Send A Message To Logged In Users

Today’s article will have limited use for my regular readers, as we talk about how you can send a message to logged-in users. The thing is, this is only valid for those users who are logged into the terminal. It doesn’t pop up a handy GUI window (like the old messenger service from Windows, though I’m sure there’s a way to do so). This is only valid for users who have logged into the terminal.

Got it?


So, who is this useful for? Well, those of you who have shell users. This is useful for system admins who want to send mass messages to the people who are currently logged in. For example, maybe you want to message folks to let them know that you’ll be doing routine maintenance and rebooting the system at a specific time.

While this is a bit archaic, it’s still useful under some circumstances.

Why do I include it if it’s so archaic and has limited use?

Well, because I can. You never know when someone doesn’t know something and will hit up their favorite search engine to learn something. I care that each article teaches you something, even if that something isn’t all that grandiose. 

Plus, it’s nice to have an easy article now and then. This is going to be a pretty easy article! There are just a couple of tips that I have for folks and that’s the end of it.

Send A Message To Logged In Users:

You’ll need an open terminal if the opening wasn’t descriptive enough. After all, we’re sending messages to users who are logged in with the terminal. So, open said terminal. Most often, you can press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal open, you can be reasonably sure that the wall command is available. Run this command to be certain that the wall command is available:

You can then check the man page to ensure that this is the correct tool for the job. As you’ll see, if you run man wall, this is the tool for the job:

wall – write a message to all users

See? It is the right tool for the job. The syntax is even remarkably simple:

Or, if you do this often and want consistency:

So, you can try something like:

Or, if you do this often, you can make a .txt file with your message and just reference that file in the wall command. That’d look like the above example.

See? That’s it. That’s all you need to know to send a message to logged in users. If you’re new to your admin job or maybe have started running a public-access shell, you’re now able to send those messages to your users.


I figured it was a good day for a nice easy article. They can’t all be complicated, because not everything is complicated. Sometimes, it doesn’t take 1000+ words to describe a task. I could probably bloviate and digress, but that’d just make the article longer with no real value.

As much as it might seem otherwise, I value your time. I try to remain on topic and I try to include no more than the information you need – with just a bit of digression in the intro. I figure most of you skip the intro anyhow!

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