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Instant Messaging

Instant Messaging - my favourite topic. There was a time in my graduation when I used to chat like hell and experiment with all the available messaging clients. My two cousins Sumana and Sujana and a friend Swetha used to always be the 'bakras' (scapegoats) bearing me :-). Times have changed now and I don't chat so much but that doesn't stop me from writing on my favourite topic. So go ahead and read it.

Gyach (Yahoo Messenger for Linux)

Gyach is yahoo messenger for linux and is supposed to support voice chat along with webcam. It is not availabe by default in the mepis/ubuntu repository and you will have to download it. You can either download their rpm, convert it to .deb using "alien" and install or you could download their source, compile it and install. There is also a thread which discusses how to install Gyach on Mepis.

I was unable to use Gyach voice chat. But with other better software such as skype available, voice chat is not a big issue. As far as webcam is concerned, I was able to view other's webcam but not able to broadcast mine. I also had a few issues with gyach (installed from rpm) crashing on my machine.

Also, please note that there is an official Yahoo Messenger provided by Yahoo for linux users. But it is so outdated that I highly don't recommend it.

Skype is a cross-platform voice messenger which is based on P2P technology. Mepis comes installed with Skype by default. If necessary, you can download the binary package for Mepis here.


Welcome to the King of Instant Messengers - Pidgin (formerly know as Gaim). Pidgin is a multi-protocol instant messenger available for both Linux and Windows. Using this messenger alone you can log into yahoo, msn, aim, google, etc. There are also many plugins available. Some very good plugins which are available by default are "System Tray Icon" and "Message Notification" plugins. Currently pidgin does not support voice/video chat but these are going to be added in the next major release.


  1. At the time of writing this article, there does not seem to be a binary package (.deb) available for pidgin. So you will have to download the source and compile and install it.Pidgin is now available in debian backports repository.
  2. Pidgin stores all message conversation in "~/.purple/logs/". I generally move this folder to a location of which I take backup regularly and then create a soft link "~/.purple/logs" to the new location.
  3. Pidigin now comes with a console based messenger known as "finch".


Guifications is another plugin available for pidgin. This plugin is used to display events like user login, logout, etc. in a box at the corner of the screen.


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