GETTYTAB(5) BSD File Formats Manual GETTYTAB(5)NAMEgettytab — terminal configuration data base
The gettytab file is a simplified version of the termcap(5) data base
used to describe terminal lines. The initial terminal login process
getty(8) accesses the gettytab file each time it starts, allowing simpler
reconfiguration of terminal characteristics. Each entry in the data base
is used to describe one class of terminals.
There is a default terminal class, default, that is used to set global
defaults for all other classes. (That is, the default entry is read,
then the entry for the class required is used to override particular set‐
Refer to termcap(5) for a description of the file layout. The default
column below lists defaults obtained if there is no entry in the table
obtained, nor one in the special default table.
Name Type Default Description
ac str unused expect-send chat script for modem
al str unused user to auto-login instead of prompting
ap bool false terminal uses any parity
bk str 0377 alternate end of line character (input
c0 num unused tty control flags to write messages
c1 num unused tty control flags to read login name
c2 num unused tty control flags to leave terminal as
ce bool false use crt erase algorithm
ck bool false use crt kill algorithm
cl str NULL screen clear sequence
co bool false console - add ‘\n’ after login prompt
ct num 10 chat timeout for ac and ic scripts
dc num 0 chat debug bitmask
de num 0 delay secs and flush input before
writing first prompt
df str %+ the strftime(3) format used for %d in
the banner message
ds str ‘^Y’ delayed suspend character
dx bool false set DECCTLQ
ec bool false leave echo OFF
ep bool false terminal uses even parity
er str ‘^?’ erase character
et str ‘^D’ end of text (EOF) character
ev str NULL initial environment
f0 num unused tty mode flags to write messages
f1 num unused tty mode flags to read login name
f2 num unused tty mode flags to leave terminal as
fl str ‘^O’ output flush character
hc bool false do NOT hangup line on last close
he str NULL hostname editing string
hn str hostname hostname
ht bool false terminal has real tabs
hw bool false do cts/rts hardware flow control
i0 num unused tty input flags to write messages
i1 num unused tty input flags to read login name
i2 num unused tty input flags to leave terminal as
ic str unused expect-send chat script for modem
if str unused display named file before prompt, like
ig bool false ignore garbage characters in login name
im str NULL initial (banner) message
in str ‘^C’ interrupt character
is num unused input speed
kl str ‘^U’ kill character
l0 num unused tty local flags to write messages
l1 num unused tty local flags to read login name
l2 num unused tty local flags to leave terminal as
lm str login: login prompt
ln str ‘^V’ ``literal next'' character
lo str /usr/bin/login program to exec when name obtained
mb bool false do flow control based on carrier
nc bool false terminal does not supply carrier (set
nl bool false terminal has (or might have) a newline
np bool false terminal uses no parity (i.e. 8-bit
nx str default next table (for auto speed selection)
o0 num unused tty output flags to write messages
o1 num unused tty output flags to read login name
o2 num unused tty output flags to leave terminal as
op bool false terminal uses odd parity
os num unused output speed
pc str ‘\0’ pad character
pe bool false use printer (hard copy) erase algorithm
pf num 0 delay between first prompt and follow‐
ing flush (seconds)
pl bool false start PPP login program unconditionally
if pp is specified
pp str unused PPP login program
ps bool false line connected to a MICOM port selector
qu str ‘^\’ quit character
rp str ‘^R’ line retype character
rt num unused ring timeout when using ac
rw bool false do NOT use raw for input, use cbreak
sp num unused line speed (input and output)
su str ‘^Z’ suspend character
tc str none table continuation
to num 0 timeout (seconds)
tt str NULL terminal type (for environment)
ub bool false do unbuffered output (of prompts etc)
we str ‘^W’ word erase character
xc bool false do NOT echo control chars as ‘^X’
xf str ‘^S’ XOFF (stop output) character
xn str ‘^Q’ XON (start output) character
Lo str C the locale name used for %d in the
The following capabilities are no longer supported by getty(8):
bd num 0 backspace delay
cb bool false use crt backspace mode
cd num 0 carriage-return delay
fd num 0 form-feed (vertical motion) delay
lc bool false terminal has lower case
nd num 0 newline (line-feed) delay
uc bool false terminal is known upper case only
If no line speed is specified, speed will not be altered from that which
prevails when getty is entered. Specifying an input or output speed will
override line speed for stated direction only.
Terminal modes to be used for the output of the message, for input of the
login name, and to leave the terminal set as upon completion, are derived
from the boolean flags specified. If the derivation should prove inade‐
quate, any (or all) of these three may be overridden with one of the c0,
c1, c2, i0, i1, i2, l0, l1, l2, o0, o1, or o2 numeric specifications,
which can be used to specify (usually in octal, with a leading '0') the
exact values of the flags. These flags correspond to the termios
c_cflag, c_iflag, c_lflag, and c_oflag fields, respectively. Each these
sets must be completely specified to be effective. The f0, f1, and f2
are excepted for backwards compatibility with a previous incarnation of
the TTY sub-system. In these flags the bottom 16 bits of the (32 bits)
value contain the sgttyb sg_flags field, while the top 16 bits represent
the local mode word.
Should getty(8) receive a null character (presumed to indicate a line
break) it will restart using the table indicated by the nx entry. If
there is none, it will re-use its original table.
