Command line applications : Using Centerim to Chat.
With the ‘ Installing your own Ubuntu Server” series running on KWTV I have gotten several questions about “what can you USE that SSH connection (featured in episode II) for ?” Today i’ll give you a little explenation of one of the applications i’m running with a simple command line interface (like for example putty) over such an SSH connection. In short : What application do i use using the command line either locally on my server , or remotely connecting using the SSH connection.
Centerim : Chat using the command line. One of the applications I want to feature today is CENTERIM. Centerim is, in short, a command line based version of Pidgin, a multi protocol chat client. In short , CENTERIM can connect to ICQ, MSN, Jabber (googletalk) and AIM talk. The interface is very simple to use (your contacts on the left, your chat window on the right) and you can sort your contact according to protocol or online status. You can send and receive messages (duh) send and recieve files etc. In short , everything you can do using Pidgin or MSN Messenger minus the heavy graphics and annoying flash animations.
Why should I use it. Well first of all, chatting via the command line is just fracking cool ! If you are a self respecting geek its uber-cool to swap in that graphical chat like Msn Messger for a black and white terminal screen that gives you the same possibilities. If you are running Linux (for example on your netbook) you can install Centerim and run it in a command line window. That way you save processor cycles and screen space. The OTHER option is that you install Centerim on your home server (or wherever you have it running) and connect from wherever you are using your SSH tunnel. For example : Firewall at work blocking Msn and stuff ? No matter. Install centerim at home, connect in via putty and run it from there. Your traffic is tunneled and encrypted all the way.
How do I install it. Installation is dirt simple. If you are using ubuntu just go to the command line and type ‘ sudo apt-get install centerim.
Ok, now what. After installation type ‘centerim’ in the command line to start the application. The first time you’ll be presented with the configuration screen where you can setup various accounts (your msn account, icq etc) just enter your password and you are good to go. Watch out for the configuration option that says “ENTER SENDS MESSAGE FOR” and make sure to select all the protocols you have configured. ( that way, hitting ENTER at the end of a chat message will send the message, otherwise its SHIFT-ENTER). I have turned OFF showing Offline contacts and enabled contact sorting according to status.
Using Centerim. Once you have centerim setup you’ll find your contacts on the left. To scroll through them press “CTRL V” and use the arrow keys to scroll up and down between them. Once you have selected a contact you want to talk to you can hit ENTER to go to the chat window or M to pull up the contact menu (for extra options). Once you are done chatting to the person hit “CTRL V” again to go back to the list. Hitting G will bring you to the GENERAL menu where you can configure your online / offline status etc, monitor file transfers and configure Centerim. To quit the application hit Q. And that is basically it.
Centerim and googletalk. If you want to use googletalk on centerim you need to watch out for the ‘special’ settings googletalk uses. Select the “jabber” account in the “configure accounts” option from the general menu (you get there by hitting G) Make sure you use the following settings. Server :Talk.google.com:5223 secured: yes Login : your google account password : your password priority : 4
Happy chatting. And that is about all you have to do to start chatting from the command line.
Links. Centerim Wiki :