[ih] Origin of 'talk' command

Joe Touch touch at ISI.EDU
Thu Dec 19 11:24:43 PST 2002

Joe Touch wrote:
> Brian Dear wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Does anyone know the date that the Unix "talk" command originally 
>> appeared, and on what version/platform of Unix, and also if there's an 
>> RFC on it (I've not been able to locate one)?
> I would not expect an RFC: talk is between users on a single machine. 
> RFCs tend to require inter-machine communication ;-)
> I.e., this may be Unix history, but not quite Internet history (though 
> given we don't get that much traffic, and there's some overlap in 
> expertise, it seems OK to ask).

FWIW, it _has_ been a while since I used that one...

It seems that talk works between machines these days. Though looking at 
the source code, there's less a 'protocol' than a TCP stream between two 

I.e., it's nowhere as complex as telnet, which is spec'd as an RFC.


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