Finch - A Pimpin' Penguin console frontend to libpurple. Instant Messaging
- finch [options]
is a console-based modular messaging client based on libpurple
which is capable of connecting to AIM, 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 features. Finch is not
endorsed by or affiliated with America Online, ICQ, or Microsoft.
The following options are provided by finch
using the standard 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.
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 Escape.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Create a new workspace and switch to it
: 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/s.so
# There's also a custom window manager called irssi.so
# Remember window-positions based on the titles (on by default)
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'
# But the following will NOT work
#abc = bcd
# Hitting 'space' will activate a button
\ = \r
You can specifiy key-bindings for specific widgets. The following entries in
correspond to the default keybindings for the actions:
tab = focus-next
right = focus-next
left = focus-prev
down = dropdown
up = dropdown
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
page-down = suggest-next-page
page-up = suggest-prev-page
c-w = delete-prev-word
a-b = cursor-prev-word
a-f = cursor-next-word
a-d = delete-next-word
c-v = clipboard-paste
c-p = history-prev
c-n = history-next
c-r = history-search
c-up = history-prev
c-down = history-next
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
corresponds to the Control
key. You can also use
to indicate a combination. For
alt-keys, you can use one of a-
. You can also use home
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
You can also specify key-bindings to trigger specific menuitems in windows. For
example, the following entry in ~/.gntrc
will bind Ctrl + t
the 'Send IM...' item in the buddylist:
c-t = send-im
The following is the list of IDs of the current menuitems in the buddylist:
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).
The default window management is very limited. But it is possible to write
custom window managers to suit your needs. There is a sample window-manager
included (named s.so
) 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 possible 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
It is also possible to rebind the window-manager actions in ~/.gntrc
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
a-c-j = window-scroll-down
a-c-k = window-scroll-up
# The following action is still incomplete, and doesn't have a default binding
# 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
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.
- for the preferences window.
- 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
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
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://developer.pidgin.im/simpleticket
You are also encouraged to drop by at #pidgin
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
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT
; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more
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 < email@example.com
This manpage was written by Sadrul Habib Chowdhury <
> and Dennis Ristuccia <