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man pages section 8: System Administration Commands

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Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2022



getty - set terminal type, modes, speed, and line discipline


/usr/lib/saf/ttymon [-h] [-t timeout] line 
     [speed [type [linedisc]]]
/usr/lib/saf/ttymon -c file


getty sets terminal type, modes, speed, and line discipline. getty is a symbolic link to /usr/lib/saf/ttymon. It is included for compatibility with previous releases for the few applications that still call getty directly.

getty can only be executed by the super-user, (a process with the user ID root). Initially getty prints the login prompt, waits for the user's login name, and then invokes the login command. getty attempts to adapt the system to the terminal speed by using the options and arguments specified on the command line.

Without optional arguments, getty specifies the following: The speed of the interface is set to 300 baud, either parity is allowed, NEWLINE characters are converted to carriage return-line feed, and tab expansion is performed on the standard output. getty types the login prompt before reading the user's name a character at a time. If a null character (or framing error) is received, it is assumed to be the result of the user pressing the BREAK key. This will cause getty to attempt the next speed in the series. The series that getty tries is determined by what it finds in /etc/ttydefs .


The following options are supported:


If the –h flag is not set, a hangup will be forced by setting the speed to zero before setting the speed to the default or a specified speed.

–t timeout

Specifies that getty should exit if the open on the line succeeds and no one types anything in timeout seconds.

–c file

The –c option is no longer supported. Instead use /usr/sbin/sttydefs –l to list the contents of the /etc/ttydefs file and perform a validity check on the file.


The following operands are supported:


The name of a TTY line in /dev to which getty is to attach itself. getty uses this string as the name of a file in the /dev directory to open for reading and writing.


The speed argument is a label to a speed and TTY definition in the file /etc/ttydefs. This definition tells getty at what speed to run initially, what the initial TTY settings are, and what speed to try next, (should the user press the BREAK key to indicate that the speed is inappropriate). The default speed is 300 baud.

type and linedisc

These options are obsolete and will be ignored.




See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:


See Also

login(1), ioctl(2), tty(4D), attributes(7), sttydefs(8), ttymon(8)