Gaim v0.59.8 - Instant Messaging client
gaim is a GTK-based Instant Messaging (IM) client designed primarily for use with AOL
Instant Messager (AIM). However, it supports most other popular IM protocols including
ICQ, MSN Messager, Jabber, Yahoo!, IRC, Napster, Zephyr, and Gadu-Gadu.
The following options are provided by gaim using the standard GNU command line syntax.
Launch the account editor rather than the login window on start.
Print debugging messages to stdout. These are the same debugging messages that are
displayed in the debug window.
Use FILE as the configuration file instead of ~/.gaimrc.
Print this help and exit.
Automatically login on start using the default account or the account specified by
the NAME parameter.
Use account NAME as default.
Display the version information window.
Automatically go away on signon. You may optionally use the MESG parameter to set
the away message.
The Buddy List Window is gaim's main interface window. The focus of this window is the
Buddy List itself. This is a list of your contacts whose presence you have been notified
The list of buddies is organized into groups. Gaim supports multiple connections, but all
online buddies are organized on the same buddy list. Buddy List organization is handled
in the Edit Buddies tab.
Buddy Lists can be imported and exported to disk using the appropriate commands in the
The icon to the left of each buddy indicates the buddy's current state. Double clicking a
buddy will open a new conversation window. Right clicking will open a menu:
IM Opens a new conversation window to the selected buddy.
Alias Create an alias for this buddy. This will open up a new dialog in which one can
give this buddy an alternate name to appear on the buddy list and in conversa-
For example, if a buddy's name screen name was jsmith1281xx and his real name was
'John Q. Smith,' one could create an alias as to identify the buddy by his common
Add Buddy Pounce
A Buddy Pounce is a configurable automated action to be performed when the buddy's
state changes. This will open the Buddy Pounce dialog to be discussed later.
gaim is capable of automatically log its activities. These logs are html files
(with a .log extenstion) located in the ~/.gaim/logs directory. This menu command
will attempt to view this file with gaim's internal log viewer.
The remainder of the menu will consist of protocol specific commands. If logged on with
multiple connections, these will appear in submenus named with each screen name logged on.
These commands vary depending on the protocol; below are the commands available when using
OSCAR, the more popular and developer-recommended AIM protocol:
Retrieves and displays information about the buddy. This information is also known
as a Profile.
Get Away Msg
If this buddy is in an Away state, this will retrieve and display the buddy's Away
This will send a request to the buddy for a Direct IM. If accepted, a direct con-
nection will be made between the two clients, no longer relying on the server.
This will reveal your IP address to your buddy, which may constitute a security
The Conversation Window
When starting a new conversation, the user is presented with the conversation window. The
conversation appears in the upper text box and the user types his message in the lower.
Between the two is a row of setting, represented by icons. From left to right:
Bold adds <b></b> to your message
adds <i></i> to your message
adds <u></u> to your message
adds <s></s> to your message
Decrease font size
adds <font size="1"></font> to your message
Default font size
adds <font size="3"></font> to your message
Increase font size
adds <font size="5"></font> to your message
Select font face
adds an appropriate font tag to your message.
Select a foreground color
adds an appropriate font tag to your message.
Select a background color
adds an appropriate body tag to your message.
adds an appropriate a href tag to your message.
adds an ASCII smiley to your message. This will become a graphic smiley in the
upper textbox if the option for graphical smileys is set.
As the conversation continues, everything will get logged to a log file in
Saves the current conversation to a log file of your choice.
Choose whether events in this conversation will trigger sounds.
Beneath the lower textbox is a row of buttons that execute commands:
Send This sends what's currently in the lower textbox
This gets information (a profile) about the other person in the conversation.
Warn This issues a warning to the other person in the conversation.
Block This adds the other person to your deny list.
Add to buddy list
This adds this user to your buddy list. If he already is on your list, it will
remove him from it.
Close Closes this window.
