss in Talk:Talkd and the talk command#)

The "talk" command allows you to talk to other users on the same system, which is useful if you're both SSH'd in from somewhere. Using it is very simple; to talk to someone the command is just

$ talk username tty

Of course, you can talk to users on another system as well:

$ talk username@hostname tty

In either case, the tty is optional. It is used if you wish to talk to a local user who is logged in more than once to indicate the appropriate terminal name. "tty" is of the form 'ttyXX', or 'pts/X'.


Using xinetd

  1. First, install the inetutils package, which contains talk and talkd. These also rely on xinetd, so install that as well. You might also need the screen command; it's in the screen package.
  2. Install inetutils, xinetd and GNU Screen.
  3. Configure the xinetd service entry by editing /etc/xinetd.d/talk and setting "disable = no".
  4. If you are using tcp_wrappers or something similar, add an entry to /etc/hosts.allow:
  5. Now start xinetd.service.
  6. If you are on the local system, you might need to start a screen session to make yourself show up on the "w" and "who" commands -- you need to show up there or talk won't work.
  7. Allow write access in your terminal if needed:
    $ mesg y

Using systemd directly

Start talk.socket and talk.service.