Linux.com

ttyslot.3

TTYSLOT

Section: Linux Programmer's Manual (3)
Updated: 2007-11-26
Index Return to Main Contents
 

NAME

ttyslot - find the slot of the current user's terminal in some file  

SYNOPSIS

#include <unistd.h> /* on BSD-like systems, and Linux */
#include <stdlib.h> /* on System V-like systems */

int ttyslot(void);

Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):

ttyslot(): _BSD_SOURCE || (_XOPEN_SOURCE_EXTENDED && ! _XOPEN_SOURCE >= 500)  

DESCRIPTION

The legacy function ttyslot() returns the index of the current user's entry in some file.

Now "What file?" you ask. Well, let's first look at some history.  

Ancient History

There used to be a file /etc/ttys in Unix V6, that was read by the init(8) program to find out what to do with each terminal line. Each line consisted of three characters. The first character was either '0' or '1', where '0' meant "ignore". The second character denoted the terminal: '8' stood for "/dev/tty8". The third character was an argument to getty(8) indicating the sequence of line speeds to try ('-' was: start trying 110 baud). Thus a typical line was "18-". A hang on some line was solved by changing the '1' to a '0', signaling init, changing back again, and signaling init again.

In Unix V7 the format was changed: here the second character was the argument to getty(8) indicating the sequence of line speeds to try ('0' was: cycle through 300-1200-150-110 baud; '4' was for the on-line console DECwriter) while the rest of the line contained the name of the tty. Thus a typical line was "14console".

Later systems have more elaborate syntax. System V-like systems have /etc/inittab instead.  

Ancient History (2)

On the other hand, there is the file /etc/utmp listing the people currently logged in. It is maintained by login(1). It has a fixed size, and the appropriate index in the file was determined by login(1) using the ttyslot() call to find the number of the line in /etc/ttys (counting from 1).  

The semantics of ttyslot

Thus, the function ttyslot() returns the index of the controlling terminal of the calling process in the file /etc/ttys, and that is (usually) the same as the index of the entry for the current user in the file /etc/utmp. BSD still has the /etc/ttys file, but System V-like systems do not, and hence cannot refer to it. Thus, on such systems the documentation says that ttyslot() returns the current user's index in the user accounting data base.  

RETURN VALUE

If successful, this function returns the slot number. On error (e.g., if none of the file descriptors 0, 1 or 2 is associated with a terminal that occurs in this data base) it returns 0 on Unix V6 and V7 and BSD-like systems, but -1 on System V-like systems.  

CONFORMING TO

SUSv1; marked as LEGACY in SUSv2; removed in POSIX.1-2001. SUSv2 requires -1 on error.  

NOTES

The utmp file is found various places on various systems, such as /etc/utmp, /var/adm/utmp, /var/run/utmp.

The glibc2 implementation of this function reads the file _PATH_TTYS, defined in <ttyent.h> as "/etc/ttys". It returns 0 on error. Since Linux systems do not usually have "/etc/ttys", it will always return 0.

Minix also has fttyslot(fd).  

SEE ALSO

getttyent(3), ttyname(3), utmp(5)  

COLOPHON

This page is part of release 3.21 of the Linux man-pages project. A description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.


 

Index

NAME
SYNOPSIS
DESCRIPTION
Ancient History
Ancient History (2)
The semantics of ttyslot
RETURN VALUE
CONFORMING TO
NOTES
SEE ALSO
COLOPHON

 

Comments

Subscribe to Comments Feed

Upcoming Linux Foundation Courses

  1. LFD320 Linux Kernel Internals and Debugging
    03 Nov » 07 Nov - Virtual
    Details
  2. LFS416 Linux Security
    03 Nov » 06 Nov - Virtual
    Details
  3. LFS426 Linux Performance Tuning
    10 Nov » 13 Nov - Virtual
    Details

View All Upcoming Courses

Become an Individual Member
Check out the Friday Funnies

Sign Up For the Linux.com Newsletter


Who we are ?

The Linux Foundation is a non-profit consortium dedicated to the growth of Linux.

More About the foundation...

Frequent Questions

Join / Linux Training / Board