gotty /

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Gotty is a getty framework based on letty. The difference to classical gettys is, that it is not a single program but a pluggable set of tools. Whenever you need alternative functionality or additional features just implement them and reuse the rest. Thus you get a highly configurable getty without complex configuration files and huge binaries.


Gotty provides multiple basic tools:

name usage description
g-init g-init [-c,--clear] <tty path> </path/program arguments> initializes the tty given by <tty path> and optionally clears its content
g-utmp g-utmp </path/program arguments> updates the utmp/wtmp file entries for the current PID and the terminal associated with stdin
g-env g-env <TERM-value> </path/program arguments> sets the environment variables TERM to <TERM-value> and TTY to the terminal associated with stdin
g-out g-out <text> [/path/program arguments] writes <text> to stdout
g-re g-re [/path/program arguments] reads up to GOTTY_LOGIN_NAME_MAX characters from stdin, checks if these characters are in the portable filename character set and optionally executes </path/program ... input> with the character string as last argument
g-out-v (optional) g-out-v <text> [/path/program arguments]

it writes <text> to stdout as well as g-out but prepends:

This is <nodename> (<machine>-<sysname>-<release>).
g-r (optional) g-r </path/program arguments> Both programs together reimplement g-re. G-r is an IA32 assembler program which reads a string and executes g-ve to validate the input.
g-ve (optional) g-ve <text> [/path/program arguments]

The last three are examples of possible customizations. Common to all commands is the <mandatory> or [optional] execution of another command to build up the functionality of a getty.


Configure via macros or Makefile.

name Makefile default description commands
GOTTY_LOGIN_NAME_MAX getconf LOGIN_NAME_MAX 256 maximium login name length g-re, g-r, g-ve
GOTTY_UTMPX_USER "LOGIN" "LOGIN" ut_user in utmpx entry g-utmp
GOTTY_WTMP_PATH /var/log/wtmp /var/log/wtmp path to wtmp file g-utmp
GOTTY_CLEAR_SEQUENCE "\033c" "\033c" terminal clear sequence g-init
GOTTY_USE_UPDWTMP 0 0 use libc' updwtmp() g-utmp


A simple make, make install is enough after customizing the Makefile. For the optional programs execute make <name> before the installation step.


Gettys are usually invoked by init(8) and hence the configuration depends on the init system. A common way is to edit /etc/inittab.

A basic getty:

c2:2345:respawn:/sbin/g-init /dev/tty2 /sbin/g-out "login: " /sbin/g-re /bin/login

A verbose getty which clears the screen, updates utmp and sets environment variables:

c2:2345:respawn:/sbin/g-init -c /dev/tty2 /sbin/g-utmp /sbin/g-env linux /sbin/g-out-v "login: " /sbin/g-re /bin/login

Maybe you prefer the 182B assembler version waiting for input:

c2:2345:respawn:/sbin/g-init -c /dev/tty2 /sbin/g-out-v "login: " /sbin/g-r /sbin/g-ve /bin/login

or autologin?

c2:2345:respawn:/sbin/g-init -c /dev/tty2 /sbin/g-utmp /bin/login -f <username>

Please test your configuration with kill -HUP 1 before restarting.


Apart from g-r and g-init, all programs conform to C99 and POSIX.1-2008. G-r was written in IA32 Assembler (Intel syntax) and g-init uses non-Posix functions like vhangup().

Compilers and Libraries

Gotty was tested with multiple C libraries (dietlibc 0.33, musl 0.9.3 (no utmpx support), glibc 2.15) and compilers (clang 2.9, CompCert 1.11, gcc 4.5.3). The binary sizes (statically linked) on the test system were:

command diet gcc musl-gcc nasm/yasm
g-init 3092B 4740B  
g-utmp 5036B 17032B  
g-env 4612B 21124B  
g-out 2172B 4740B  
g-re 2364B 4740B  
g-out-v 2400B 4740B  
g-r     182B
g-ve 2348B 4740B  




Letty by the same author or agetty, fgetty, mingetty, ngetty, logind, among others.

1900 root      20   0   156    8    4 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 fgetty
1901 root      20   0   144    4    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 g-r
1902 root      20   0  4272  188  184 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 agetty