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17.9 Pseudo-Terminals

A pseudo-terminal is a special interprocess communication channel that acts like a terminal. One end of the channel is called the master side or master pseudo-terminal device, the other side is called the slave side. Data written to the master side is received by the slave side as if it was the result of a user typing at an ordinary terminal, and data written to the slave side is sent to the master side as if it was written on an ordinary terminal.

Pseudo terminals are the way programs like xterm and emacs implement their terminal emulation functionality.