I have a Linux server with about 20 users. They were using wall command which is annoying. I have root permissions and still want to be able to use it myself. But, how can I restrict normal users from using the Linux wall command?

  • mesg n , can deny message that work for individual user, but I looking for a way to disable/deny all users except root on this host.
    – isara
    Jan 2, 2012 at 20:55

2 Answers 2


If you want to deny access to for all users, then you might want to remove the setgid bit on /usr/bin/wall:

$ ls -l /usr/bin/wall
-rwxr-sr-x 1 root tty 13884 2011-08-09 12:15 /usr/bin/wall
$ sudo chmod g-s /usr/bin/wall

$ echo foo | wall

You should always be able to wall yourself and root should be able to wall everyone, but user A won't be able to broadcast to the rest of the users.


Personally, I would find out why they are using wall, and then ask them to use a more appropriate service such as write or talk. If they are not willing to comply, then BOFH. Technology is not an answer in these cases.

  • May be the person who use wall command just want to have some fun without noticed that the rest users suffered. Most of the user don't know about linux much , so they cannot deny message by themselve.
    – isara
    Jan 4, 2012 at 14:09

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