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utalk – UDP-based talk

utalk is a one-to-one text chat program alternative to the Unix ‘talk’ client, which uses a more responsive protocol built over UDP (instead of TCP).

Because it uses a different protocol it’s not compatible with other talk clients so both parties must use utalk.

This is free and open source software.

Features include:

  • Uses a protocol, based on UDP, which ensures a quick response even over links with high packet loss, by displaying information as it arrives even if it is out of order. So if you type “hello world” and the “w” is lost, the other party sees “hello orld”, and a few seconds later the “w” pops into place.
  • Allows editing of previously typed text, including scrollback, deletion, overstrike and insertion.
    When scrolling back in your text window, you can either have the remote party’s display scroll too, or not.
  • Fully 8-bit clean, but translation of iso_8859_1 codes into 7-bit ASCII can be activated for 7-bit terminals.
  • Talk to both the old BSD 4.2/Sun talk daemon and the newer BSD 4.{3,4} one, and users on machines having a different daemon each can connect to each other. To distinguish utalk rings from ordinary talk rings, utalk sends the username prefixed with a ‘!’.
  • Direct client-server mode that allows establishing a connection without talk daemons.
  • Rebind your keys, and includes (limited) vi and emacs emulation modes.
  • Define aliases for addresses of people to ring or hostnames to ring them on.
  • Resize the terminal window and utalk adapts the screen accordingly.
  • Set a “topic” for the conversation.

Developer: Roger Espel Llima
License: GNU General Public License v2.0

Man page for utalk

utalk is written in C. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Alternatives to talk

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