gaim(1)                     General Commands Manual                    gaim(1)

       Gaim v1.5.0-12.el4 - Instant Messaging client

       gaim [options]

       gaim is a GTK2-based Instant Messaging (IM) application.  It supports
       multiple protocols via modules, including AIM, ICQ, Yahoo!, MSN,
       Jabber, IRC, Napster, Gadu-Gadu and Zephyr.  It has many common
       features found in other clients, as well as many unique features.  Gaim
       is not endorsed by or affiliated with America Online, ICQ, Microsoft,
       or Yahoo.

       The following options are provided by gaim using the standard GNU
       command line syntax:

       -a, --acct
              Launch the Account Editor rather than the Login window on start.

       -d, --debug
              Print debugging messages to stdout.  These are the same
              debugging messages that are displayed in the Debug window.

       -c, --config=DIR
              Use DIR as the directory for config files instead of ~/.gaim.

       -h, --help
              Print this help and exit.

       -l, --login[=NAME]
              Automatically login on start using the default account or the
              account specified by the NAME parameter.

       -n, --loginwin
              Don't automatically login when gaim starts.  Show the Login
              window instead.

       -u, --user=NAME
              Use account NAME as default.

       -v, --version
              Display the version information window.

       -w, --away[=MESG]
              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.  Using this
       window you can see which of your buddies is online, away, idle, etc.
       You can also add and remove buddies from your buddy list.

       The Buddy List window contains a list of your buddies who are online
       and have allowed you to be notified of their presence.  The icon to the
       left of each buddy indicates the buddy's current state and the protocol
       they are using.  Double clicking a buddy will open a new Conversation
       window.  Right clicking will pop up a menu:

       Get Info
              Retrieves and displays information about the buddy.  This
              information is also known as a Profile.

       IM     Opens a new Conversation window to the selected buddy.

       Send File
              Sends a file to the selected buddy (only available on protocols
              that support file transfer).

       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.

       View Log
              gaim is capable of automatically log its activities.  These logs
              are either plain text files (with a .log extension) or  html
              files (with a menu command will attempt to view this file with
              gaim's internal log viewer.

       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 conversations.

              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 name.

       The remainder of the menu will consist of protocol specific commands.
       These commands vary depending on the protocol.

       At the bottom of the Buddy List are several buttons (if enabled in

       IM     Opens a new Conversation window to to the selected buddy, or
              brings up the New Message dialog box if no buddy is selected.

       Info   Retrieves and display information about the selected buddy, or
              brings up the Get User Info dialog box if no buddy is selected.

       Chat   Brings up the Join Chat dialog box, prompting the user to select
              which username to use and what chat group to join.

       Away   Brings up a menu of all available Away Messages.  If an item is
              selected, all online accounts will use this item as their away

       The account editor consists of a list of accounts and information about
       them.  Clicking Delete will delete the currently selected account.
       Clicking Add or Modify will invoke a Modify Account window.  Here, you
       can add or alter account information.  When creating a new account, you
       will submit your screen name and password.  You will also choose your

       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
       modify screen.

       All options take effect immediately.

       Display remote nicknames if no alias is set: Toggles whether server
       nickname data should be used if no local alias exists.

Buddy List
       Sorting: Toggles the order in which buddies are shown in your Buddy
       List between none, alphabetical, by status and by log size.

       Show buttons as: Toggles between picture-only, text-only, picture and
       text or no buttons view of the buttons on the Buddy List.

       Raise window on events: Tells gaim to bring the Buddy List window to
       the top when buddies sign in or out.

       Show numbers in groups: The number of buddies from each group currently
       logged in will be shown along with the total number of buddies in the

       Show buddy icons: Toggles the display of buddies' custom icons.

       Show warning levels: Each buddy's warning level will be displayed next
       to the screen name. As a buddy's warning level increases, outgoing
       messages are more and more severely rate-limited.

       Show idle times: The amount of time each buddy has been idle will be
       displayed next to the screen name (if the buddy has opted to have their
       client report this information).

       Dim idle buddies: If enabled, idle buddies will be displayed in grey
       text instead of black text.

       Automatically expand contacts: If enabled, contacts will automatically
       expand to show the associated buddies when the mouse is held over the
       contact for a short period.

       Show buttons as...: The selected item will determine whether picture-
       only, text-only, combined picture/text, or no buttons will be used for
       Conversation windows.

       Enable "slash" commands: Determines whether messages starting with
       "slash" (eg. /help) will be interpreted as commands by gaim, or if they
       will just be sent as messages.

