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LAN messenger ?

phaeronix's picture

Sometimes you want to talk to someone on a LAN without relying on MSN or whatever. For example when there is no internet connectivity.

In the old days there was a program in windows that used to be able to transfer messages between machines on the same network, I think using the smb protocol. The linux counterpart was linotify. However, for some reason it doesn't work for me anymore and I don't remember the name of the windows program, and I don't even know if it still exists there ( they hid netmeeting too ).

There are many other solutions available if you look in freshmeat, but most of them need some kind of special setup, or beforehand knowledge of the other side's info.

Short of setting up a local IRC server what else do we have ?

Enter zeroconf a very nice innovation from Apple. It's an automatic service advertising and discovery framework. It has lots of uses everywhere, but I will concentrate on how to use it for LAN chat.

The IM programs I know of that support this protocol called bonjour are iChat on mac OSX and recent gaim on linux and windows ( I am using beta4 ).

Once you have compiled gaim with bonjour support, run gaim and go to the accounts dialog click on add. In the add account dialog choose "Bonjour" from the Protocol drop down. Input your data that others will see, there isn't a certain server needed.

Repeat on the other side and you should instantly be able to see each other and chat ! It's that simple.

I hope you find this post useful.

Dr. Radut | blog