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Why doesn't the "wall" command display on the console?

asked 2017-09-23 12:06:48 -0500

leonpetrosky gravatar image

Command 'wall "TEST wall"' only displays on pseudo terminals ( pts/n ), not to users logged in on the console ( /dev/tty2 ).

On the black screen of a reboot, the message flashes by.

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You probably need to run that as root. sudo ...

bodhi.zazen gravatar imagebodhi.zazen ( 2017-09-23 14:21:01 -0500 )edit

Either that or the user must be a member of the group tty.

villykruse gravatar imagevillykruse ( 2017-09-24 08:12:56 -0500 )edit

Running as root made no difference.

leonpetrosky gravatar imageleonpetrosky ( 2017-09-26 09:17:07 -0500 )edit

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answered 2017-09-24 08:20:08 -0500

villykruse gravatar image

To be able to use wall you must be a member of the group tty. Also, the receiving user must enable receiving wall messages using the mesg command.

The wall command uses the utmp file to find the terminal devices to write to. Use the who command to se the contents of that file. Some terminal emulators, for example xfce4-terminal, do not add an entry to the utmp file, so therefore will not receive wall messages.

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21 Sep 2017 who -u -H NAME LINE TIME IDLE PID COMMENT user009 tty2 2017-09-23 11:48 20:29 3899 (/dev/tty2) user009 pts/4 2017-09-23 12:06 00:03 9716 (192.168.1.147) user009 pts/5 2017-09-23 12:08 00:03 16289 (192.168.1.147) user009 pts/6 2017-09-23 12:21 00:05 16999 (192.168.1.147) user009 pts/7 2017-09-23 12:27 18:10 30511 (192.168.1.147)

The SAME user is logged onto the console and pts/n. 4 users on console. who shows one. Sounds buggy.

leonpetrosky gravatar imageleonpetrosky ( 2017-09-26 09:21:21 -0500 )edit

Message firmatted properly:

who -u -H
NAME     LINE         TIME             IDLE          PID COMMENT
user009  tty2         2017-09-23 11:48 20:29        3899 (/dev/tty2) 
user009  pts/4        2017-09-23 12:06 00:03        9716 (192.168.1.147) 
user009  pts/5        2017-09-23 12:08 00:03       16289 (192.168.1.147) 
user009  pts/6        2017-09-23 12:21 00:05       16999 (192.168.1.147) 
user009  pts/7        2017-09-23 12:27 18:10       30511 (192.168.1.147)

You select the message with the mouse and hit the 1010101 botton.

villykruse gravatar imagevillykruse ( 2017-09-26 10:32:52 -0500 )edit

Works for me:

Fedora 26 (Twenty Six)
Kernel 4.12.13-300.fc26.i686+PAE on an i686 (tty2)

mybox login: ttt
Password:
Last login: Sun Sep 24 14:58:57 on tty2
-sh-4.4$
-sh-4.4$
-sh-4.4$

Broadcast message from vek@mybox.localdomain (pts/2) (Tue Sep 26 17:30:33 2017)

this is a test

tty
/dev/tty2
-sh-4.4$
villykruse gravatar imagevillykruse ( 2017-09-26 10:34:33 -0500 )edit

Added user to tty, but still not displaying on console. Perhaps Fedora 26 has a bug fix that Fedora 25 does not have. groups user009 tty wheel

leonpetrosky gravatar imageleonpetrosky ( 2017-10-01 10:32:07 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2017-09-23 12:06:48 -0500

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Last updated: Sep 24 '17