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Thread: What is tty and pty?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    What is tty and pty?

    When I did a ls /dev/tty*, I noticed that almost hundred of tty1, tty2..ttya1, ttyb6, and ptya1, ptya2 and so on and show up.

    What is the the purpose of tty and pty? When I nano them, it show nothing.

    Do the system need to have so many tty and pty? If not, can they be remove and how?

    Will so many tty and pty files occupy memory spaces? When I did a "free" check, it show almost 550M of memory is being used. For XP, I am able to bring the memory used down to 100M. How do I do it for Ubuntu?

    Thanks to any one who can provides some guide.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Re: What is tty and pty?

    Quote Originally Posted by meepok88 View Post
    What is the the purpose of tty and pty? When I nano them, it show nothing.
    From what I understand, TTY "terminal" is where you have physical access to keyboard/Screen (Physical presence in front of the system). PTY "terminal" is for accessing remote systems virtually.
    Steady movement is more important than speed, much of the time. So long as there is a regular progression of Stimuli to get your mental hooks into, there is room for lateral movement. Once this begins, its rate is a matter of discretion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Re: What is tty and pty?

    Leave tty and pty alone!

    They are important parts of the Linux system.

    tty is the controlling terminal.
    pty is the pseudo-terminal interface.

    You are currently running on a tty, (tty7). Just type in
    Code:
    who
    in the terminal and you'll see it.

    In ubuntu, you have 6 tty terminals (7th+ reserved for X screens).

    To switch between tty's, press "Ctrl+Alt+F1" right through to "F7" to see each one.

    There is a way that you can disable it, but there really is no use, as it doesn't take up virtually any memory to hold them whatsoever.

    If you are having memory problems, can you open up a terminal and type in this command for us.
    Code:
    top | head -n10
    Run it around 3 times and post the output of the command in your next post.

    Regards
    Iain

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: What is tty and pty?

    tty = teletype ; the first unix terminals were teletyps,remotely controlled typewriters that were connected through serial ports.Thus the address for serial ports on unix machines is /dev/ttyS# (# being the number of the serial port).

    pty = pseudo terminal : Pseudo terminal acts like a pipe between a pair of devices i.e: /dev/ptyp3 and /dev/ttyp3.More info can be found here.

    as mentioned above they should be left alone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    4

    Re: What is tty and pty?

    Thank you everyone for sharing.

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