mgetty, a variant of getty, supports
- modem dial-in,
- FAX, and
mingetty, another a getty variant, is used for virtual consoles, or multiple login sessions at the workstation console.
getty monitors serial lines, waiting for a connection. It then configures the serial link, sends the contents of /etc/issue, and asks the person connecting for their login name.
getty then starts login and login asks the person for their password. If the user does nothing, getty or login hang up and getty goes back to waiting. The getty command has been re-implemented numerous times.
There is a wide selection of getty clones, each with slight differences in behavior and syntax. We will describe the traditional getty, and then some popular alternatives.
One of the jobs of a getty is to set the TERM environment variable to indicate the make and model of the terminal which is connecting.