       Show formatting toolbar: Display the formatting toolbar between the
       upper and lower text boxes in conversations.

       Show aliases in tabs/titles: Displays buddy alias instead of screen
       name in window tabs and titles.

       Show buddy icons: For protocols that support it, buddy icons allow
       buddies to send small pictures to be displayed during the course of a
       conversation. Turning this option off hides those pictures.

       Enable buddy icon animation: If these pictures happen to be animated,
       this option will enable the animation, otherwise only the first frame
       will be displayed.

       Notify buddies that you are typing to them: Some protocols allow
       clients to tell their buddies when they are typing. This option enables
       this feature for protocols that supports it.

       Raise IM windows on events: If enabled, IM Conversation windows will be
       brought to the top when new messages are received.

       Raise Chat windows on events: If enabled, chat Conversation windows
       will be brought to the top when new messages are received.

       Use multi-colored screen names in chats: Color code the screen names of
       users in chat rooms.

       Tab Options
              Show IMs and chats in tabbed windows: Tabbed chatting allows one
              to have multiple conversations without multiple windows.

              Show close buttons on tabs: Adds a close button to each tab.

              Tab Placement...: Specifies where tabs are shown in the
              conversation window.

               New conversation placement...: Determines where new
              conversations will be placed (Last created window / New window /
              windows grouped by group or account / separate windows for IMs
              and Chats).

       Message Text
              Show timestamp on messages: Toggles the timestamp behavior for
              conversations.  Per-conversation behavior can be changed by
              pressing F2 in the Conversation window.

              Highlight misspelled words: Toggles highlighting of misspelled
              words as you type.

              Ignore colors/font faces/font sizes: Tells gaim to disregard
              buddies' color/font/size information in displaying IMs or Chats.

              Default Formatting: Allows specifying the default formatting to
              apply to all outgoing messages (only applicable to protocols
              that support formatting in messages).

              Allows the user to determine which keyboard shortcuts are

       Smiley Themes
              Allows the user to choose between different smiley themes. The
              "none" theme will disable graphical emoticons - they will be
              displayed as text instead.

       Sounds while away: Determines whether sounds are played when an away
       message is up.

       Sound Method lets the user choose between different playback methods.
       The user can also manually enter a command to be executed when a sound
       is to be played (%s expands to the full path to the file name).

       Sound Events
              Lets the user choose when and what sounds are to be played.

       IP Address
              Autodetect IP Address: Gaim will attempt to automatically
              determine your IP address for use in file transfers and Direct

              Public IP: What IP address to use for file transfer and Direct
              IMs. This is mainly useful for users with multiple network
              interfaces or behind NAT.

       Ports  Manually specify range of ports to listen on: Specify specific
              ports to listen on, overriding any defaults.

       Proxy Server
              The configuration section to enable gaim to operate through a
              proxy server.  gaim currently supports SOCKS 4/5 and HTTP

       Allows the user to select gaim's default web browser.  Firefox, Galeon,
       Konqueror, Mozilla, Netscape and Opera are supported natively.  The
       user can also manually enter a command to be executed when a link is
       clicked (%s expands to the URL).  For example, xterm -e lynx "%s" will
       open the link with lynx.  Open new window by default makes the browser
       use a new window instead of using the current window (or spawning a new

       Message Logs lets the user choose whether Conversations and/or Buddy
       Chats will be logged as well as whether logs will be in HTML or plain
       text format.  System Logs describes the types of events to be logged.

Away / Idle
       Queue new messages when away: Messages received since going Away will
       not be shown until away status is removed.

       Send auto-response: If someone messages you while away, your auto-
       response will be sent.

       Only send auto-response when idle: If someone messages you while away,
       your auto-response will only be sent if gaim decides that the
       connection is idle.

       Idle time reporting: If None is selected, account idle time will not be
       reported.  Gaim usage infers your idle time from your usage of gaim.  X
       usage infers your idle time from X (this option may not be universally

       Auto-away: Determines if and under what conditions gaim will
       automatically turn on the Away status.

       Away Messages
              Lets the user add/edit/remove available Away Messages.

       Allows the user to enable add-on plugins for gaim.  Several of these
       come with gaim, while others must be downloaded separately.  The
       Description field gives the plugin author's description of the plugin,
       while the Details field gives the plugin's authorship, URL, and file
       name/location information.