Delays are specified in milliseconds, the nearest possible delay avail‐
able in the tty driver will be used. Should greater certainty be
desired, delays with values 0, 1, 2, and 3 are interpreted as choosing
that particular delay algorithm from the driver.
The cl screen clear string may be preceded by a (decimal) number of mil‐
liseconds of delay required (a la termcap). This delay is simulated by
repeated use of the pad character pc.
The initial message, login message, and initial file; im, lm and if may
include any of the following character sequences, which expand to infor‐
mation about the environment in which getty(8) is running.
%d The current date and time formatted according to
the Lo and df strings.
%h The hostname of the machine, which is normally
obtained from the system using gethostname(3), but
may also be overridden by the hn table entry. In
either case it may be edited with the he string.
A '@' in the he string causes one character from
the real hostname to be copied to the final host‐
name. A '#' in the he string causes the next
character of the real hostname to be skipped.
Each character that is neither '@' nor '#' is
copied into the final hostname. Surplus '@' and
'#' characters are ignored.
%t The tty name.
%m, %r, %s, %v The type of machine, release of the operating sys‐
tem, name of the operating system, and version of
the kernel, respectively, as returned by uname(3).
%% A “%” character.
When getty execs the login process, given in the lo string (usually
“/usr/bin/login”), it will have set the environment to include the termi‐
nal type, as indicated by the tt string (if it exists). The ev string,
can be used to enter additional data into the environment. It is a list
of comma separated strings, each of which will presumably be of the form
If a non-zero timeout is specified, with to, then getty will exit within
the indicated number of seconds, either having received a login name and
passed control to login(1), or having received an alarm signal, and
exited. This may be useful to hangup dial in lines.
Output from getty(8) is even parity unless op or np is specified. The op
string may be specified with ap to allow any parity on input, but gener‐
ate odd parity output. Note: this only applies while getty is being run,
terminal driver limitations prevent a more complete implementation. The
getty(8) utility does not check parity of input characters in RAW mode.
If a pp string is specified and a PPP link bring-up sequence is recog‐
nized, getty will invoke the program referenced by the pp option. This
can be used to handle incoming PPP calls. If the pl option is true as
well, getty(8) will skip the user name prompt and the PPP detection
phase, and will invoke the program specified by pp instantly.
Getty provides some basic intelligent modem handling by providing a chat
script feature available via two capabilities:
ic Chat script to initialize modem.
ac Chat script to answer a call.
A chat script is a set of expect/send string pairs. When a chat string
starts, getty will wait for the first string, and if it finds it, will
send the second, and so on. Strings specified are separated by one or
more tabs or spaces. Strings may contain standard ASCII characters and
special 'escapes', which consist of a backslash character followed by one
or more characters which are interpreted as follows:
\a bell character.
\p half-second pause.
\r carriage return.
\S, \s space character.
\xNN hexadecimal byte value.
\0NNN octal byte value.
Note that the ‘\p’ sequence is only valid for send strings and causes a
half-second pause between sending the previous and next characters.
Hexadecimal values are, at most, 2 hex digits long, and octal values are
a maximum of 3 octal digits.
The ic chat sequence is used to initialize a modem or similar device. A
typical example of an init chat script for a modem with a hayes compati‐
ble command set might look like this:
:ic="" ATE0Q0V1\r OK\r ATS0=0\r OK\r:
This script waits for nothing (which always succeeds), sends a sequence
to ensure that the modem is in the correct mode (suppress command echo,
send responses in verbose mode), and then disables auto-answer. It waits
for an "OK" response before it terminates. The init sequence is used to
check modem responses to ensure that the modem is functioning correctly.
If the init script fails to complete, getty considers this to be fatal,
and results in an error logged via syslogd(8), and exiting.
Similarly, an answer chat script is used to manually answer the phone in
response to (usually) a "RING". When run with an answer script, getty
opens the port in non-blocking mode, clears any extraneous input and
waits for data on the port. As soon as any data is available, the answer
chat script is started and scanned for a string, and responds according
to the answer chat script. With a hayes compatible modem, this would
normally look something like:
:ac=RING\r ATA\r CONNECT:
This causes the modem to answer the call via the "ATA" command, then
scans input for a "CONNECT" string. If this is received before a ct
timeout, then a normal login sequence commences.
The ct capability specifies a timeout for all send and expect strings.
This timeout is set individually for each expect wait and send string and
must be at least as long as the time it takes for a connection to be
established between a remote and local modem (usually around 10 seconds).
In most situations, you will want to flush any additional input after the
connection has been detected, and the de capability may be used to do
that, as well as delay for a short time after the connection has been
established during which all of the connection data has been sent by the
SEE ALSOlogin(1), gethostname(3), uname(3), termcap(5), getty(8), telnetd(8)HISTORY
The gettytab file format appeared in 4.2BSD.
The special characters (erase, kill, etc.) are reset to system defaults
by login(1). In all cases, '#' or '^H' typed in a login name will be
treated as an erase character, and '@' will be treated as a kill charac‐
The delay stuff is a real crock. Apart form its general lack of flexi‐
bility, some of the delay algorithms are not implemented. The terminal
driver should support sane delay settings.
The he capability is stupid.
The termcap(5) format is horrid, something more rational should have been
BSD April 19, 1994 BSD