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AIX Version 4 Files Reference

phones File Format for tip


Describes connections used by the tip command to contact remote systems.


The /etc/phones-file file lists the remote systems that can be contacted using the tip command, along with the telephone numbers used to contact those systems.

A sample phones-file file for the tip command is included with the operating system. The sample file is named /usr/lib/phones-file. A user with root user authority can copy the sample file to the /etc/phones file and modify it to suit the needs of a particular site.

Any tip user can create an individual phones file in the format of the phones-file file. The individual phones file can be named with any operating system file name and placed in any directory to which the user has access. To instruct the tip command to use the new file, either set the tip command phones variable or set an environment variable named PHONES.

Systems listed in the phones file must also be described in the /etc/remote-file file, in the file specified by the REMOTE environment variable, or in the file specified by the tip command remote variable.

Format of Entries

The format of an entry in the phones file is:

SystemName      PhoneNumber

The SystemName field and the PhoneNumber field must be separated by at least one space. More than one space can be used to improve readability.

SystemName Specifies the name of the remote system to be contacted.
PhoneNumber Specifies the telephone number, including line access codes, to be used to reach the remote system. Dashes may be used for readability.

If more than one phone number can be used to reach a certain system, make multiple entries for that system, placing each entry on a separate line.

Any line beginning with a # (pound sign) is interpreted as a comment.


  1. To list phone numbers in a phones file, make entries similar to the following:
    hera    1237654
    zeus    9-512-345-9999
    System hera is contacted using the telephone number 123 -7654 . To contact system zeus , a line-access code of 9 is followed by the telephone number 512-345-9999 .

  2. To define more than one phone number for the same system, make multiple entries for that system, as follows:
    decvax    9-915-987-1111
    decvax    9-915-987-2222
    If the tip command cannot reach the decvax system using the first phone number, it attempts to contact the system using the second phone number.

Implementation Specifics

This file is part of the Basic Networking Utilities Program (BNU) in BOS Extensions 1.


/etc/phones Denotes complete path name of the phones file.
/usr/lib/phones-file Contains an example phones file.
/etc/remote Describes remote systems that can be contacted using the tip command.

Related Information

The tip command.

The Contacting Connected UNIX Systems Using the tip Command in AIX Version 4.3 System Management Guide: Communications and Networks.

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