CenterIM Brings Messengers to Your Terminal

June 14, 2009 by Clair Ching  
Filed under Geeky Fun, applications

I’ve been having some difficulty using Pidgin these past how many days so I was looking for another messenger client to check out. Incidentally I stumbled upon a blog entry about CenterIM, a messenger client for the command line/terminal. Knowing that it’s available in the repositories made me get it right away.




  • CenterIM consumes barely 1% of my memory. I am running it on an Acer Aspire One 150Bb with 1GB of RAM.
  • Several IM protocols are supported: Jabber, Yahoo, MSN, AIM, LiveJournal. It also has an RSS Reader.
  • You can have several conversations at the same time.
  • The screen shows the keyboard shortcuts that help you navigate through the application.
  • By default, the sound is on so you could hear the ‘ping’ sound when you receive a message.


  • You need to set your terminal to have a dark background because the default colors are hard to see on a white background. If you’re not used to controlling the background of your terminal, then it might feel weird to you.
  • Going through conversations could feel weird when you’ve got a lot. Pressing the Esc key twice made me go back to the list of buddies I’ve got online so it was easier then.
  • Enter is not enough. You have to press CTRL-X to enter the message. The “Enter” key just skips a line. It might feel unnatural at first but you could get used to it.
  • It’s interesting actually. So if you’re looking for a way to chat while you’re on the command line and you don’t want to use an IRC client connecting to a Bitlbee server, then CenterIM is more of a good fit for your needs.

    To learn more about CenterIM, here’s the CenterIM website.

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