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finch - A text-based user interface for Pidgin…  more info»


finch(1)                                                    finch(1)

       Finch  -  A  Pimpin'  Penguin  console frontend to libpurple.
       Instant Messaging client.

       finch [options]

       finch is a console-based modular messaging  client  based  on
       libpurple which is capable of connecting to AIM, MSN, Yahoo!,
       XMPP, ICQ,  IRC,  SILC,  Novell  GroupWise,  Lotus  Sametime,
       Zephyr,  Gadu-Gadu,  and  QQ  all at once. It has many common
       features found in other clients, as well as many unique  fea‐
       tures.   Finch  is not endorsed by or affiliated with America
       Online, ICQ, Microsoft, or Yahoo.

       The following options are provided by finch using  the  stan‐
       dard GNU command line syntax:

       -c, --config=DIR
              Use  DIR  as the directory for config files instead of

       -d, --debug
              Print debugging messages to stderr and start with  the
              Debug  window.  The messages shown in the Debug window
              are the same as the ones printed in stderr.

       -h, --help
              Print this help and exit.

       -n, --nologin
              Don't automatically login when finch starts.  Sets all
              accounts to Offline.

       -v, --version
              Display the version information window.

GNT Shortcuts
       You can use the following shortcuts (see the "Widget Actions"
       section for a more complete list):

       Alt + a
              Bring up a list of available actions. You can use this
              list  to  access  the accounts window, plugins window,
              preference window etc.

       Alt + n
              Go to the next window.

       Alt + p
              Go to the previous window.

       Alt + w
              Show the list of windows. You can select and  jump  to
              any window from the list.

       Alt + c
              Close the current window.

       Alt + q

       Alt + m
              Start  moving  a window. Press the cursor keys to move
              the window. When you are done, press Enter or Escape.

       Alt + r
              Start resizing a window.  Press  the  cursor  keys  to
              resize  the  window. When you are done, press Enter or

       Alt + D
              Dump the contents of the screen in HTML format.

       Alt + .
              Move the position of the current window in the  window
              list one place to the right.

       Alt + ,
              Move  the position of the current window in the window
              list one place to the left.

       Alt + l
              Refresh the windows. This is useful after resizing the
              terminal window.

       Alt + 1 2 ... 0
              Jump to the 1st, 2nd ... 10th window.

       Alt + Tab
              Jump to the next URGENT (highlighted) window.

       Alt + Shift + Tab
              Jump to the previous URGENT (highlighted) window.

       Ctrl + o  or  F10
              Bring up the menu (if there is one) for a window.

       F11  or  Ctrl + x
              Popup  the  context  menu  (if  there  is one) for the
              selected widget.

       Alt + /
              Show a list of available key-bindings for the  current
              widget in focus.

       Alt + >
              Switch to the next workspace

       Alt + <
              Switch to the previous workspace

       Alt + t
              Tag (or untag) the current window

       Alt + T
              Attached   all  the  tagged  windows  to  the  current

       Alt + s
              Show the workspace list

       F9     Create a new workspace and switch to it

       ~/.gntrc: configuration file for gnt applications.

       A sample file looks like:
              color-available = green; black
              color-away = blue; black
              color-idle = gray; black
              color-offline = red; black
              color-message-sent = cyan; default
              color-message-received = red; default
              color-message-highlight = black; green
              color-message-action = yellow; default
              color-timestamp = blue; default
              #See below for details on color

              shadow = 0
              # There is experimental mouse support
              mouse = 1
              # To use some custom window-manager
              wm = /usr/local/lib/gnt/
              # There's also a custom window manager called
              # Remember window-positions based on the titles (on by
              remember_position = 1
              # Use borderless one-line high buttons
              small-button = true

              #  Workspaces are created simply by adding Workspace-X
              groups as follows:
              name = blist
              # window-names specifies that windows with these semi-
              colon separated names are placed into this workspace
              window-names = buddylist;debug-window

              name = IM
              window-names = conversation-window
              #  window-titles  specifies  that  windows  with these
              semi-colon  separated  titles  are  placed  into  this
              workspace.  These  are  matched  as substrings. Window
              titles take precedence over names.
              window-titles = Preferences;Pounce

              # The RGB values range in [0, 1000]
              black = 0; 0; 0
              red = 1000; 0; 0
              green = 0; 1000; 0
              blue = 250; 250; 700
              white = 1000; 1000; 1000
              gray = 700; 700; 700
              darkgray = 256; 256; 256

              normal = white; black
              highlight = white; blue
              highlightd = black; gray
              shadow = black; darkgray
              title = white; blue
              titled = white; gray
              text = white; blue
              disabled = gray; black
              urgent = green; black

              # Remap some keys for GntEntry
              # Remap the up-arrow to the left-arrow
              ^[[A = ^[[D
              # Remap the down-arrow to the right-arrow
              ^[[B = ^[[C
              # Remap 'a' to 'bcd'
              a = bcd
              # Completely ignore the key 'q'
              q =
              # But the following will NOT work
              #abc = bcd

