short for "get teletype", is a Unix
program running on a host computer
that manages physical or virtual terminals
). When it detects a connection, it prompts for a username and runs the 'login
' program to authenticate the user.
Originally, on traditional Unix systems, getty handled connections to serial terminals (often teletype machines) connected to a host computer. The 'tty' part of the name stands for teletype, but has come to mean any type of text terminal.
Personal computers running Unix-like operating systems, even if they do not provide any remote login services, may still use getty as a means of logging in on a local virtual console.
Instead of the 'login' program getty may also be set up by the system administrator to run any other program, for example a PPP daemon to provide dial-up Internet access.