Provided by: orville-write_2.55-3_i386 bug


       mesg - permit or deny messages


       mesg  [-s]  [-v]  [y|n|ye|ne|Y|N|NE]  [d]  [-p[w|t|k|a]]  [-x[w|t|k|n]]
       [-m[l|c|a]] [-h[Y|y|n]] [-r[y|n]] [-b[y|n]]


       This is the "Orville write" verison of the standard Unix mesg command.

       Mesg with argument n forbids messages via  write(1),  ojot(1),  tel(1),
       and  talk(1)  by  revoking  non-user  write  permission  on  the user's
       terminal.  Mesg with argument y reinstates permission.  All by  itself,
       mesg reports the current state without changing it.

       The  ne  and  ye  settings  mean  ``no with exceptions'' and ``yes with
       exceptions'' respectively.  If ne is  set,  and  there  is  file  named
       .yeswrite  in  your  home  directory,  then  the users whose logins are
       listed there may still write you.  If ye is set, and there  is  a  file
       named  .nowrite in your home directory, then the users whose logins are
       listed there may not write you.  These files  have  no  effect  if  the
       permissions are set to n or y.  The .nowrite and .yeswrite files do not
       need to be permitted to anyone else, and almost  any  plausible  format
       will be understood (listing one login name per line is a good default).
       Lines may be commented out with a # sign in the first column.

       The upper case Y and N do all that the lower case ones do, but may have
       some additional affects depending on the installation.

       The  N  argument,  if  enabled,  will  attempt  to disconnect any write
       sessions currently directed at your tty.  This is meant to allow  users
       to  slam  the door on unwelcome writers.  Note that a simple ``mesg n''
       will not stop anyone who is already writing you from continuing  to  do
       so,  it  only prevents new connections from being made.  The NE setting
       also causes a disconnect, but turns your settings to ne instead  of  n.
       The  d argument causes a disconnect, just like ``mesg N'', but does not
       change your message permissions.

       Normally mesg always depermits your tty device,  so  you  can  only  be
       written  through  write  and similar programs.  This prevents arbitrary
       stuff from being redirected to your tty.  When you do ``mesg  Y''  your
       tty  is  write  permitted  to  others.   This  is  rarely  necessary or

       Mesg can also be  used  to  set  other  switches  that  affect  Orville
       write(1).   The  -p  flag  lets  you  set preferences to (w) write, (t)
       telegrams, (k) talk, or (a) any.  The default is ``any.''  If you set a
       preference  to write, then people will not be able to send telegrams or
       talk requests to you.  If they try to  send  telegrams,  they  will  be
       asked  if  they  want  to  write  you instead.  Similarly if you prefer
       telegrams, people will not be able to write or talk to you, and if  you
       prefer  talk,  people  will  not  be able to write or tel you.  You can
       designate two preferences, like ``mesg -pt -pw''  to  allow  people  to
       write or telegram you, but not make talk requests to you.  Alternately,
       you can use the -x flag to block  particular  programs.   Doing  ``mesg
       -xk''  blocks  only  the  talk program, and is equivalent to ``mesg -pt
       -pw''.   Similarly  the  ``-xn''  flag  excludes  no  programs  and  is
       equivalent  to  ``-pa''.   Trying  to block all programs just turns you
       permissions off.

       The -m flag lets you set modes to (l) line, (c) character, or (a)  any.
       The default is ``any.''  If you set a mode, then all writes to you will
       be done in that mode.  If you leave it as ``any,'' the choice  is  left
       to  the  writer.  This will not affect connections already in progress,
       only future ones.

       The -r flag lets you turn on or off the recording to telegrams sent  to
       you.   If  it is enabled, everytime you are sent a telegram (or a write
       with input taken from a file), the text of the messages is saved  in  a
       file  named  .lastmesg  in  your  home  directory.   This allows you to
       redisplay the last message sent to you using the huh(1) command.  If  a
       screen  clear  ate  a  telegram message before you had time to read it,
       then the huh command lets you see it again.  Note that  only  the  last
       message  sent  is  stored.  The file is permitted to be readable to you

       The -b flag lets you tell the write and talk programs whether or not to
       beep  when a person writes you or sends you a telegram.  The default is
       to beep.

       The -h flag lets you turn on or off your  helper  status.   People  who
       designate  themselves  as  helpers  are announcing their willingness to
       help out lost users.  Their accounts will be marked on  the  output  of
       the  finger(1)  command,  and  if  anyone  does  a  write or ojot(1) to
       ``help'' they automatically get connected to someone  who  has  a  help
       flag  set.   Normally,  turning  your  permissions  off also turns your
       helper-status off, but if you set the -h  flag  to  Y,  then  you  will
       remain a helper even when your message permissions are off.  This means
       you can receive help requests, but not normal messages.

       On some systems there is a restricted list of users who may be helpers.
       This is usually kept in the file /etc/helpers, one login name per line.
       If such a file exists then you will have to get the  operators  to  add
       your name to it to be able to designate yourself as a helper.

       If  no  new  settings  are  given  to mesg, then it just reports on the
       current settings.  Normally it prints the message permissions, but if a
       -h, -p, -r, or -m flag was given without a new value after it, then the
       current status of that switch will be printed instead.  If you use  the
       -s  flag,  then  this  output  will  be  suppressed.  The command still
       reports the status of the selected switch with its numeric return code.

       If you use the -v flag, all switch  settings  will  be  reported  in  a
       verbose mode.

       The  numeric  values  returned  as return codes (see below) can also be
       used to set switches.  Thus ``mesg 0 -m2'' sets permissions on, and the
       mode  to any.  This makes it easy for shell scripts to restore settings
       that were stored previously.

       The argument syntax is actually a lot looser than mentioned above.  The
       dashes  before  options  may be omitted, Spaces may be added or omitted
       anywhere in the argument list.




       write(1), amin(1), finger(1), huh(1), helpers(1), talk(1)


       Exit status is -1 on an error.  Otherwise a code is returned  reporting
       the  status  of one of the settings.  If the arguments included -h, -p,
       or -m flags without a new value after it, then the last of these listed
       will  be  reported.   Otherwise,  if  any options were set, the last of
       those listed in the argument list will be reported.  And if nothing was
       set, then message permissions are reported.

       When  message  permissions,  record  settings,  or  helper settings are
       reported, 0 indicates 'y', and 1 indicates 'n'.  When  preferences  are
       reported,  1  indicates  'w', 2 indicates 't', and 4 indicates 'k', and
       any combinations are returned as sums of these values.  When modes  are
       reported, 0 indicates 'l', 1 indicates 'c', and 2 indicates 'a'.


       Turning off 'talk' permissions will only work if you have a talkd which
       has been modified to understand Orville write's permission.