What does the tag mean? It seems to be used sometimes synonymously with , sometimes synonymously with , even sometimes to mean . Does it have a meaning of its own? Should we retag it away?

  • It can have a meaning of its own. If someone bothers to make a wiki description for it! Other than that, I don't even see much difference between [console] and [terminal].
    – Mr Lister
    May 11, 2013 at 13:10

2 Answers 2


A terminal is at the end of an electric wire, a shell is the home of a turtle, tty is a strange abbreviation and a console is [] :-)

Believe it, might, should keep on living, but with a decent wiki defining it. It could also perhaps be an idea to have a "see also: terminal, console, shell ..." and, in danger of perhaps breaking some wiki-convention, even a link to the above quoted answer/question or the like. (It is perhaps not possible in the excerpt / short-tag.)

In my experience, at least for Linux etc. users, where one usually have tty1-7 trough Ctrl+Alt+F#, and the familiar. (as in):

+-------------------------------------------------------------------- - -  -
| Welcome to Linux 3.10-rc1 (tty1)
| SERV login: _
. ...
| SERV login: john
| Password:
| Linux 3.10-rc1
| Last login: May 14 05:32:16 +0200 2013 on tty1.
| You have new mail.
| Blore's Razor:
|        Given a choice between two theories, take the one which is funnier.
| SERV@john: ~$

the light use of the word is for these access points to the system. Usually when explicitly referring to a non-X environment – as in: not terminal-emulator. It kind of becomes a short-cut to express something in a way that hopefully is quickly recognized. I.e. "When on tty4 …", "X went nuclear so I logged into another TTY …", etc.

Whilst terminal often, but not always, is used to express virtual emulators in a GUI environment. And console get a mixed use between them all. I seldom see anyone use the phrasing tty-window, but it happens.

I do not know how the tags affect the underlying logic of e.g. search beyond direct specification. But at least for those of us frequently using "[some_tag] search term" the use of tty would perhaps have it's purpose.

Though, as a side point, I rarely use it here, but mostly on Stackoverflow for [C], [asm] etc. where it definitively is a saver.

Point of i all being how to express the tag-wiki in a way best served. Giving the possibility to re-tag if far off, and also being a source of information thus learning.

A short undecided discussion with myself and you all.

So; what does the tty tag mean? Quickly realizing that this did not became an answer, I'll leave it in hope it might give some input on how and what to do. If not I can delete.


s are special files (i. e. an interface provided by kernel) for terminal devices, and things directly related to it (stty, line vs character mode, etc.).

is an actual set of devices and stuff specific to it (virtual consoles, loadkeys, setfont, framebuffer vs VGA, raw vs cooked keyboard in Linux, etc.)

Ī̲ don’t know whether a useful denotation for can be defined under current conditions of this site. It is so broadly used that ceased to be selective; seemingly for anything related to TUI (mostly run within emulators by modern users). Whereas specific tags (, ) are underpopulated and neglected.

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