Chat - no strings attached?
July 18, 2007 6:07 AM   Subscribe

Small, free, UDP-based server/client text chat application with no central server - does it exist?

I'm looking for a small cross-platform (failing that, Windows) that requires no installation, requires no central server (it's its own server as well as a client, although it can use a server as a communications hub or STUN server for inter-LAN/WAN comm), fully configurable, you can send files over it, no spyware, suitable for LANs as well as internet, possibly using STUN...does it exist?

The idea is to have clients on a LAN with no server able to spontaneously chat and send files to one another IM-style, but without installing anything or logging in to a central server. IRC-style channels and private messages would be possible. The key would be it'd have to be a "room" like on IRC, but with no central server.

Anything out there like this? I scoured and google and couldn't find anything promising...
posted by ostranenie to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Pidgin, using the Bonjour protocol?

(I've only used Adium, the Mac OS X version, so I don't know about installation on other platforms.)
posted by Utilitaritron at 7:05 AM on July 18, 2007

This BORGChat program seems interesting. Not sure if it fulfills the no-install requirement though.
posted by junesix at 7:39 AM on July 18, 2007

Older versions of WiredRed's E/Pop work this way, without a central server. It's windows only, but it's a single binary that can be executed, no install required. You can initiate group chats, transfer files, and so on.
posted by TravellingDen at 7:40 AM on July 18, 2007


It is small. It is TCP based. :(

As long as one node offers itself through a hole punched in a firewall, all nodes will be able to chat/send files.

It offers decentralized chat (public and private) and file transfer for up to 50 or so nodes (like GNUTella, it doesn't scale well beyond a huge connection list).

Offers an installer but you do not need to use it.

Network traffic is encrypted using PKI.
posted by wesley at 8:09 AM on July 18, 2007

Apple's basic Rendezvous chat works this way, albeit with some more complicated presence management. So maybe the Pidgin/Bonjour path or some other Apple compatible system would work.

If it's a true LAN (no routing), you could simply use ethernet broadcasts to send the messages. So something like the ancient wall utility would work.
posted by Nelson at 8:24 AM on July 18, 2007

WASTE looks like it fits the bill pretty well! Thanks, all!
posted by ostranenie at 9:13 AM on July 18, 2007

FYI One of my co-workers pointed me to LAN Messenger which is unsupported and discontinued, and doesn't have all the features of WASTE, but it appears to work pretty well for very small LANs. No install also.
posted by ostranenie at 10:48 AM on July 18, 2007

« Older Colour Grading   |   What's the best learn spanish cd? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.