mesg(1) — Linux manual page


MESG(1)                         User Commands                        MESG(1)

NAME         top

       mesg - display (or do not display) messages from other users

SYNOPSIS         top

       mesg [option] [n|y]

DESCRIPTION         top

       The mesg 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 talk(1) and
       write(1) 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, mesg
       should be executed in your login scripts.

       The mesg utility silently exits with error status 2 if not executed
       on terminal.  In this case execute mesg 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.

ARGUMENTS         top

       n      Disallow messages.

       y      Allow messages to be displayed.

       If no arguments are given, mesg shows the current message status on
       standard error output.

OPTIONS         top

       -v, --verbose
              Explain what is being done.

       -V, --version
              Display version information and exit.

       -h, --help
              Display help text and exit.

EXIT STATUS         top

       The mesg utility exits with one of the following values:

            0     Messages are allowed.

            1     Messages are not allowed.

           >1     An error has occurred.

FILES         top


HISTORY         top

       A mesg command appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.

SEE ALSO         top

       login(1), talk(1), write(1), wall(1), xterm(1)

AVAILABILITY         top

       The mesg command is part of the util-linux package and is available

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the util-linux (a random collection of Linux
       utilities) project.  Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a
       bug report for this manual page, send it to  This page was obtained from the
       project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨git://⟩ on
       2020-09-18.  (At that time, the date of the most recent commit that
       was found in the repository was 2020-09-15.)  If you discover any
       rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe
       there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

util-linux                        July 2014                          MESG(1)

Pages that refer to this page: wall(1)write(1)