What is BSFlite?

BSFlite is a rather small and minimalist client for AOL®'s Instant Messenger™ service. Instead of having a full screen console interface, BSFlite employs a command line interface that allows your fingers to do all of the work without needlessly sifting through windows.

BSFlite runs on UNIX (including Linux, all of the BSD's, Solaris, etc.), Zeta/BeOS/Haiku, AmigaOS, Windows, DOS, Mac OS X, and Plan 9. It can be easily ported to other systems.

NOTE: Due to AOL's blocking of older clients, versions of bsflite before 0.85 no longer work. Although bsflite/imcomm uses a recent enough version of the protocol, it pretended to be an old version of AIM. Release 0.85 works.

If it's so sparse, why should I use it?

Well, minimalist doesn't necessarily mean sparse. Let's call it, say, nimble. BSFlite supports most standard AIM features, with the notable exceptions of chat rooms and block lists (though it'll honor anything already set by another client). For casual, day-to-day chat, it's perfect, if for nothing else than one important fact: once your fingers learn the commands, it doesn't matter if your brain remembers them or not (think vi). You'll be amazed at how efficiently you can juggle conversations with BSFlite. Seriously.

What kind of features does it have?

Perhaps you are right. Where can I get it?

Please visit the download page. There you may find source code and binaries for a few selected platforms, primarily those for which it isn't immediately obvious how to compile.

The current release is 0.85 (September 10th, 2010). Please read the ChangeLog for release information. There is a mailing list for questions and release announcements. A PDF of the manual is available.

Cool, I like this thing. What can I do?

If you're a programmer who'd be willing to help, please visit the development section. If you can help with including BSFlite on different software distributions, you are very welcome to help, too. Otherwise, just send me a postcard to show your appreciation. My address is in the README.