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       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 features.  Finch is not  endorsed  by  or  affiliated  with
       America Online, ICQ, Microsoft, or Yahoo.


       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  ~/.purple.

       -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

       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  terminal

       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

       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 workspace

       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 default)
              remember_position = 1
              # Use borderless one-line high buttons
              small-button = true

              #  Workspaces are created simply by adding Workspace-X groups as
              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  following
       entries  in  ~/.gntrc  correspond  to  the  default keybindings for the

       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

       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 menuitems in
       windows. For example, the following entry in ~/.gntrc will bind Ctrl  +
       t to the 'Send IM...' item in the buddylist:

       c-t = send-im

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


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  possible  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
       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 window-manager.

       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
       # 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

       You  are  also  encouraged to drop by at #pidgin on 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 useful, but
       WITHOUT  ANY  WARRANTY;  without   even   the   implied   warranty   of
       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