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AIX Version 4.3 Commands Reference, Volume 5

tsm Command


Provides terminal state management.


tsm Port


The tsm command invokes the terminal state manager, which controls the ports used in the trusted path. The functions are:

Trusted path management occurs in two phases:

login This phase is in effect if a user has not successfully logged in. If the secure attention key (SAK) signal is detected, the system restarts getty-login type processing. The next login puts the user into the trusted state, if the port and the user support the trusted state.
shell This phase occurs after successful user authentication. The command functions according to the user's tpath attribute. The following are valid:
on Provides standard trusted path management. When the secure attention key (SAK) signal is detected, all processes that access the port, except the tsm process and its siblings (including the trusted shell), are terminated the next time an attempt is made to access the port. The port is reset to its initial state and is marked as trusted, and the trusted shell command (the tsh command) is executed.
notsh The user session terminates when the secure attention key (SAK) signal is detected.
always The user is not allowed off the trusted path. The user's shell will always be the trusted shell, tsh.
nosak The secure attention key (SAK) is disabled for the terminal, and the user's initial program runs.


Access Control: This command should grant execute (x) permission to any user. The command should be setuid to the root user and have the trusted computing base attribute.

Files Accessed:

Mode File
r /etc/objrepos/CuAt
r /usr/lib/objrepos/PdAt
r /etc/security/login.cfg
r /etc/security/user


To provide terminal state management on tty0 , add the following line to the /etc/inittab file:

tty0:2:respawn:/usr/sbin/tsm /dev/tty0

This initializes the port /dev/tty0 and sets up the characteristics of the port.


/usr/sbin/tsm Contains the tsm command.
                          Contains configuration information.
                          Contains extended user attributes.

Related Information

The getty command, init command, login command, logout command, setgroups command, shell command, su command, tsh command.

For more information about the identification and authentication of users, discretionary access control, the trusted computing base, and auditing, refer to the Security Administration in AIX Version 4.3 System Management Guide: Operating System and Devices.

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