tty, termios - terminals


     The tty driver family takes care  of  all  user  input  and  output.   It
     governs  the  keyboard,  the  console, the serial lines, and pseudo ttys.
     Input on any of these devices undergoes "input  processing",  and  output
     undergoes  "output processing" according to the standard termios terminal

  Input processing
     Each terminal device has an input queue.  This queue  is  used  to  store
     preprocessed  input  characters, and to perform the backspacing and erase
     functions.  Some special characters like a newline make the  contents  of
     the  queue  available to a process reading from the terminal.  Characters
     up to and including the newline, or another so-called "line  break",  may
     be  read by a process.  The process need not read all characters at once.
     An input line may be read byte by byte if one wants  to.   A  line  break
     just makes characters available for reading, thats all.

     When data is made available depends on whether the tty  is  in  canonical
     mode  or  not.   In  canonical  mode the terminal processes input line by
     line.  A line ends with a newline (NL), end-of-file (EOF), or end-of-line
     (EOL).   Characters that have not been delimited by such a line break may
     be erased one by one with the ERASE character or all  at  once  with  the
     KILL  character.   Once  a  line  break  is  typed  the characters become
     available to a reading process and can no longer be  erased.   Once  read
     they  are removed from the input queue.  Several lines may be gathered in
     the input queue if no reader is present to read them, but  a  new  reader
     will  only  receive  one line.  Two line breaks are never returned in one
     read call.  The input queue has a maximum length of MAX_CANON characters.
     Any  more  characters  are discarded.  One must use ERASE or KILL to make
     the  terminal  functioning  again  if  the  input  queue  fills  up.   If
     nonblocking  I/O  is  set then -1 is returned with errno set to EAGAIN if
     the reader would otherwise be blocked.

     In non-canonical mode (raw mode for short) all characters are immediately
     available  to the reader in principle.  One may however tune the terminal
     to bursty input with the  MIN  and  TIME  parameters,  see  the  raw  I/O
     parameters section below.  In raw mode no characters are discarded if the
     input queue threatens to overflow if the device supports flow control.

  Output processing
     Characters written to a terminal device may  undergo  output  processing,
     which  is  usually  just inserting a carriage returns before newlines.  A
     writer may return before all characters are output if the characters  can
     be  stored  in the output buffers.  If not then the writer may be blocked
     until space is available.  If non-blocking I/O is set then only the count
     of the number of bytes that can be processed immediately is returned.  If
     no characters can be written at all then -1 is returned with errno set to

  Special characters
     Some characters have special functions in some  of  the  terminal  modes.
     These  characters  are  as  follows,  with  the  Minix  defaults shown in

     INTR (^?)
          Special input character that is recognized if  ISIG  is  set.   (For
          ISIG  and  other  flags  see  the various modes sections below.)  It
          causes a SIGINT signal to be sent to all processes in  the  terminal
          process group.  (See the section on session leaders below.)

     QUIT (^\)
          Special input character if ISIG is set.  Causes a SIGQUIT signal  to
          be sent to the terminal process group.

     ERASE (^H)
          Special input character if ICANON is set.  Erases the last character
          in the current line.

     KILL (^U)
          Special input character if ICANON is set.  Erases the entire line.

     EOF (^D)
          Special input character if ICANON  is  set.   It  is  a  line  break
          character  that is not itself returned to a reader.  If EOF is typed
          with no input present then the read  returns  zero,  which  normally
          causes the reader to assume that end-of-file is reached.

     CR (^M)
          Special input character if IGNCR or ICRNL is set.  It is a  carriage
          return  ('\r').   If IGNCR is set then CR is discarded.  If ICRNL is
          set and IGNCR is not set then CR is changed into an NL and  has  the
          same function as NL.

     NL (^J)
          Special input character if ICANON is set.   It  is  both  a  newline
          ('\n') and a line break.
          Special output character if OPOST  and  ONLCR  are  set.   A  CR  NL
          sequence  is output instead of just NL.  (Minix specific, but almost
          mandatory on any UNIX-like system.)

     TAB (^I)
          Special character on output if OPOST  and  XTABS  are  set.   It  is
          transformed  into  the  number of spaces necessary to reach a column
          position that is a multiple of eight.  (Only  needed  for  terminals
          without hardware tabs.)

