TOPS-20 Commands Reference Manual


Begins your timesharing job and connects you to your log-in directory.


@LOGIN /FAST (USER) name (PASSWORD) password (ACCOUNT)account -



Acknowledgement of Valid Login

The system acknowledges a valid LOGIN command by printing your job number, terminal number, and the current date and time. In addition, it prints the date and time of your last login. You can use this information to determine if another user has learned your password and logged in to your account since the last time you logged out.

Note that a batch job automatically logs in and logs out of your account. The batch login sets the date and time of your last login and should not be confused with illegal access to your account.

Notice of User Mail and System Mail

When you log in, the system notifies you if another user has sent you a message with one of the system mail programs. The system then lists any system mail (mail sent by privileged users to all users) that has accumulated since your last login. Note that this mail appears in the log file if a batch job is run for you between the time the mail was sent and the time you logged in.

Output from Command Files

After a successful LOGIN, the system processes the LOGIN.CMD and COMAND.CMD files in the directory defined by logical name SYSTEM: and the command files in your login directory. The files are processed in this order:


The system displays any output from the commands in these files on your terminal. After execution of each command file, the system displays the message "End of file-name.CMD". If the last command in the command file is a TAKE command with no arguments, this message is not displayed.


Getting the Attention of the System

Before logging in, you may have to press any alphanumeric or special character to display the system herald or greeting and the @ prompt necessary for typing the LOGIN command.

If you are dialing in by telephone to a line declared autobaud by the system manager, this initial character enables the system to determine your terminal's speed setting, as long as the speed is 300, 1200, 1800, 2400, 4800, or 9600. Type a second character if the terminal's speed is 110 or 150. If your initial character(s) fails to get the system identification message, press the BREAK key twice, followed by another character(s).

Rights, Capabilities, and Charges

The LOGIN command gives you ownership rights to your log-in directory, and any group rights established for you on the public structure (usually named PS:). In addition, you are granted whatever capabilities (for example, Maintenance, Wheel) have been awarded to you, and can be sure that any charges you incur for the use of system resources, such as CPU time or the batch and printing systems, will be recorded to your user name.


Commands in Files Executed at Log-in Time
For Affecting Entire Session or Current Level Only

Commands that affect your entire job, for example, TERMINAL and DEFINE, belong in LOGIN.CMD. Commands that affect only the current level of TOPS-20, for example, many SET commands, must be put into COMAND.CMD if you want them to be executed automatically after every PUSH command as well as after LOGIN.

For Affecting Batch Jobs

As soon as one of your batch jobs logs in, the system processes the command files in the directory defined by logical name SYSTEM: and the command files in your login directory. The files are processed in this order:


Note that certain parameters of the batch job, for example, its time limit and the name of its log file, have already been set before these commands are executed. Such parameters are set either to values specified by switches in the SUBMIT command that starts the batch job, or to default values in effect for the job issuing this SUBMIT command. See also Hints - For Affecting Nested Batch Jobs, below.

Avoiding Duplicate Commands in Command Files

After executing a SYSTEM: command file, the system executes the file of the same name in your login directory. The SYSTEM: command files may contain commands that you already have in your own command files. To avoid executing the same commands twice, remove duplicate commands from your command files. To display a SYSTEM: command file, give the command TYPE SYSTEM:file-name.CMD.

For Affecting Nested Batch Jobs

By placing a SET DEFAULT SUBMIT command in your BATCH.CMD file, you cause these defaults to be in effect for a nested batch job, (a batch job started by a SUBMIT command within the control file of another of your batch jobs).

A Final TAKE Command

To suppress the display of the message "End of file-name.CMD" after execution of a command file, make the last command in the file a TAKE command with no arguments.

Simplifying Log-ins

By using the SET DIRECTORY ACCOUNT-DEFAULT command you cause subsequent LOGIN commands to require just your user name and password.

Special Cases

Commands You Can Issue Before Log-in

You can give these commands and arguments before logging in:

name is your user name.
pwd is your secret password (which is not printed on your terminal).
acc is an account name or number that you are authorized to use.
remark is an optional remark of up to 39 characters that identifies the terminal session for accounting purposes. Check with INFORMATION JOB-STATUS. Change with SET SESSION-REMARK.
/FAST is an optional switch that prevents the following: processing of your LOGIN.CMD and COMAND.CMD files and the system's LOGIN.CMD and COMAND.CMD files, printing of system mail, and printing of the notice of new mail. (Your system manager may remove this switch from your system.)
Command Arguments
SYSTAT (except with subcommands LPT or OUTPUT)
Logging in to PTYs

You do not need to give a password when logging in under your own user name to a PTY (pseudo-terminal).

Must Log In Within Five Minutes

If you do not log in within five minutes of your initial CTRL/C, your job will be logged out automatically and you will have to type CTRL/C again.

Logging in to Last Available Job Slot

If you attempt to log in to the last available job slot, the system will not log you in but will send you an error message instead. This job slot is intended for users who wish to attach detached jobs using the ATTACH command. To log in a new job you must wait until a current user logs out.

Related Commands

ATTACH for joining to your terminal a job that has already been logged in
INFORMATION DIRECTORY for displaying the date and time that you started the current terminal session with LOGIN.
LOGOUT for ending your timesharing job
SET ACCOUNT for changing your account during a terminal session
SET DIRECTORY ACCOUNT-DEFAULT for specifying a default account for subsequent log-ins
SET SESSION-REMARK for making or changing your session remark during a terminal session


  1. Log in, using account 341 and automatically executing the system LOGIN.CMD file and your LOGIN.CMD file.
    @LOGIN C.RYDER ___ 341
     Job 39 on TTY41 GIDNEY:: C.RYDER (CTM) 8-Mar-89 11:04:21, 
    Last interactive login 7-Mar-89 08:32:15
    Last non-interactive login 7-Mar-89 08:32:15
     End of SYSTEM:LOGIN.CMD.1
     End of LOGIN.CMD.1
  2. Log in using the default account number and the /FAST switch.
     Job 39 on TTY41 LAT1:LAT127(LAT) 8-AUG-88 11:10:34
     Last interactive login 8-Aug-88 11:04:21
     Last non-interactive login 8-Aug-88 11:04:21 
  3. Type a character to get the TOPS-20 herald, then log in, using account 341 and inserting a session remark. Give INFORMATION JOB-STATUS as your first command, to see this session remark.
         Unauthorized Access is Prohibited
     BOSTON (KL2871), Development System, TOPS-20 Monitor 7(10)
     Job 42 on TTY29 LAT64:242(LAT) 8-Mar-90 09:15:15
     Last interactive login 7-Mar-90 09:20:32
     Last non-interactive login Never
     Host AURORA, Job 42, TTY29 LAT64:242(LAT)
     Account 341 Session Remark:DEBUG ACCOUNT.PAS