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

The What, Why and Wow! Behind the CoreOS Container Linux

Unlike most Linux distributions, CoreOS doesn’t have a package manager. Instead it takes a page from Google’s ChromeOS and automates software updates to ensure better security and reliability of machines and containers running on clusters. Both operating system updates and security patches are regularly pushed to CoreOS Container Linux machines without sysadmin intervention. You control how often patches are pushed using CoreUpdate, with its web-based interface. This enables you to control when your machines update, and how quickly an update is rolled out across your cluster. Read more

Android Leftovers

Linux Lite

Linux Lite is a beginner-friendly Linux distribution that is based on the well known Ubuntu LTS and targeted at Windows users. Its mission is to provide a complete set of applications to support users' everyday computing needs, including a complete office suite, media players and other essential applications. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Effective Microservices Architecture with Event-Driven Design
    There’s no doubt, in the IT world, microservices are sexy. But just because you find something cool and attractive doesn’t mean it’s good for you. And it doesn’t mean you know how to use it properly.
  • Cloud Foundry Makes its Mark on the Enterprise
    "Proprietary will have to either get on board or be left in the dust."
  • Tumbleweed Review of the week 2017/25
    With the pace of Tumbleweed having resumed to ‘almost daily snapshots’ I will to the review again weekly instead of bi-weekly. It’s just easier to remember what big updates came in like this. This week I will cover the 6 snapshots 0616,0617,0618,0619,0620 and 0622 (again, 0622 just passed openQA and you will get it shortly on the mirror). There was also a 0621 tested, but discarded by openQA.
  • S10E16 – Enthusiastic Woozy Route
    It’s Season Ten Episode Sixteen of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson, Martin Wimpress and Joey Sneddon are connected and speaking to your brain.
  • My Meetup Slides: Deploy and Manage Kubernetes Clusters on Ubuntu in the Oracle Cloud
  •  
  • MinnowBoard 3 will offer Apollo Lake, triple M.2s, and Raspberry Pi expansion
    Minnowboard.org is prepping an open spec “MinnowBoard 3” SBC with a quad-core Apollo Lake, 4GB LPDDR4, 8GB eMMC, 3x M.2 sockets, and an RPi connector. The Intel-backed Minnowboard.org project has posted preliminary specs for an open-spec MinnowBoard 3 model to follow the recently shipped MinnowBoard Turbo Quad. Due to ship in the fall, the community-backed MinnowBoard 3 stands out with a 14nm Apollo Lake Atom, three M.2 sockets, and an “RPI” adapter. The only RPI we know of is Raspberry Pi, or more specifically, its much copied 40-pin expansion connector.
  • Open source social robot kit runs on Raspberry Pi and Arduino
    Thecorpora’s Scratch-ready “Q.bo One” robot is based on the RPi 3 and Arduino, and offers stereo cams, mics, a speaker, and visual and language recognition. In 2010, robotics developer Francisco Paz and his Barcelona-based Thecorpora startup introduced the first Qbo “Cue-be-oh” robot as an open source proof-of-concept and research project for exploring AI capabilities in multi-sensory, interactive robots. Now, after a preview in February at Mobile World Congress, Thecorpora has gone to Indiegogo to launch the first mass produced version of the social robot in partnership with Arrow.