Chat and Instant Messages

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Chat and Instant Messages

There are many articles on other websites that suggest what the best app for instant messaging would be. Many of those articles are based on some personal preference of the article author, or listing technical features of various clients. Many times, you don't really have a choice. If you want to talk to a person that only has a land line telephone, then you just have to sit down with a phone and call that number. If all your friends are using ICQ, then it doesn't matter if you think Skype is better, unless you can convince all your friends to move. Therefore, assuming that you know who you want to talk to and what communications protocol they use, here is how to get in touch with them.


More information can be found in the Category:IRC.

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is the main channel for support on Funtoo, aside from this wiki. This can be reached in any web browser by pointing it to You can set any nickname and join the #funtoo channel. There is also a #gentoo channel on Freenode where people may be of assistance.

Recommended IRC clients:

  • app-emacs/circe - Circe (Emacs IRC plugin)
  • net-irc/ircii - ircII (the "original" console IRC client)
  • net-irc/jircii - IRC client written in java.
  • net-irc/epic4 and net-irc/epic5 - EPIC (ircII interface that can be extended with scripts, e.g. Darkstar)
  • net-irc/hexchat (Xchat extension)
  • net-irc/irssi (The Finnish language pronounciation of ircII is irssi. This is an entirely different IRC client with many features)
  • net-irc/konversation (KDE based)
  • net-irc/kvirc (KDE based)
  • net-irc/quassel (Qt based)
  • net-irc/weechat (IRC client that has both text-based interface for the console, and a web interface, and a GUI for X)

To join the discussion in the Funtoo channel, you would first connect to with your favourite IRC client. When you connect, you will need to specify a username. If someone else already owns that username, you will get a message like "NickServ: This nickname is registered. Please choose a different nickname, or identify yourself". So you have these two choices to respond:

   /nick new-nickname
   /msg NickServ identify ********** (replace these stars with your password and ignore this text)

Once you have chosen a unique nickname (and optionally registered it to make sure you own it in future conversations), you can join a channel by entering:

   /join #funtoo

You can also join several channels at once, like so:

   /join #funtoo #gentoo #pidgin

Multi-protocol clients


Pidgin is a GTK based application, reportedly used by "millions of people". One of the reasons for Pidgin's popularity is that it supports a wide variety of protocols. These are the protocols currently supported:

  • AIM
  • Bonjour
  • Gadu-Gadu
  • Google Talk
  • Groupwise
  • ICQ
  • IRC
  • MSN
  • MXit
  • SILC
  • Sametime
  • XMPP
  • Yahoo!
  • Zephyr

Pidgin also supports plugins, that will enable you to chat through, Facebook, Line by Naver (popular Skype-alternative in Asia), QQ, Skype, Steam, WhatsApp, and more.

You can get support in the #pidgin channel on Freenode.

Installation is done by

   emerge net-im/pidgin

There are many plugins available in Funtoo. You can list them by running

   eix pidgin


Kopete is a Qt based application, part of the KDE framework. To get support for some protocols they should be added as use flags. For example:

   echo "kde-apps/kopete gadu groupwise skype yahoo" > /etc/portage/package.use/kopete

After you set the use flags, install by entering in a terminal

   emerge -avuDN kde-apps/kopete


Empathy is a GTK based application that through Telepathy supports the same protocols as Pidgin (see above). Install it with

   emerge net-im/empathy


net-im/skype is a 32 bit package and requires a range of settings described below. There is also another package: net-im/skypeforlinux which is a 64-bit client that doesn't need the same long list of use flag changes, and it doesn't require acceptance of the Skype EULA.

[ Skype] is proprietary software with a special EULA that needs to be accepted. This can be done by editing /etc/portage/package.license and adding

   net-im/skype skype-

net-im/skype is also a 32 bit application, so a large number of packages needs the abi_x86_32 use flag. Use

   emerge -p net-im/skype

to pretend to install Skype, and emerge will tell you which packages needs a change of use flags.