pty


DESCRIPTION
       A  pseudoterminal  (sometimes  abbreviated  "pty") is a pair of virtual
       character devices that provide a bidirectional  communication  channel.
       One  end  of  the channel is called the master; the other end is called
       the slave.  The slave end of the pseudoterminal provides  an  interface
       that behaves exactly like a classical terminal.  A process that expects
       to be connected to a terminal, can open the slave end of a pseudotermi-
       nal  and  then  be  driven by a program that has opened the master end.
       Anything that is written on the master end is provided to  the  process
       on the slave end as though it was input typed on a terminal.  For exam-
       ple, writing the interrupt character (usually control-C) to the  master
       device would cause an interrupt signal (SIGINT) to be generated for the
       foreground process group that is connected to the  slave.   Conversely,
       anything  that is written to the slave end of the pseudoterminal can be
       read by the process that is connected to the master end.   Psuedotermi-
       nals  are  used by applications such as network login services (ssh(1),
       rlogin(1), telnet(1)), terminal emulators,  script(1),  screen(1),  and
       expect(1).

       Historically,  two  pseudoterminal APIs have evolved: BSD and System V.
       SUSv1 standardized a pseudoterminal API based on the System V API,  and
       this  API  should be employed in all new programs that use pseudotermi-
       nals.

       Linux provides both BSD-style and (standardized) System  V-style  pseu-
       doterminals.   System  V-style  terminals  are  commonly called UNIX 98
       pseudoterminals on Linux systems.  Since kernel 2.6.4, BSD-style  pseu-
       doterminals  are  considered deprecated (they can be disabled when con-
       figuring the kernel); UNIX 98 pseudoterminals should  be  used  in  new
       applications.

   UNIX 98 pseudoterminals
       An   unused   UNIX  98  pseudoterminal  master  is  opened  by  calling
       posix_openpt(3).   (This  function  opens  the  master  clone   device,
       /dev/ptmx; see pts(4).)  After performing any program-specific initial-
       izations, changing the ownership and permissions of  the  slave  device
       using  grantpt(3), and unlocking the slave using unlockpt(3)), the cor-
       responding slave device can be opened by passing the name  returned  by
       ptsname(3) in a call to open(2).

       The  Linux  kernel  imposes  a limit on the number of available UNIX 98
       pseudoterminals.  In kernels up to and including 2.6.3, this  limit  is
       configured  at  kernel  compilation  time (CONFIG_UNIX98_PTYS), and the
       permitted number of pseudoterminals can be up to 2048, with  a  default
       setting   of  256.   Since  kernel  2.6.4,  the  limit  is  dynamically
       adjustable via  /proc/sys/kernel/pty/max,  and  a  corresponding  file,
       /proc/sys/kernel/pty/nr,  indicates  how  many pseudoterminals are cur-
       rently in use.  For further details on these two files, see proc(5).

   BSD pseudoterminals
       BSD-style pseudoterminals are provided as precreated pairs, with  names
       of  the  form  /dev/ptyXY (master) and /dev/ttyXY (slave), where X is a
       letter from the 16-character set [p-za-e], and Y is a letter  from  the
       /dev/tty[p-za-e][0-9a-f] (BSD slave devices)

NOTES
       A description of the TIOCPKT ioctl(2), which controls packet mode oper-
       ation, can be found in tty_ioctl(4).

       The BSD ioctl(2) operations TIOCSTOP, TIOCSTART, TIOCUCNTL, and TIOCRE-
       MOTE have not been implemented under Linux.

SEE ALSO
       select(2),   setsid(2),  forkpty(3),  openpty(3),  termios(3),  pts(4),
       tty(4), tty_ioctl(4)

COLOPHON
       This page is part of release 3.35 of the Linux  man-pages  project.   A
       description  of  the project, and information about reporting bugs, can
       be found at http://man7.org/linux/man-pages/.



Linux                             2005-10-10                            PTY(7)
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