Instant messaging in the console

You’re all most likely familiar with pidgin. I jumped at the opportunity to go back to an old favourite. Before switching to *nix based systems in 1997 I enjoyed chatting with my on line friends on IRC. In later years I discovered pidgin. Now, using the console there is finch, pidgin for the console.

Not only can it connect you to gtalk, but with some cunning you will have skype in your console, no X required!

$cat finch_skype.sh
xvfb-run -n 0 -s “-screen 0 800x600x16″ /usr/bin/xterm &
export DISPLAY=:0
/usr/bin/skype&
/usr/bin/finch
unset DISPLAY

The above script has since been refined but you get the gist of it. Start skype in a virtual frame buffer containing a tiny X. Connect to it with pidgin-skype via dbus and voila, instant skype in the console…

The above is used on a daily basis on my virtual server hosted somewhere abroad.

 

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