     EOL (undefined)
          Special input character if ICANON is set.  It is an additional  line

     SUSP (^Z)
          Special input character if job control is implemented  and  ISIG  is
          set.   It causes a SIGTSTP signal to be send to the terminal process
          group.  (Minix does not have job control.)

     STOP (^S)
          Special input character if IXON is set.  It suspends terminal output
          and is then discarded.

     START (^Q)
          Special output character if IXON is set.  It starts terminal  output
          if  suspended  and is then discarded.  If IXANY is also set then any
          other character also  starts  terminal  output,  but  they  are  not

     REPRINT (^R)
          Special input character if IEXTEN and ECHO are  set.   Reprints  the
          input  queue  from  the  last  line  break  onwards.  A reprint also
          happens automatically if the echoed input  has  been  messed  up  by
          other output and ERASE is typed.

     LNEXT (^V)
          Special input character if IEXTEN is set.  It is the "literal  next"
          character  that  causes  the  next character to be input without any
          special processing.

     DISCARD (^O)
          Special input character if IEXTEN  is  set.   Causes  output  to  be
          discarded  until  it is typed again.  (Implemented only under Minix-

     All of these characters except CR, NL and TAB may be changed or  disabled
     under  Minix.   (Changes  to  START  and  STOP may be ignored under other
     termios implementations.)  The REPRINT and  LNEXT  characters  are  Minix
     extensions  that are commonly present in other implementations.  POSIX is
     unclear on whether IEXTEN, IGNCR and  ICRNL  should  be  active  in  non-
     canonical mode, but under Minix they are.

  Terminal attributes
     The attributes of  a  terminal,  such  as  whether  the  mode  should  be
     canonical  or  non-canonical,  are  controlled  by  routines that use the
     termios structure as defined in <termios.h>:

          struct termios {
              tcflag_t  c_iflag;       /* input modes */
              tcflag_t  c_oflag;       /* output modes */
              tcflag_t  c_cflag;       /* control modes */
              tcflag_t  c_lflag;       /* local modes */
              speed_t   c_ispeed;      /* input speed */
              speed_t   c_ospeed;      /* output speed */
              cc_t      c_cc[NCCS];    /* control characters */

     The types tcflag, speed_t and cc_t are defined in <termios.h> as unsigned
     integral types.

  Input Modes
     The c_iflag field contains the following single bit  flags  that  control
     input processing:

          Map CR to NL on input.

          Ignore CR on input.  This flag overrides ICRNL.

          Map NL to CR on input.  This is done after the IGNCR check.

     IXON Enable start/stop output control.

          Enable start/stop input control.  (Not implemented.)

          Allow any character to restart output.  (Minix specific.)

          Strip characters to seven bits.

          Ignore characters with parity errors.  (Not implemented.)

          Enable input parity checking.  (Not implemented.)

          Mark parity errors by preceding the faulty  character  with  '\377',
          '\0'.   The  character '\377' is preceded by another '\377' to avoid
          ambiguity.  (Not implemented.)

          Send the signal SIGINT to the terminal process group when  receiving
          a break condition.  (Not implemented.)

          Ignore break condition.  If neither BRKINT or IGNBRK is set a  break
          is  input  as  a  single  '\0', or if PARMRK is set as '\377', '\0',
          '\0'.  (Breaks are always ignored.)

  Output Modes
     The c_oflag field contains the following single bit  flags  that  control
     output processing:

          Perform output processing.  This flag is the "main switch" on output
          processing.  All other flags are Minix specific.

          Transform an NL to a CR NL sequence on  output.   Note  that  a  key
          labeled  "RETURN"  or  "ENTER" usually sends a CR.  In line oriented
          mode this is normally transformed into  NL  by  ICRNL.   NL  is  the
          normal  UNIX  line delimiter ('\n').  On output an NL is transformed
          into the CR NL sequence that is necessary to reach the first  column
          of  the next line.  (This is a common output processing function for
          UNIX-like systems, but not always separately switchable by an  ONLCR

          Transform a TAB into the number  of  spaces  necessary  to  reach  a
          column position that is a multiple of eight.

          Discard EOT (^D) characters.  (Minix-vmd only.)

  Control Modes
     The c_cflag field contains the following single bit flags and  bit  field
     for basic hardware control:

          Ignore modem status lines.

          Enable receiver.  (The receiver is always enabled.)

          Number of bits per byte.  CSIZE masks off the values CS5,  CS6,  CS7
          and CS8 that indicate that 5, 6, 7 or 8 bits are used.

