Automatix Alternatives – Chat Clients

By | 2007/08/07

Here is day two of Automatix Alternatives. Today I’ll cover the second section outlined in the Automatix package list, Chat Clients. There are numerous chat clients and, as was the case yesterday, most of the same exact applications are available in the official supported Ubuntu repositories. Here is a breakdown:

  • aMSN (An MSN messenger written in Tcl): requires universe

sudo aptitude install amsn (or System > Applications > Add / Remove > "Search" amsn)

  • Gaim / Pidgin (multi-protocol instant messaging client): automatically installed

Latest version 2.0.0beta6 in Feisty / Pidgin 2.1.0 in Gutsy

  • Skype (Make free calls to anyone else on Skype) : requires manual installation

Visit - download / installation link (open with "gdebi-gtk (default)" > "Install Package")

  • Xchat – (Popular IRC client) : requires universe

sudo aptitude install xchat (or System > Applications > Add / Remove "Search" xchat)

  • Gyachi – (Yahoo Messenger client with voice and video support) : requires manual installation

Visit - download page (look for "Ubuntu Edgy" package > open with "gdebi-gtk (default)" > "Install Package")

Also available: (System > Add / Remove > “Search” package)

The packages listed below are from the Ubuntu repositories and are completely safe and supported on your system.

Xchat-gnome (sudo aptitude install xchat-gnome) : requires main

konversation (sudo aptitude install konversation) : automatically installed (KDE)

psi (sudo aptitude install psi) : requires universe

irssi (sudo aptitude install irssi) : requires main

gajim (sudo aptitude install gajim) : requires universe

kopete (sudo aptitude install kopete) : requires main

gossip (sudo aptitude install gossip) : requires universe

Again, I know this isn’t a comprehensive list. I’m taking these applications per section from the Automatix list. Tomorrow I’ll do “Commercial Software”. It should be worth mentioning that while a few of the above have instructions on manual installation that does potentially limit the amount of support for that application. The best solution is to always search for the package in the Add / Remove section of your machine and, as a last resort, install it manually with outside packages.

I’ve also included other (better, if you ask me) solutions for chat clients already available in Ubuntu. This is based on the comments in yesterdays post about leaving things out. I am definitely not meaning to leave anything out, I’m simply focusing on documenting the alternatives to what Automatix does on its own. There are more applications outside of the above list, but this should be plenty to get going with.

See you back here tomorrow with more suggestions on supported alternatives to the applications Automatix installs. If you find these useful please let me know. Other suggestions, leave comments as usual.

11 thoughts on “Automatix Alternatives – Chat Clients

  1. Ross

    I think it’s great your making a list of software that automatrix installs. I have always been cautious about install scripts like that and plus it’s nice to know how to do things yourself sometimes.

  2. Phil Thane

    The real reason many of us use Automatix is to be found the ‘drivers and codecs’ section. I use Kubuntu and with each hardware upgrade and re-installation I have spent hours finding installing and configuring codecs for sound video, flash etc… Then I found Automatix and it ‘just works’.

    My latest PC is AMD64 based and there is no easy way of getting a Flash plugin to work on my preferred browser (Konqueror). Automatix solves the problem by providing a 32bit version of Swiftfox, with all the plugins you could want and (crucially) what ever background tweaks are necessary to make it run on a 64bit system. It’s not ideal. I’d rather KDE did it or Adobe provided a 64 Lnux plugin, but they don’t and I need Flash to work so Automatix meets my need.

    Ubuntu is getting better at codec support all the time, and maybe Automatix will become redundant. Maybe one day we’ll have the Grand Unifies Linux Installer and Package Manager, but until then Automatix, Klik, Autopackage and Winedoors all have their place.

  3. Kevin Fries

    Boy talk about not getting it.

    People use Automatix because the search portion of synaptic is overwhelming to many beginning users. Wouldn’t your efforts be much more effective if you could correct Automtix’s deficiencies? People use it because its easier to use. You are not solving that problem!!!

    The automatix people may have a bad product, but it serves a need. Either provide people with a better alternative (and no your list is exactly the wrong answer to that, providing a well written version of Automatix that works with the Ubuntu system instead of around it would be a better alternative), or please be quiet.

  4. Henriette

    Just one quick question. What’s the difference, if any, between Xchat and Xchat-gnome – or do you need both?


  5. hernan45b

    Gracias. Me fue muy Ăștil el Gyachi.

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