Friday, July 17, 2009

CenterIM: A text mode instant messenger client


Most of the Linux users use pidgin as a universal instant messenger client. Popular distributions such as ubuntu will install pidgin by default. CenterIM ( aka cim) is a multi protocol text mode instant messaging client similar to pidgin. Let us see how it can be installed on ubuntu.
The ubuntu universe repository has centerim available as a deb package which can be installed directly via apt. However, the version supplied with Ubuntu 9.04 is dated and if you install it yahoo protocol will not work.

So download the latest centerim tarball form the home page.

$ wget http://www.centerim.org/download/mobshots/centerim-4.22.7-36-g6ba0.tar.gz

( Look at the download page for any possible updates.)

Untar the archive

$ tar -xzvf centerim-4.22.7-36-g6ba0.tar.gz

Try to compile the code.

$ cd centerim-4.22.7-36-g6ba0
$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

For me the configure step above failed initially saying that libssl is need for yahoo protocol . It was solved by installing libssl-dev.

$sudo apt-get install libssl-dev

If the configure step above complains about any missing library , install the development version of the library. You may get a few such errors depending on your installation.

Once CenterIM is compiled and installed you can use it for the following protocols.

ICQ
Yahoo
AIM
jabber
Gadu-Gadu
MSN Messenger
RSS Reader
LiveJournal client

The interface is somewhat cryptic and needs some effort to get used too. Still, I like CenterIM as a text mode replacement for pidgin.

1 comment:

Nuno said...

Unless you need to use accents in your writing. Then you'll quickly find out that CenterIM is useless.