Clicking this tab on the Buddy List Window will invoke the main interface to edit and
organize buddy lists. Buddy's already in your buddy list can be moved to different groups
or reordered in the same group by clicking and dragging with the mouse. One can also add,
rename, alias, or delete buddies here, as well as some of the functions available in the
Buddy List Dialog.
In the Edit Buddies dialog, the list is arranged by connection. If two or more connec-
tions have a group of the same, the Buddy List will only show one group with that name.
Available buddies from both connections will be shown in this group. If both connections
have a buddy with the same screen name in a group of the same name, the buddy will appear
For protocols that allow it, Buddy Chats can be entered through the file menu, the key-
board shortcut CTRL+C, or the right most button on the bottom of the uddy List Dialog.
Additional commands available in chat, depending on the protocol are:
The text will appear in the chat conversation, but it will only be visible to the
sender and the receiver.
Invite Invite other people to join the chat room.
Ignore Ignore anything said by the chosen person
Set the topic of the chat room. This is usually a brief sentence describing the
nature of the chat--an explanation of the chat room's name.
Most protocols allow for away messages. When a user is away, he can leave a message indi-
cating why for others to see. The away submenu of the Tools menu is used to add and
remove away message, as well as to set a user's away state.
New Away Message provides space for one to enter an away message and a title for that mes-
sage. If Save of Save & Use are chosen, this message will be saved. It can later be
referred to by the title given to it.
Remove Away Message is a submenu containing the titles of saved away messages. Clicking
on one of these titles will remove the away message associated with it.
The rest of the away menu provides the user with a way to assign different away messages
to different connections. Choosing Set All Away will set away all the connections capable
of the away state.
A Buddy Pounce is an automated trigger that occurs when a buddy returns to a normal state
from an away state. A pounce can be set to occur on any combination of the events listed,
and any combination of actions can result. If Save this pounce after activation is
checked, the trigger will remain until it is removed from the Remove buddy pounce menu.
The account editor consists of a list of accounts and information about them. Clicking
Add or Modify will invoke a Modify Account window. Here, you can alter information about
your account. When creating a new account, you will submit your screen name and password.
You will also choose your protocol; The two AIM protocols, TOC and OSCAR are always
loaded, but other protocols can be dynamically loaded and unloaded using Protocols Plugins
If Remember Password is chosen, the password will be saved in gaim's configuration file.
If Auto-Login is chosen, this account will automatically login upon starting gaim.
Each protocol has it's own specific options that can be found in the protocol-specific tab
on the modify screen.
Gaim allows for perl scripting. This submenu provides for the loading of individual perl
scripts and for the unloading of all of them. See PERL-HOWTO for more information about
Gaim allows for dynamic loading of plugins. The plugin window shows the paths to loaded
plugins on the left, and the name and description of the plugin on the right.
You may load and unload plugins using the appropriate buttons.
Use Borderless Buttons
Change the appearence of the GUI's buttons.
Show Buddy Ticker
This opens the Buddy Ticker, a small window in which the contents of your buddy
list scroll to keep you up to date on their status.
Show Debug Window
This opens a debug window into which gaim sends more verbose information about what
Report Idle Times
For protocol's that require the client to report idle times, this option sets the
method of determining idle times. If None is chosen, idleness will not be
reported. If Gaim Use is chosen, it will send idle times relative to the last time
gaim was used. If X Use is chosen, idle times will be reported based on the last
time the mouse or keyboard was used.
Log all conversations will automatically log conversations into ~/.gaim/logs/.
Unless Strip HTML from logs is checked, they will be saved as an HTML file with a
.log extension. The preferences window provides options to specify exactly what to
Choose the Web Browser to use when a hyperlink is clicked.
Hide IM/Info/Chat buttons
This option will remove the three buttons beneath the Buddy List in the Buddy List
Show pictures on buttons
If checked, the buttons will feature an icon, otherwise, the buttons will be text.
Hide groups with no online buddies
This feature will only display a folder representing a group if there is at least
one online buddy in it.