          Send two stop bits instead of one.  Two stop bits are normally  used
          at 110 baud or less.

          Enable parity generation.

          Generate odd parity if parity is generated, otherwise even parity.

          Drop the modem control lines on the last close of the terminal line.
          (Not implemented.)

  Local Modes
     The c_lflag field contains the following single bit  flags  that  control
     various functions:

     ECHO Enable echoing of  input  characters.   Most  input  characters  are
          echoed  as they are.  Control characters are echoed as ^X where X is
          the letter used to say that the control character  is  CTRL-X.   The
          CR, NL and TAB characters are echoed with their normal effect unless
          they are escaped by LNEXT.

          If ICANON and ECHO are set then echo ERASE and KILL as one  or  more
          backspace-space-backspace  sequences  to wipe out the last character
          or the entire line, otherwise they are echoed as they are.

          If ICANON and ECHO are set and ECHOE is not set then  output  an  NL
          after  the  KILL  character.   (For hardcopy terminals it is best to
          unset ECHOE and to set ECHOK.)

          Echo NL even if ECHO is not set, but ICANON is set.

          Canonical input.  This enables line oriented  input  and  erase  and
          kill processing.

          Enable implementation defined input extensions.

     ISIG Enable the signal characters INTR, QUIT and SUSP.

          Disable the flushing of the input and output queues that is normally
          done if a signal is sent.

          Send a SIGTTOU signal if job control is implemented and a background
          process tries to write.  (Minix has no job control.)

  Input and output speed
     The input and output speed are encoded into  the  c_ispeed  and  c_ospeed
     fields.   <termios.h> defines the symbols B0, B50, B75, B110, B134, B150,
     B200, B300, B600, B1200, B1800,  B2400,  B4800,  B9600,  B19200,  B38400,
     B57600  and B115200 as values used to indicate the given baud rates.  The
     zero baud rate, B0, if used for the input speed causes the input speed to
     be  equal to the output speed.  Setting the output speed to zero hangs up
     the line.  One should use  the  functions  cfgetispeed(),  cfgetospeed(),
     cfsetispeed()  and  cfsetospeed()  to  get  or  set  a speed, because the
     c_ispeed  and  c_ospeed  fields  may   not   be   visible   under   other
     implementations.   (The  c_ispeed  and c_ospeed fields and the B57600 and
     B115200 symbols are Minix specific.)

  Special characters
     The c_cc array contains the special characters that can be modified.  The
     array  has  length  NCCS  and  is  subscripted by the symbols VEOF, VEOL,
     VLNEXT and VDISCARD.  All these symbols are defined in <termios.h>.  Some
     implementations may give the same values to the VMIN and VTIME subscripts
     and  the VEOF and VEOL subscripts respectively, and may ignore changes to
     START and STOP.  (Under Minix all special characters have there own  c_cc
     slot and can all be modified.)

  Raw I/O Parameters
     The MIN and TIME parameters can be used to adjust  a  raw  connection  to
     bursty  input.   MIN  represents  a  minimum number of bytes that must be
     received before a read call returns.  TIME  is  a  timer  of  0.1  second
     granularity that can be used to time out a read.  Setting either of these
     parameters to zero has special meaning, which leads to the following four

     MIN > 0, TIME > 0
          TIME is an inter-byte timer that is started (and restarted)  when  a
          byte is received.  A read succeeds when either the minimum number of
          characters is received or the timer expires.  Note  that  the  timer
          starts  after  the first character, so the read returns at least one

     MIN > 0, TIME = 0
          Now the timer is disabled, and a reader blocks indefinitely until at
          least MIN characters are received.

     MIN = 0, TIME > 0
          TIME is now a read timer that is started when a  read  is  executed.
          The  read  will  return if the read timer expires or if at least one
          byte is input.  (Note that a value of zero may be  returned  to  the

     MIN = 0, TIME = 0
          The bytes currently available are returned.  Zero is returned if  no
          bytes are available.

  User Level Functions
     Termios attributes are set or examined,  and  special  functions  can  be
     performed by using the functions described in termios(2).

