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

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 from

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
       2021-03-21.  (At that time, the date of the most recent commit
       that was found in the repository was 2021-03-19.)  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)