Show numbers in groups
This feature displays the number of buddies in each group and the number of these
online in the Buddy List.
Show buddy type icons
This icon is a quick reference as to what protocol a buddy is using, and what away
state, if any, he is in.
Show Idle times
This shows how long a buddy has been idle next to his name. Show warning levels
This shows the warning level of a buddy next to his name.
These options set certain keybindings.
Show graphical smileys
This will convert emoticons such as :) and >:-O to small icons representing them.
Show timestamp on messages
When selected, this option shows in the conversation window, the time each message
was received or sent.
Show URLs as links
This will convert URLs such as http://gaim.sourceforge.net to a hyperlink pointing
to that site.
Highlight misspelled words
While typing a message, if a user misspells a word, it will immediately turn red.
Right-clicking on the word will invoke a menu of possible corrections.
Sending messages removes away status
If this option is selected, a user will come back from away if he sends a message
Queue new messages when away
This option will cause new conversation windows not to be created until a user
returns from away. Instead, a record of how many messages received and from whom
they were received is shown in the away message window.
Ignore colors/font faces/ font sizes
These options ignore font settings that can be set in HTML tags.
Ignore TiK Automated Messages
AOL's open source TiK client gets a user's away message by sending him an automated
message. This option ignores those messages.
Ignore new conversations when away
If checked, new conversations will be ignored entirely when away. Unlike the Queue
new messages when away option, no record will be kept of these.
Show buttons as:
This option selects the look of the buttons.
Show all conversations in one tabbed window
Instead of seperate windows for each conversation, they are all shown in one window
with tabs at the top to select the conversation. A name on a tab will become red
if a new message hasn't yet been read.
Raise windows on events
When an event happens to a conversation, the conversation window will be raised
above all other windows on the desktop.
Show logins in window
This will show when buddies log in and out in the conversation window, if one is
open for that buddy.
Select the default size for new conversation windows.
These set the font preferences that are sent with all messages over a protocol that sup-
This is a list of available chat rooms and chat rooms that you are subscribed to.
No sounds when you log in
This will prevent sounds from playing when gaim is first notified of your buddy's
presence because you just signed on.
Sounds while away
This option will continue to play sounds on events if you are away.
Beep instead of playing sound
This will cause a terminal beep instead of a sound upon events.
Command to play sound files
If you need a special command executed to play a sound, enter it in the given box
with %s representing the filename. If you prefer gaim to play the sound, leave it
Events Choose sounds to play when each event occurs.
Don't send auto-response
If someone sends the user a message while away, gaim will not respond with the away
message if this is checked.
If this is selected gaim will automatically go away if it's been idle for the spec-
ified length of time.
Here, the user can configure his permit/deny lists.
~/.gaimrc - Gaim Config File
~/.gaim/logs/SCREENNAME.log - a log of all conversation with SCREENNAME.
/usr/local/lib/gaim/ - Gaim Plugin Files
~/.gaim/SCREENAME.PROTOCOL.blist - the buddy list for SCREENAME using protocol number PRO-
Known bugs are at http://sourceforge.net/bugs/?group_id=235
If you find a bug in gaim, please submit a bug form at http://source-
Before sending a bug report, please verify that you have the latest version of gaim. Many
bugs (major and minor) are fixed at each release, and if yours is out of date, the problem
may already have been solved.
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 ver-
sion 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY;
without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
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., 59 Temple PLace, Suite 330, Boston,
MA 02111-1307 USA
The authors of gaim are:
Rob Flynn <email@example.com> - AIM: RobFlynn
Sean Egan <firstname.lastname@example.org> - AIM: SeanEgn
The retired authors of gaim are:
Jim Duchek <email@example.com> - AIM: Zilding
Eric Warmenhoven <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mark Spencer <email@example.com> - AIM: Markster97
This manpage was originally written by Dennis Ristuccia <firstname.lastname@example.org> AIM: D3nnisR.
It has been updated and largely rewritten by Sean Egan <email@example.com> AIM: