Originally Published: Wednesday, 6 December 2000 Author: Michelle Lowman
Published to: learn_articles_firststep/General Page: 1/1 - [Std View]

Licq for English Majors and Other Right-Brainers

You've installed Linux and now you want to chat with all of your friends! Licq is an ICQ work-alike for Linux. Michelle Lowman, one of Linux.com's crack copyediting squad, comes out from backstage with this fantastic article on installing and configuring Licq. Check it out!

So you've taken the plunge and installed Linux. You've browsed through the files and changed the theme a couple of (hundred) times, and you've figured out how to connect to the internet and check your email. It's time for the next step: messaging with Licq.

Chances are pretty good- especially if you're using a distribution like Mandrake that is geared to new users- that you already have Licq installed. To make sure, go to check under Networking -> ICQ -> Licq. If it's there, we're good to go, and you can skip to the "Configure and Run" section. If not, read on, MacDuff!

Download and Install

To download Licq, go to http://www.licq.org or http://sourceforge.net. The latest stable version is 1.0. You will also need additional files to run Licq. These are:

To find out whether you already have each of these, you can use the following command (if you have Red Hat, Mandrake, or another distribution that uses rpm instead of rpkg):
rpm -qa|grep PackageName
If these are not already installed, you should be able to find them on your distro CD or, again, at SourceForge.

There are a few articles out there that may help you with downloading and installing Licq, depending on your distro:

"Licq v0.75.3a on RedHat 6.1 NHF," William Jensen

"Licq Install Guide for Slackware," Stan Shivell

"Licq FAQ," Graham Roff
click "Info", then "Frequently Asked Questions"

"Installing Licq," Russell Sprouts

The version numbers don't always match the most recent versions, but these are still very helpful sources for downloading and installing Licq.

Configure and Run

Once you've installed all the necessary files- if they weren't already installed, take a few deep breaths, unclench your teeth (yeah, I know!), and get ready for the easy part.

Go to Networking -> ICQ -> Lirq. The first thing you will see is a Registration Wizard .

You will have the choice of either using an existing UIN or registering for a new one. If you already have one, just click Next and follow the directions for entering the number. If you've never heard of a UIN, you may think it sounds like something you wouldn't want to touch without gloves, but you will need to register for one. (It stands for User Identification Number.)

Even though you are prompted here to input all sorts of personal information, you don't have to put anything in here. A hint to your identity might be nice, maybe an alias that describes your personality or your name or nickname so Cousin Betty can find you in a user search (and you may not want any gender confusion with your future chat comrades), but you also don't want to give every nut online your home phone number and place of work.

A word of warning! If your experience is like mine, within five seconds of going online, you will get creepy invitations to porn sites from people with names like "Diana".

If that's your thing, hey, have a good time, but some of you may want to do what I did: remove good ol' "Diana" from the user list and set Paranoia preferences (under Options -> Miscellaneous) to ignore mass messages.

You are now ready to go! But, wait- doesn't Licq look a little plain? Here's where you can really spice up the look of Licq. You probably have a few skins already installed, but if you really want to make a statement, check out the various skins you can download from the web. Again, a good place to start is Licq.org. They also have a variety of plug-ins to add to the functionality of Licq.

Happy messaging!

Michelle Lowman