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Install Finch A Terminal Based Chat Client On Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal”

Finch is a terminal based chat client that you can use to chat using your.. terminal window.


To install finch open a terminal window (press Ctrl+Alt+T) and copy+paste the following line:

sudo apt-get install finch

When installed you need to add a line to the bash.rc file. Click on your Home Folder launcher in your Unity panel and press Ctrl+H to show the hidden folders and files. Search for the .bash.rc file, open it and add the following line:

export PATH=$PATH:/home/USER/usr/bin

Replace USER with your username then save and close the file. To reload your .bash.rc file copy+paste the following line:

. ~/.bashrc

To start finch open a new terminal window and type: finch

To enable mouse support you need to create (or add some lines to it) the .gntrc located in your Home folder. To do this open a terminal window and copy+paste the following line:

gedit ~/.gntrc

Add the following lines:

[general]
mouse = 1


You can also navigate finch using your keyboard, here is a list of keyboard Shortcuts:

Arrows – Move Left, Right, Up, Down

Alt+A – Use this to see a list of possible actions for Finch.

Alt+N – Jump to the next window.

Alt+P – Jump to the last window.

Alt+W – This will allow you to select the window you want to bring to the front.

Alt+C – You can close a window or a message with this shortcut.

Alt+Q – Use this to quit Finch.

Alt+M – With this you can move a window with the arrow keys. When finished press Enter or Escape to exit move mode.

Alt+R – Resizes windows with the Arrow keys. Use Enter or Exit to leave resize mode.

Alt+L – This will refresh your finch windows and can be useful after resizing or moving windows.

Alt+1 – You can use the Alt key with any number to just to that window in the list.

Alt+Tab – This will open a highlighted or urgent window if there is one.

Alt+Shift+Tab – Will open a previously highlighted message.

Ctrl+O – Use this to access a list of options for the open window.

Alt+/ – Get more keyboard shortcuts.

F9 – If Finch becomes cluttered you can create a new workspace with this command allowing you to move windows around freeing up space.

Alt+S – This will show a list of your workspaces.

Alt+T – Use this to tag windows for movement.

Alt+T – This will move all of your tagged windows into the current workspace. Make sure you switch to the new workspace first with the windows already tagged.

Alt+> – This shortcut will switch to your next workspace.

Alt+< – Switch to your previous workspace.

To view the manual copy+paste one of the following lines in a terminal window:

man -l /home/USER/usr/share/man/man1/finch.1
man -l /home/USER/usr/share/man/man1pidgin.1

Replace USER for you own username.


Set up gtalk:

Username: gmailusername
Domain: gmail.com
password: gmailpassword
Alias: yournickname

Leave Resource empty


Set up facebook chat:

Username: facebook.user.name
Domain: chat.facebook.com
Password: facebookpassword
Alias: yournickname

Leave Resource empty

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