  Session Leaders and Process Groups
     With the use of the setsid() function can  a  process  become  a  session
     leader.   A  session leader forms a process group with a process group id
     equal to the process id of the session leader.  If a session leader opens
     a  terminal device file then this terminal becomes the controlling tty of
     the session leader.  Unless the terminal is already the  controlling  tty
     of  another  process,  or unless the O_NOCTTY flag is used to prevent the
     allocation of a controlling tty.  The process group of the session leader
     is  now  remembered as the terminal process group for signals sent by the
     terminal driver.  All the  children  and  grandchildren  of  the  session
     leader  inherit  the  controlling  terminal  and process group until they
     themselves use setsid().

     The controlling tty becomes inaccessible to the children of  the  session
     leader  when the session leader exits, and a hangup signal is sent to all
     the members of the process  group.   The  input  and  output  queues  are
     flushed  on  the last close of a terminal and all attributes are reset to
     the default state.

     A special device /dev/tty is a synonym  for  the  controlling  tty  of  a
     process.   It  allows  a process to reach the terminal even when standard
     input, output and error are redirected.  Opening this device can also  be
     used as a test to see if a process has a controlling tty or not.

     For Minix a special write-only device /dev/log exists for processes  that
     want  to  write  messages to the system console.  Unlike the console this
     device is still accessible when a session leader exits.

     Minix-vmd also has a /dev/log device, but this device is read-write.  All
     messages  written  to the log device or to the console when X11 is active
     can be read from /dev/log.  The system tries to preserve the  log  buffer
     over  a  reboot  so that panic messages reappear in the log if the system
     happens to crash.

  Pseudo Terminals
     Pseudo ttys allow a process such as a remote login daemon  to  set  up  a
     terminal  for  a  remote  login session.  The login session uses a device
     like /dev/ttyp0 for input and output, and the remote  login  daemon  uses
     the  device  /dev/ptyp0  to supply input to or take output from the login
     session and transfer this to or from  the  originating  system.   So  the
     character  flow  may  be:   Local user input sent to the remote system is
     written to  /dev/ptyp0  by  the  remote  login  daemon,  undergoes  input
     processing and appears on /dev/ttyp0  as  input  to  the  login  session.
     Output  from the login session to /dev/ttyp0 undergoes output processing,
     is read from /dev/ptyp0 by the remote login daemon and is  send  over  to
     the  local  system to be displayed for the user.  (So there are only four
     data streams to worry about in a pseudo terminal.)

     A pseudo terminal can be allocated by trying to open all the  controlling
     devices /dev/ptynn one by one until it succeeds.  Further opens will fail
     once a pty is open.  The process should now fork, the child should become
     session leader, open the tty side of the pty and start a login session.

     If the tty side is eventually closed down then reads from  the  pty  side
     will  return zero and writes return -1 with errno set to EIO.  If the pty
     side is closed first then a SIGHUP signal is sent to the  session  leader
     and further reads from the tty side return zero and writes return -1 with
     errno set to EIO.  (Special note:  A line erase may  cause  up  to  three
     times  the  size  of  the tty input queue to be sent to the pty reader as
     backspace overstrikes.  Some of this output  may  get  lost  if  the  pty
     reader cannot accept it all at once in a single read call.)

  Backwards compatibility
     The TIOCGETP, TIOCSETP, TIOCGETC and TIOCSETC ioctl  functions  that  are
     used  by  the  old  sgtty  terminal  interface are still supported by the
     terminal driver by emulation.   Note  that  these  old  functions  cannot
     control  all  termios attributes, so the terminal must be in a relatively
     sane state to avoid problems.


     The list below shows all devices that Minix and Minix-vmd have.  Not  all
     of  these  devices  are  configured  in  by  default, as indicated by the
     numbers (i/j/k,  l/m/n)  that  tell  the  minimum,  default  and  maximum
     possible number of these devices for Minix (i/j/k) and Minix-vmd (l/m/n).

     /dev/console        System console.

     /dev/ttyc[1-7]      Virtual consoles.  (0/1/7, 0/1/7)

     /dev/log            Console log device.

     /dev/tty0[0-3]      Serial lines.  (0/2/2, 4/4/4)

     /dev/tty[p-w][0-f]  Pseudo ttys.  (0/0/64, 1/32/128)

     /dev/pty[p-w][0-f]  Associated pseudo tty controllers.


     stty(1), termios(3), setsid(2), read(2), write(2).


     A fair number of flags are not implemented under  Minix  (yet).   Luckily
     they  are  very limited utility and only apply to RS-232, not to the user


     Kees J. Bot (