owl(1) tty based zephyr client


owl [ -n ] [ -d ] [ -D ] [ -v ] [ -h ] [ -c configfile ] [ -t tty ]


Owl is a fully integrated tty based instant messaging client. Currently it supports AOL Instant Messenger and MIT Zephyr. It is curses-based, allows for emacs style editing of outgoing messages and uses a perl configuration language for setting options and customizing message formatting. Owl will also run happily without a configuration file.

Once Owl is started, typing 'h' will display a help screen. Typing ':' enters command mode, allowing the user to type an owl command line.


The following command line options are avilable when running owl:


Do not subscribe to zephyr messages on startup. By default Owl subscribes to the default subscriptions and to anything found in ~/.zephyr.subs. When this option is used no subscriptions are loaded.

-c configfile

Specifiy an alternate config file for Owl to use. The default configuration file is ~/.owlconf

-t tty

Specifiy the tty name to use for the zephyr location.


Print the version number of owl and exit.


Enable debugging. By default debugging information is placed in /var/tmp/owldebug.


Enable debugging, but first delete any existing debugging file.


Print command line option help.


Written by James Kretchmar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Comments, questions, and bug reports may be mailed to [email protected].