WRITE(1) Linux Programmer’s Manual WRITE(1)
write - send a message to another user
write user [ttyname]
Write allows you to communicate with other users, by copying lines from
your terminal to theirs.
When you run the write command, the user you are writing to gets a mes-
sage of the form:
Message from yourname@yourhost on yourtty at hh:mm ...
Any further lines you enter will be copied to the specified user’s ter-
minal. If the other user wants to reply, they must run write as well.
When you are done, type an end-of-file or interrupt character. The
other user will see the message EOF indicating that the conversation is
You can prevent people (other than the super-user) from writing to you
with the mesg(1) command. Some commands, for example nroff(1) and
pr(1), may disallow writing automatically, so that your output isn’t
If the user you want to write to is logged in on more than one termi-
nal, you can specify which terminal to write to by specifying the ter-
minal name as the second operand to the write command. Alternatively,
you can let write select one of the terminals - it will pick the one
with the shortest idle time. This is so that if the user is logged in
at work and also dialed up from home, the message will go to the right
The traditional protocol for writing to someone is that the string
‘-o’, either at the end of a line or on a line by itself, means that
it’s the other person’s turn to talk. The string ‘oo’ means that the
person believes the conversation to be over.
mesg(1), talk(1), who(1)
A write command appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.
12 March 1995 WRITE(1)
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