       Some plugins can be configured.  If you load such a plugin, its
       configuration preferences will appear as a submenu to Plugins, with the
       submenu title determined by the plugin's name.

       Protocols provide protocol specific preferences here.

       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/her message in the lower text box.  Between the
       two is a row of settings, represented by icons.  Some or all buttons
       may not be active if the protocol does not support the specific
       formatting. From left to right:

       Bold   Turns on/off bold.

              Turns on/off italics.

              Turns on/off underline.

       Decrease font size
              Increases the size of the message text.

       Increase font size
              Decreases the size of the message text.

       Select a foreground color
              Changes the foreground color of the message text.

       Select a background color
              Changes the background color of the message text.

       Add image
              Inserts an in-line image in the message.

       Add hyperlink
              Adds a clickable link to the message.

       Add smiley
              Adds an emoticon (smiley) to your message.

              Beneath the lower text box is a row of buttons that execute

       Warn   This issues a warning to the other person in the conversation
              (not available in all protocols).

       Block  This adds the other person to your deny list (not available in
              all protocols).

       Send File
              Send a file to this user. This option is only available on
              protocols where Gaim supports file transfer.

       Add    This adds this user to your buddy list.  This option is not
              available if the user is already on your list.

       Remove This removes this user from your buddy list.  This option is not
              available if the user is not on your list.

       Info   This gets information (a profile) about the other person in the
              conversation (not available in all protocols).

       Send   This sends what's currently in the lower text box

       For protocols that allow it, Buddy Chats can be entered through the
       File menu or the Chat button at the bottom of the Buddy List's Online

       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 Topic
              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 an informative message for others to see.  The Away submenu of
       the Tools menu is used to add and remove away messages.

       New Away Message provides space for one to enter an away message and a
       title for that message.  If Save or 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.  The New Buddy Pounce dialog box
       can be activated by selecting the Buddy Pounce submenu from the Tools
       menu. 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.

       Gaim allows for dynamic loading of plugins to add extra functionality
       to gaim.  Plugins can be enabled and configured from the Preferences
       window.  See plugins/HOWTO for more information on writing plugins.

       Gaim allows for perl scripting.  See Perl Scripting HOWTO in the Gaim
       documentation for more information about perl scripting.

       Gaim allows for Tcl scripting. See plugins/tcl/TCL-HOWTO for more
       information about Tcl scripting.

       /usr/bin/gaim: gaim's location.
       /usr/lib/gaim/: gaim's plugins directory.
       ~/.gaim/prefs.xml: gaim's configuration file.
       ~/.gaim/accounts.xml: information about your accounts.
       ~/.gaim/status.xml: stores your away messages.
       ~/.gaim/pounces.xml: stores your buddy pounces.
       ~/.gaim/logs/PROTOCOL/ACCOUNT/SCREENNAME/DATE.log: conversation logs.
       ~/.gaim/blist.xml: the buddy list.
       ~/.gaim/plugins/: users local plugins

       Known bugs are listed at

       If you fix a bug in gaim (or otherwise enhance it), please submit a
       patch (using cvs diff -up > my.diff against the latest CVS version) at

       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


       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.,
       59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307  USA

       Gaim's active developers are:

        Rob Flynn (maintainer) <>
        Sean Egan (lead developer) <>
        Christian 'ChipX86' Hammond (developer & webmaster)
        Herman Bloggs (win32 port) <>
        Nathan 'faceprint' Walp (developer)
        Mark 'KingAnt' Doliner (developer)
        Ethan 'Paco-Paco' Blanton (developer)
        Tim 'marv' Ringenbach (developer)
        Luke 'LSchiere' Schierer (support)
        Stu 'nosnilmot' Tomlinson (developer)

       Our crazy patch writers include:

        Benjamin Miller
        Decklin Foster
        Etan 'deryni' Reisner
        Robert 'Robot101' McQueen
        Kevin 'SimGuy' Stange
        Gary 'grim' Kramlich
        Ka-Hing 'javabsp' Cheung
        Felipe 'shx' Contreras
        Daniel 'datallah' Atallah

       The retired developers of gaim are:

        Adam Fritzler (former libfaim maintainer)
        Eric Warmenhoven (former lead developer) <>
        Jim Duchek (former maintainer)
        Jim Seymour (former Jabber developer)
        Mark Spencer (original author) <>
        Syd Logan (hacker and designated driver [lazy bum])

       This manpage was originally written by Dennis Ristuccia
       <>.  It has been updated and largely rewritten by
       Sean Egan <> and Ben Tegarden