Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

IM from the Terminal: 2 Great Applications

Filed under
Reviews

This article is about two popular IM (Instant Messaging) clients that can be used in a terminal instead of a graphical environment. Both have advanced features and are based on the ncurses library.

Finch
Based on libpurple, Finch is developed by the Pidgin project, and it pretty much supports the same features of it, except for the graphical part, of course. There are many chat protocols which it supports, including AIM, IRC, MySpaceIM, WLM, SILC, Yahoo! or ICQ.

Finch allows you to change the status, report idle time based on keyboard activity or turn it off, it supports plugins, file transfers, sounds, status messages, chat timestamps, customization of the contact list. In addition, it also lets you change and remembers the position and size of the windows.

The very nice thing is that once you get to know how to use it, Finch becomes a great tool for getting the job done.

Finch plugins

Several plugins can be configured and some of the plugins that come bundled with Finch by default include:

Autoaccept – auto-accept file transfer requests from selected users
Buddy Notes – store buddy notes
Grouping – provides alternate ways to group buddies in the contact list
Join/Part Hiding – hide join/part messages in large rooms

For using Finch you can find a comprehensive guide that I wrote a while ago following this tutorial. This page on the official homepage may be of help too.

Some of the basic keyboard shortcuts include Alt+Q to quit, Alt+A to open the options window, Alt+N to switch to the next window, Alt+C to close current window, Alt+R to resize a window, Alt+M to move a window, Tab to switch through options and Space to tick/untick an option.

CenterIM
CenterIM is another powerful IM client which is being actively developed, and supports the following protocols: ICQ, Yahoo!, WLM, AIM, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu and LJ.

When it starts, CenterIM shows a configuration window with various general options that can be changed or toggled by pressing Enter. The window that follows allows you to set up accounts for all the supported protocols.

CenterIM provides a default interface with the contact list to the left, and the discussion windows to the right. The online contacts are separated from the offline ones. I tried it using the Yahoo! protocol, and the contact groups seem to be ignored. After writing the text you want to send, press Ctrl+X to send it. Use the Escape key to switch to the contact list and Q to quit CenterIM.

Configuration window

CenterIM supports aways messages, anti-spam features, windows size configuration, keyboard binding, logs, aways system.

One feature which I found to be great is the possibility to enable Emacs/Vi keyboard bindings in the text editor, this making it easy for a person who is used to one of these ways of text input.

http://www.tuxarena.com/2011/11/im-from-the-terminal-2-great-applications/

More in Tux Machines

Microsoft EEE

  • Why the Windows Subsystem for Linux Matters to You – Even if You Don’t Use it [Ed: Microsoft pulling an EEE on GNU/Linux matters. Sure it does... while suing GNU/Linux with software patents Microsoft says it "loves Linux".]
  • Canonical Teams Up with Microsoft to Enable New Azure Tailored Ubuntu Kernel
    In a joint collaboration with Microsoft's Azure team, Canonical managed to enable a new Azure tailored Ubuntu kernel in the Ubuntu Cloud Images for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on Azure starting today, September 21, 2017. The Azure tailored Ubuntu kernel is now enabled by default for the Ubuntu Cloud images running the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system on Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform, and Canonical vows to offer the same level of support as the rest of its Ubuntu kernels until the operating system reaches end of life.

Servers: Kubernetes, Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), and Sysadmin 101