              # Hitting 'space' will activate a button
              \  = \r

Widget Actions
       You can specifiy key-bindings for specific widgets. The  fol‐
       lowing entries in ~/.gntrc correspond to the default keybind‐
       ings for the actions:

       tab = focus-next
       right = focus-next
       left = focus-prev

       c-a = cursor-home
       home = cursor-home
       c-e = cursor-end
       end = cursor-end
       backspace = delete-prev
       del = delete-next
       c-d = delete-next
       c-u = delete-start
       c-k = delete-end
       c-b = cursor-prev
       left = cursor-prev
       c-f = cursor-next
       right = cursor-next
       tab = suggest-show
       down = suggest-next
       up = suggest-prev
       c-w = delete-prev-word
       a-b = cursor-prev-word
       a-f = cursor-next-word
       a-d = delete-next-word
       c-v = clipboard-paste

       up = move-up
       down = move-down
       c-n = move-down
       c-p = move-up
       pageup = page-up
       pagedown = page-down
       backspace = move-parent
       home = move-first
       end = move-last
       # Following is the default binding for the context-menu
       menu = context-menu
       # The following will let you open  the  context-menu  in  the
       buddylist with c-b
       # c-b = context-menu

       f11 = context-menu
       c-x = context-menu

       c-o = show-menu
       f10 = show-menu

       The c- corresponds to the Control key. You can also use ctrl-
       or ctr- or ctl- to indicate a combination. For alt-keys,  you
       can  use one of a-, alt-, m- or meta-. You can also use home,
       end, left, right etc. keys.

       To unbind a key which has a default binding, you simply  bind
       it  to the empty string.  For example, to unbind Alt + q from
       the Quit function, you would use:

       a-q =

       You can also specify key-bindings to trigger  specific  menu‐
       items  in  windows.  For  example,  the  following  entry  in
       ~/.gntrc will bind Ctrl + t to the 'Send IM...' item  in  the

       c-t = send-im

       The  following is the list of IDs of the current menuitems in
       the buddylist:


Mouse Support
       There is experimental mouse support. You can  focus  windows,
       activate  buttons,  select  rows  in a list, scroll using the
       wheel-scroll etc. Selecting text in a text-view copies it  to
       the  gnt  clipboard. Mouse support is disabled by default, so
       you need to enable it in ~/.gntrc (see the sample above).

Window Management
       The default window management is very limited. But it is pos‐
       sible  to  write  custom  window managers to suit your needs.
       There is a sample window-manager included (named  which
       adds  a  little  'close-button'  for the windows, removes the
       borders from the buddylist and pops up  new  windows  in  the
       middle of the screen, instead of at the upper-left corder. It
       is provided as a sample simple manager, but it should be pos‐
       sible  to write more complex managers, and it's very possible
       that the window-manager API will need to be enhanced. Look at
       the sample ~/.gntrc file above to see how to select a window-

       It is also possible to rebind the window-manager  actions  in
       ~/.gntrc, eg:

       a-n = window-next
       a-p = window-prev
       a-c = window-close
       a-w = window-list
       a-d = dump-screen
       a-, = shift-left
       a-. = shift-right
       a-a = action-list
       a-m = start-move
       a-r = start-resize
       a-q = wm-quit
       a-l = refresh-screen
       a-s = workspace-list
       a-t = window-tag
       a-T = place-tagged
       a-C = toggle-clipboard
       a-/ = help-for-widget
       #  The following action is still incomplete, and doesn't have
       a default binding
       # switch-window-n
       # Other actions: window-next-urgent, window-prev-urgent

       # For the sample custom window manager
       a-b = toggle-buddylist

       # For the irssi window manager
       a-L = move-right
       a-H = move-left
       a-J = move-down
       a-K = move-up

Conversation Commands
       There are a few helpful commands in addition to  the  regular
       commands.  You  can use these from any conversation to access
       other windows.

              for the accounts window.

              for the buddylist.

              for the debug window.

              for the plugins window.

       prefs  for the preferences window.

       status for the status window.

       FAQ for finch is located at

       Known bugs are listed at‐

       Before sending a bug report, please verify that you have  the
       latest  version of finch and libpurple.  Many bugs (major and
       minor) are fixed at each release, and  if  yours  is  out  of
       date, the problem may already have been solved.

       If  you  fix a bug in finch (or otherwise enhance it), please
       submit a patch (using mtn diff > my.diff against  the  latest
       version   from  the  Monotone  repository)  at  http://devel‐

       You are also encouraged to drop by at #pidgin  on  irc.freen‐ to discuss development.


       This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
       modify it under the terms of the GNU General  Public  License
       as  published by the Free Software Foundation; either version
       2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

       This program is distributed in the hope that it will be  use‐
       ful,  but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied war‐
       See the GNU General Public License for more details.

       You  should  have  received  a copy of the GNU General Public
       License along with this program; if not, write  to  the  Free
       Software  Foundation,  Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor,
       Boston, MA  02111-1301  USA

       Sadrul Habib Chowdhury <>

       This  manpage  was  written   by   Sadrul   Habib   Chowdhury
       <>  and  Dennis  Ristuccia  <den‐>.

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