Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: July 2014
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mesg - display (or do not display) messages from other users
utility is invoked by a user to control write access others have to the
terminal device associated with standard error output. If write access
is allowed, then programs such as
may display messages on the terminal.
Traditionally, write access is allowed by default. However, as users
become more conscious of various security risks, there is a trend to remove
write access by default, at least for the primary login shell. To make
sure your ttys are set the way you want them to be set,
should be executed in your login scripts.
utility silently exits with error status 2 if the current standard error output does
not refer to the terminal. In this case execute
is pointless. The command line option --verbose forces
mesg to print a warning in this situation. This behaviour has been introduced
in version 2.33.
Allow messages to be displayed.
If no arguments are given,
shows the current message status on standard error output.
- -v, --verbose
Explain what is being done.
- -V, --version
Display version information and exit.
- -h, --help
Display help text and exit.
utility exits with one of the following values:
Messages are allowed.
Messages are not allowed.
An error has occurred.
command appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.
The mesg command is part of the util-linux package and is available from