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I'm just curious what 'Getty' is and what it does. The past few days I have noticed that there is always at least 6 instances of it in System Monitor each using about 640KiB memory and status says "n_tty_read".

Please enlighten me to what this means.

Thank you!

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

getty is what sits on the text-mode consoles and waits for someone to log in. It configures the tty device and spawns login when typed at; historically it adapted to the communications line based on what it received, but especially on VCs this is no longer necessary.

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Ok, I just don't understand why I would have 6 going all the time. Is this anything to be concerned about or is this something that is harmless? – jredkai Apr 8 '12 at 15:07
This is nothing to be concerned about. It is common to have six virtual terminals each of which will have getty running unless you are logged in. – BillThor Apr 8 '12 at 20:08
Thank you for letting me know! – jredkai Apr 9 '12 at 7:25

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