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While looking for a piece of software that provides chat between 2 Linux server users logged in the terminal, I tried talk/ytalk. Unfortuntaley it provides chat between users on separate walls (each user has its own wall) and the messages lack timestamps. Is it possible to set it up so that at least timestamps are provided?

Alternatively, is there any other software that could provide one wall on which users write messages prepended with time? Simple chat with messages listed in the order of submission would be ideal:

13:05:48 [bridgekeeper@...]: What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
13:06:28 [cascaval@...]: What do you mean? An African or European swallow?

I already tried wall and write but they don't fit the bill.

OS: Debian 6.0

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closed as not a real question by Bobby, Diogo, ChrisF, BBlake, Nifle Nov 16 '12 at 10:57

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Have you tried 'write' ? – PJC Nov 14 '12 at 15:13
I noticed write in my search but haven't tried it. Now I gave it a shot and it seems to be similar to wall though the messages go to only one user. Still it's not really a chat wall with timestamped messages. – tmTM Nov 14 '12 at 15:21
Now when I think of it, I could get by with the split window of ytalk if each message had the timestamp prefixed. – tmTM Nov 14 '12 at 15:27
I tweaked the question as some people seem to be unhappy about it. – tmTM Nov 14 '12 at 16:29
I suspect the answer is going to come down to "No". – PJC Nov 14 '12 at 17:02
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You may accuse me of overkill, but I think an XMPP (Jabber) server would fit the bill. ejabberd is a world-class Jabber server that's very easy to set up on Linux.

Once you have a Jabber server, you can create two or more accounts, then use any instant messaging program to chat. For the Linux console, I recommend mcabber. I personally use it. It has timestamps, logging, presence notifications, and you can even set up ad-hoc chat rooms for three or more people.

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Yes, a bit more complicated in my opinion in the same way as in ekaj's answer but it would certainly be an option to consider so thank you and +1 for your input. Another option that I already know about is the use of finch + avahi. – tmTM Nov 14 '12 at 17:01

Look up irssi. You can customize it to your needs.

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That would require IRC server to be set up on the machine, right? – tmTM Nov 14 '12 at 16:05
I see. I was hoping for some simpler solution but if not found, I'll consider something more complicated and this would surely be one of the options so thanks and +1 for the answer. – tmTM Nov 14 '12 at 16:54
It's easy to use but I would have to set up an IRC server as I don't want the communication to go through a 3rd party server. – tmTM Nov 15 '12 at 14:55
Yes, with some GPG based plugin I could get the security. The thing is, why to run it through the 3rd party server at all (well apart from not having to install/setup local IRC server)? It looks like an extra link in the chain that might thus bring extra issues. – tmTM Nov 16 '12 at 6:41
But that's the thing. Why to run the communication between 2 local users through a 3rd party server and thus have the security concern? – tmTM Nov 16 '12 at 10:58

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