Posts Tagged ‘unix bsd’

Enabling talkd (Console Chat) between logged in users on FreeBSD and other BSDs

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Reading Time: 2minutes

Talk between two useres on FreeBSD 7.2 screenshot, console peer to peer interactive talk program UNIX, Linux, BSD

Those who are in familiar with older UNIXes, UNIX BSD derivatives and GNU Linux should certainly remember the times, when we hackers used to talk to each other using talk service.

Those who don't know what talk command is it is a simple console / ssh utility to talk to another logged in users.

Talk is very similar to write and mesg one liner messasing utilities available for *nixes, the difference is it is intendted to provide interactive chat between the two logged in users. People who came to know UNIX or free software in older times most likely don't know talk, however I still remember how precious this tool was for communication back in the day.

I believe still it can be useful so I dediced to install ot on one FreeBSD host.

In order to have the talk service running on BSD it is necessery to have /usr/libexec/ntalkd installed on the system this however is installed by default with standard BSD OS installs, so no need for any external ports install to run it.

talk doesn't have it's own init script to start is not written to run as it own service but in order to run it is is necessery to enable it via inetd

Enabling it is done by;;;

1 — Editting /etc/inetd.conf

Inside the conf the line::

#ntalk dgram udp wait tty:tty /usr/libexec/ntalkd ntalkd

should be uncommented e.g, become ;;;

ntalk dgram udp wait tty:tty /usr/libexec/ntalkd ntalkd

2 — Restart inetd

freebsd# /etc/rc.d/inetd restart
Stopping inetd.
Starting inetd.

talk is planned to be used for peer to peer conversations over SSH so in a way it is the GRANDFATHER 🙂 of IRC, ICQ and Skype;;;

Here is an example on how talk is used ,, Let's say there are three logged in users

pcfreak# w
12:39PM up 3 days, 16:25, 3 users, load averages: 1.12, 0.91, 0.71
testuser p0 10:50AM - bash
hipo p3 12:23PM - w
root p4 :ttyp2:S.0 12:24PM - vim /usr/local/www/dat

I'm logged in with my username hipo and I would like to talk to testuser ;;;;

pcfreak% tty

You see I'm logged in on /dev/ttyp3 (this is the specific naming on BSDs) on Linux equivalent is /dev/tty3So to talk the other user testuser;;;;;-

$ talk testuser ttyp0
[No connection yet]
[Waiting for your party to respond]

The testuser logged in via SSH will then get a message ||;

Message from Talk_Daemon@pcfreak at 12:44 on 2012/06/10 ...
talk: connection requested by hipo@localhost
talk: respond with: talk hipo@localhost

To enter a talk session then the logged in testuser has to type:

$ talk hipo@localhost


The creator of C and UNIX Dennis Ritchie passed away R.I.P. Dennis

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Reading Time: 3minutes

Dennis Ritchie old young picture

I just read the – Linux Weekly news ‘s website the very sad news that one of the greatest modern day computer heroes Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie after a long illness has passed away in his home.

The original notification for this grieving news are on Rob Pike’s Google Plus wall , this is the original message:

Rob Pike - 1:02 AM - Public
I just heard that, after a long illness, Dennis Ritchie (dmr) died at home this weekend. I have no more information.
I trust there are people here who will appreciate the reach of his contributions and mourn his passing appropriately.
He was a quiet and mostly private man, but he was also my friend, colleague, and collaborator, and the world has lost a truly great mind.

For all those who haven’t heard about Dennis Ritchie , he was a computer scientist who developed the C Programming language and had an immeasurable influence on all kind of Modern programming.

C Programming Language cover Dennis Ritchie

Dennis worked on the development of Unix’s predecessor Multics as well as with Ken Thompson worked together in Bell Labs and are practically the fathers of UNIX.
Unix the Seventh Edition source code has later become the basis for the early UNIX BSD distributions. Among the most important technical contributions Dennis has done is the introduction of a Streams mechanism – pipes – (as called today in GNU/Linux and BSD and other unices).
Ritchie’s C Language creation on top of Ken Thompson’s B Programming language has been standartized and become the de-facto standard for almost every modern existing OS around.
Moreover dmr has been among the co-creators of Plan 9 Operating system (which is currently open-source distributed) as well as coded a few bits for the Inferno OS which today is known under the code name Vita Nuova

Unix Live Free or die Bell labs early UNIX logo

dmr (the hacker nickname of Dennis) lines up across the most notable computer hackers of all times. He received U.S. national Medal of Technology in 1999 from president Bill Clinton for his contributions to co-inventing the UNIX operating system and the creation of C Language

Denis Ritchie receives national prize in 1999 for Technology from president Bill Clinton
To sum it up DMR is just an “icon” in the computer geek world and his memory will surely live forever in the hacker undeground and computer geek culture.

Dennis Ritche near a personal computer picture

A few quotes dmr is so famous with:

"I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party."
"Usenet is a strange place."
"UNIX is very simple, it just needs a genius to understand its simplicity."
"C is quirky, flawed, and an enormous success."
"We really didn't buy it thinking we'd have this enormous investment."

Here is also a short video telling a few words of UNIX history and showing Dennis Ritchie in his UNIX development years:

Farewell Denis! See you in Hacker’s paradise 😉