Getting talk and talkd working for local users

Kernels & Hardware, configuring network, installing services

Getting talk and talkd working for local users

Postby ajhlinuxuser » 2018-04-14 06:41

Hi there,

I am having trouble with the talk command on Debian which didn't seem to be a problem in older versions. Per the man page on talk, example user bob should be able to start a conversation with joe on the same system by typing:
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bob@debian:~$ talk joe

On an old version of Debian (squeeze) I can confirm this works. The talk program will start for bob, with this message:
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[Waiting for your party to respond]

And user joe will see:
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Message from Talk_Daemon@debian at 1:40 ...
talk: connection requested by bob@ 
talk: respond with:  talk bob@

But when I am using a Debian 9 system, that command won't work. All bob sees is:
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[No connection yet]

And joe does not get a notification.

I first thought it might be because of an omitted configuration change that systemd requires. But it seems to have more to do with networking.

I know that the talkd daemon is working fine, and I can start conversations with users on remote systems. Further, I can get two local users to connect if the user who begins the conversation uses the user@host form. This suggests a problem with talk being able to communicate locally with the talk daemon. Now the interesting thing is, host can be any IP address assigned to the system. It can be any URL that resolves to one of those addresses, including localhost. BUT the hostname itself does not work. Looking at /etc/hosts:
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bob@debian:~$ less /etc/hosts       localhost       debian.local   debian

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters

The hostname is mapped to, which doesn't work either. So I think this is why the simple form of the command doesn't work - it defaults to joe@debian,, which results in a failed connection.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Joined: 2014-12-17 14:03

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