  • Kubernetes Snaps: The Quick Version
    When we built the Canonical Distribution of Kubernetes (CDK), one of our goals was to provide snap packages for the various Kubernetes clients and services: kubectl, kube-apiserver, kubelet, etc. While we mainly built the snaps for use in CDK, they are freely available to use for other purposes as well. Let’s have a quick look at how to install and configure the Kubernetes snaps directly.
  • Kubernetes is Transforming Operations in the Enterprise
    At many organizations, managing containerized applications at scale is the order of the day (or soon will be). And few open source projects are having the impact in this arena that Kubernetes is. Above all, Kubernetes is ushering in “operations transformation” and helping organizations make the transition to cloud-native computing, says Craig McLuckie co-founder and CEO of Heptio and a co-founder of Kubernetes at Google, in a recent free webinar, ‘Getting to Know Kubernetes.’ Kubernetes was created at Google, which donated the open source project to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.
  • Kubernetes gains momentum as big-name vendors flock to Cloud Native Computing Foundation
    Like a train gaining speed as it leaves the station, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation is quickly gathering momentum, attracting some of the biggest names in tech. In the last month and a half alone AWS, Oracle, Microsoft, VMware and Pivotal have all joined. It’s not every day you see this group of companies agree on anything, but as Kubernetes has developed into an essential industry tool, each of these companies sees it as a necessity to join the CNCF and support its mission. This is partly driven by customer demand and partly by the desire to simply have a say in how Kubernetes and other related cloud-native technologies are developed.
  • The Cloud-Native Architecture: One Stack, Many Options
    As the chief technology officer of a company specialized in cloud native storage, I have a first hand view of the massive transformation happening right now in enterprise IT. In short, two things are happening in parallel right now that make it radically simpler to build, deploy and run sophisticated applications. The first is the move to the cloud. This topic has been discussed so much that I won’t try to add anything new. We all know it’s happening, and we all know that its impact is huge.
  • Sysadmin 101: Leveling Up
    I hope this description of levels in systems administration has been helpful as you plan your own career. When it comes to gaining experience, nothing quite beats making your own mistakes and having to recover from them yourself. At the same time, it sure is a lot easier to invite battle-hardened senior sysadmins to beers and learn from their war stories. I hope this series in Sysadmin 101 fundamentals has been helpful for those of you new to the sysadmin trenches, and also I hope it helps save you from having to learn from your own mistakes as you move forward in your career.

Databases: PostgreSQL 10 RC1 and Greenplum

  • PostgreSQL 10 RC1 Released
    The PostgreSQL Global Development Group announces today that the first release candidate of version 10 is available for download. As a release candidate, 10 RC 1 should be identical to the final release of the new version. It contains fixes for all known issues found during testing, so users should test and report any issues that they find.
  • PostgreSQL 10 Release Candidate 1 Arrives
    PostgreSQL 10 has been queuing up improvements to declarative partitioning, logical replication support, an improved parallel query system, SCRAM authentication, performance speed-ups, hash indexes are now WAL, extended statistics, new integrity checking tools, smart connection handling, and many other promising improvements. Our earlier performance tests of Postgre 10 during its beta phase showed some speed-ups over PostgreSQL 9.
  • Pivotal Greenplum Analytic Database Adds Multicloud Support
    Pivotal’s latest release of its Greenplum analytic database includes multicloud support and, for the first time, is based entirely on open source code. In 2015, the company open sourced the core of Pivotal Greenplum as the Greenplum Database project. “This is the first commercially available release that we are shipping with the open source project truly at its core,” said Elisabeth Hendrickson, VP of data research and development at Pivotal.

Graphics: NVIDIA Progress, VC4/VC5, Intel's Linux Driver & Mesa

  • NVIDIA 384.90 Linux Driver Brings Fixes, Quadro P5200 Support
    One day after releasing updated GeForce Linux legacy drivers, NVIDIA is now out with an update to their long-lived 384 branch. The NVIDIA 384 Linux series is the current latest series for their proprietary driver. Coming out today is the 384.90 update that is primarily comprised of bug fixes but also includes Quadro P5200 support.
  • NVIDIA Continues Prepping The Linux Desktop Stack For HDR Display Support
    Besides working on the new Unix device memory allocator project, they have also been engaged with upstream open-source Linux developers over preparing the Linux desktop for HDR display support. Alex Goins of the NVIDIA Linux team presented on their HDR ambitions for the Linux desktop and the work they are still doing for prepping the X.Org stack for dealing with these next-generation computer displays. This is a project they have also been looking at for more than one year: NVIDIA Is Working Towards HDR Display Support For Linux, But The Desktop Isn't Ready.
  • The State Of The VC4 Driver Stack, Early Work On VC5
    ric Anholt of Broadcom just finished presenting at XDC2017 Mountain View on the state of the VC4 driver stack most notably used by the Raspberry Pi devices. Additionally, he also shared about his early work on the VC5 driver for next-generation Broadcom graphics.
  • Intel's Linux Driver & Mesa Have Hit Amazing Milestones This Year
    Kaveh Nasri, the manager of Intel's Mesa driver team within the Open-Source Technology Center since 2011, spoke this morning at XDC2017 about the accomplishments of his team and more broadly the Mesa community. Particularly over the past year there has been amazing milestones accomplished for this open-source driver stack.