by October 4, 2000 0 comments

Gone are the days when Linux was considered an operatingsystem only for geeks and network administrators. Linux is fast emerging as anoperating system for desktop or home users, trying to bring in all the fun youhave working with Windows. Some of the popular instant messaging applications,like ICQ, AOL Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger have been ported to Linux. Ofthese, we’ve given Yahoo! Messenger for Linux on the CD, and we’ll tell youhow to use it in this article.


To install Yahoo! Messenger on your Linux machine, type thefollowing:

mount /mnt/cdrom

cd /mnt/cdrom/………

rpm —ivh ymessenger*.rpm

This will install an executable file of Yahoo! Messengercalled ymessenger in /usr/local/bin. Now, start X window using startx command.Open a terminal window and type:

/usr/local/bin/ymessenger &

In case /usr/local/bin is in the PATH (to find out if this isthe case, type echo $PATH and see if the directory /usr/local/bin is listedalong with other directories), you just need to type:

ymessenger &

If usr/local/bin is not in PATH, and you don’t want to givea long path to the ymessenger executable, you can create a symbolic link–similarto shortcut in Windows–in your home directory. Change to your home directoryby typing cd. To create a symbolic link named ym to the ymessenger executable in/usr/local/bin, type the following:

ln —s /usr/local/bin/ymessenger ym

Now, to start Yahoo! Messenger, you can simply type:


This will give you the login screen.

Now, go to Edit>Preferences> Advanced and in theBrowser text field, replace /usr/local/bin/netscape with /usr/bin/netscape. Thisis because Red Hat Linux by default places the netscape executable in thelatter, but when you install Yahoo! Messenger, it’ll look for this file in /usr/local/bin/by default. So, you need to make this change manually, otherwise your Messengerwon’t be able to find the browser.

Looks familiar?

Yahoo! Messenger for Linux has the same look and feel as itsWindows counterpart. So, if you’ve used Yahoo! Messenger on Windows, you canstart off with Linux too. In the login window–if you already have a Yahoo!account–fill in your login name and password in the text fields. Else, clickthe “Get a Yahoo! ID” button, which will fire up Netscape Navigator inLinux and show you the Yahoo! registration page.

That’s it. You can now start messaging with thiseasy-to-use utility in Linux.

Shekhar Govindarajan

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