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centerim-utf8 - A text-mode multi-protocol instant messenger client…  more info»


* The CenterIM FAQ (frequently asked questions)
* originally by Konstantin Klyagin
* currently maintained by the CenterIM community.
* read the up-to-date version at

/* *** */

Q: What about implementing such a neat <blah-blah> feature in centerim?

A: Hey, centerim is GPL and opensource, so feel free to contribute.
   Don't wait for the maintainers to implement it, just do it
   yourself and send a patch.

/* *** */

Q: Can't build it under FreeBSD..

A: Use gmake instead of make

/* *** */

Q: (by Paonia Ezrine,
   When I run centerim in a xterm or from the console it is fine but
   when I run it in a gnome terminal windows the screen does not update
   correctly. Specificly the right side of the screen does not get
   cleared after I send a message or other similar events.

A: (by Jakub Travnik,

   It happens only with the gnome-terminal. centerim works fine on
   linux-console and eterm (enlightenment) so it is problem with
   gnome-terminal. It does not support all xterm sequences.
   /usr/share/terminfo/g/gnome file could correct that (gnome users
   should have it), so that ncurses will not use such a extended
   sequences for gnome-terminal.

   Workaround: For me it worked setting TERM variable to gnome and then
   running centerim without problems.
   $ export TERM=gnome
   $ centerim
   and it is ok

/* *** */

Q: How do I authorize someone's request with centerim?

A: You'll see as soon as someone requests it.

/* *** */

Q: I can't use Ctrl-O to view history and Ctrl-Y to delete a line under

A: Execute the following before starting centerim:
    stty dsusp undef
    stty discard undef

/* *** */

Q: I can't get out from a dialog or a menu. When I press ESC, nothing

A: Have you ever used mc (Midnight commander)? It requires users to
   press ESC twice to close a dialog, menu, etc. It's not a problem, but
   just a terminal specific issue.

/* *** */

Q: How do I enable logging the protocol info, etc?

A: Run centerim with --debug flag.

/* *** */

Q: CenterIM compiles way too slow on my box. What's wrong?

A: C++ compiler optimization being a rather slow thing is on by default.
   To turn it off, do the following.
   [konst@morgue]$ CXXFLAGS=-O0 ./configure && make

/* *** */

Q: From: jeff covey <>

  if i understand the faq correctly, centerim makes esc into escesc
  because some terminals don't map esc properly. could the use of esc or
  escesc be made a configuration choice? for me, hitting escape twice is
  reallyreally annoyingannoying, especially if i'm two menus in, and to
  get out, i have to hit escape four times in a rowrowrowrow.

A: From:

  it's a limitation of the console. keys like f1..f12, the arrows, etc,
  generate sequences of characters starting with esc. if the application
  was to handle esc as cancel unconditionally, you'll have arrows
  cancelling your dialogs. so the app must do one of these things to
  avoid that:

  1. require esc-esc instead of single esc, as that disambiguates it
     from the function keys

  2. have a certain timeout and accepting the esc as a cancel only if
     there wasn't a function sequence after the esc during the timeout

  3. switch keyboard to raw or medium-raw mode and do keycode mapping

  as 2. is annoying and sluggish (at least to me) and 3. is too much
  work for too little gain, i think the current situation with double
  esc is the best choice. centerim was using timeout esc in the past (i
  think it's the default way ncurses handles esc) and at least i'm happy
  with the change :)

  perhaps there could be a configurable choice between double-esc and
  timeout, if that doesn't complicate the input routines too much.

/* *** */

Q: From:

   > + [icq] connecting to the server
   > + [icq] disconnected, turboing

   > Msn works fine.

   > I've tried different icq-servers, with no luck. Anyone with a
   > clue to what this can be?

A: It means exactly "turboing". You're loggin in and out too fast, so
   that the server turns on DoS attack protection. All you can do is
   to try again in half an hour.

/* *** */

Q: WTF?! My centerim binary is more than 20Mb. SOS! HELP! Virus? Aliens?

A: There are three steps you need to take.

    1. Look at other applications written in C++ compiled in your system.
    2. Read the install(1) and strip(1) man-pages.
    3. Type "strip -s centerim; ls -l centerim"

/* *** */

Q: I need a program for sending messages on IM networks from the command
   line. Is it possible to write a program that would use the centerim
   libraries, or maybe there is a special batch mode in the program?

A: Batch mode like you described is not possible to be implemented, because
   due to frequent logons followed by disconnections the servers will turn
   on their DoS attacks protection. So there is the only decent way which
   consists in sending messages in batch mode through an already running
   centerim instance. If you want to run it like a "daemon", use
   screen(1). More details on the batch mode usage can be found in the
   README, chapter 9.2.

/* *** */

Q: ICQ new UINs registration doesn't work! It just sends a request and
   then after 30 seconds reports a timeout.

A: It does work. Though, the ICQ server doesn't report the "password is
   too simple" situaion. Try to enter another one, more complicated. Also,
   as far as I know, "xxx123" is complicated enough to be accepted by
   the server software.

/* *** */

Q: What about storing passwords in some kind of an encrypted mode in the
   config file?

A: It doesn't make much sense, because in many cases they're transferred
   unencrypted. And also the program must first decrypt them before sending,
   so the one who really wants to find out them anyway will make it quite
   easily. But if you still think that such a crypting will help, please
   consult homepage of the program which was made especially for ones
   like you:

/* *** */

Q: When $HOME/.centerim/config gets created, you should set it mode 0600
   so only the user can read it. It contains passwords in clear text
   which other users on a system could read.

A: Your filesystem permissions knowledge is very sound, but please just try
   to access the config file before making any affirmations. You'll see
   that the .centerim directiory permissions do not allow others to read
   your configuration data.
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