Zinc --- Console yahoo chat client

If we are in console environment and need to communicate with our friends or someone else using yahoo, maybe Zinc is the answer.

About Zinc

Zinc is an open source Yahoo! console chat client for GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Mac OS X and Solaris. Zinc is written in Python and released under GPL. Zinc originally started out as a code fork of Curphoo 0.3.7 but it has been completely rewritten since then.


We can download Zinc package here.


Download Zinc package and extract it in your directory.

[email protected]:~$ sudo tar xvjf Desktop/zinc-1.1.7.tar.bz2

[email protected]:~$ cd zinc-1.1.7/

Run Zinc :

[email protected]:~/zinc-1.1.7$ zinc -a ychtprof

Yahoo! ID: k4tzer


Protocol [YMSG]:

Server [scs-dcng.msg.yahoo.com]:

Language [en]:

Room [Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris:1]:

1) Save both Yahoo! ID and Password to

2) Save only Yahoo! ID to

3) Do not save any information

Selection (1, 2, or [3]): 3



Type your username and password, other items just type enter to pass it.
Several commands in IRC (Internet Relay Chat) are similar to Zinc commands.
To start chat with your friend type :
/msg yourfriendyahoo message, example : /msg hollow_man test
/quit >>> to quit application


Zinc is nice application but lack of documentation (no manual pages and dont have much information in their official sites).

Default Zinc will cause some problems, here are some problems and how to avoid it :
- To avoid disconnect and reconnect every so often :

 /set rc reconnect 0   

  We can also disable this feature by editing ~/.zinc/zincrc file:


- To avoid  disconnect because of idle-exit :

 /set rc idle-exit 0 

  We can also disable this feature by editing ~/.zinc/zincrc file:

 idle-exit 0