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user guide

Azoth howto, part 2

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If you managed to get through the issues of constructing your set of modules and decided to bring up the client, you'll be greeted with the welcome screen, and the application window itself. A notification about hundreds of user packages in Lackman also appears (here and below all beforementioned modules are assumed to be active). We'll get back to them alter.

You could note the rubber band with the word Azoth on top of the contact list (also called as roster, by default placed on the right part of the window). Dragging this rubber band (1 on pic. 1) widgets can be moved and attached to different parts of the window. I prefer keeping the roster on the left part to keep most of the information in the same part of the screen, as long messages don't get over the half of the screen. I also keep the sb2 panel at the bottom. Pressing the configuration button on sb2 (2 on pic. 1) will bring up settings mode with the element (3 on pic. 1) for moving panel between different window sides. Other quarks will also get a red minus sign (4 on pic. 1) which can be used to hide the quarks. A hidden quark can be brought back by pressing a green plus sign (5 on pic. 1), appearing near the configuration button.

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Let's get to our trip into LeechCraft world and add a few IM accounts to start chatting! Press the first button in the roster (1 on pic. 2), then "Add account…" (2 on pic. 2). It's worth noting that native IRC implementation is in the beginning of the protocol list, while native XMPP is in the end. It is recommended to use native implementations as they have the widest features set.

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After adding the accounts we can change the global status by the button above the roster (1 on pic. 3) or for each account separately by right-clicking the account in the roster (2 on pic. 3). Then we enter the password. After coming online I immediately turn off displaying offline contacts by pressing the corresponding button on top of the roster (3 on pic. 3).

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After that we click the LC button (1 on pic. 4) to get to the settings (2 on pic. 4) of the Azoth (3 on pic. 4) module. There are a few settings worth noting on the Behavior page (1 on pic. 5). The Roster tab (2 on pic. 5) has an option to activate contacts by double click (3 on pic. 5). If you feel like using multiuser chats, you may also activate automatic contact list mode switching (4 on pic. 5) and hiding conferences participants in common contact list (5 on pic. 5). Please note the buttons to apply (6 on pic. 5) the settings (don't forget to press it!) or cancel (7 on pic. 5) changes, or to go back (8 on pic. 5).

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If your account has bookmarked multiuser chats with autojoin turned on, you can toggle automatic chat tabs opening (3 on pic. 6) in tabs (2 on pic. 6) behavior (1 on pic. 6) options group. Bookmarked conferences can be joined manually via the account (4 on pic. 6) context menu (5 on pic. 6). After joining conferences are added as roster entries (6 on pic. 6), and their participants all reside in a single contact list group. You can use the line edit above the roster (7 on pic. 6) to search for an entry in the contact list. Roster display mode can be toggled between full view and conference view by the rightest button above the roster (8 on pic. 6), which also has a configurable shortcut.

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Meanwhile one can go to the Appearance page (1 on pic. 7), then to the Chat windows tab to disable formatted messages (3 on pic. 7) to avoid some Pidgin-related issues, for example. Minimal message edit height (4 on pic. 7) can also be configured there (I prefer two lines). Moreover, here resides the font size option (5 on pic. 7). The fonts themselves can be configured (3 on pic. 8) on the corresponding tab (2 on pic. 8) of the Appearance tab again (1 on pic. 8).

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Next, we can configure the height of a single roster entry (3 on pic. 9) in Contact list tab (2 on pic. 9) of Appearance page (1 on pic. 9). On the same page (1 on pic. 10) we can go to Chat windows tab (2 on pic. 10) and configure chat styles (3 on pic. 10). Changing a complex Adium theme can take some time if you have a dozen of opened chat windows, so it's recommended to close (almost all of) them before changing the styles. The various iconsets can be also changes on the same page.

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You can change the global LeechCraft color scheme in the settings (1 on pic. 11) of the LeechCraft core (2 on pic. 11), particularly on the Appearance page (1 on pic. 12), choosing the proper color theme (2 on pic. 12). There you can also set the default system iconset or choose another icon theme (3 on pic. 12).

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As the final part of our preliminary configuration we can set the default status texts (2 on pic. 13) in status settings (1 on pic. 13). We can also create custom predefined statuses (2 on pic. 13) and entering arbitrary text on the fly via the Custom action (4 on pic. 13) of the status change button above the roster (5 on pic. 13). Similarly, custom statuses can also be defined on the per-account basis via the accounts context menu.

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This guide is originally written by DarkneSS in Russian. Translated to English by 0xd34df00d with minor stylistic and contextual changes.

Azoth user guide image 2

Azoth user guide image 2

Azoth user guide image 1

Azoth user guide image 1

Azoth howto, part 1

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LeechCraft has a whole lot of great modules that can gain and hold their audience, but one of the most prominent plugins is possibly Azoth, the IM client.

Like LeechCrat itself, concrete features in Azoth are implemented via subplugins, while Azoth core only implements the core GUI and several other things that are interesting only to programmers. One should first decide what plugins he wants. Of course, it is possible to just install all the available plugins and then disable (or just ignore) some of them, but it still may be important to consider the ones most relevant to this guide. The plugins are split into three groups according to the author's own preferences.

The most important ones are:

  • LeechCraft — the LeechCraft core;
  • AdvancedNotifications — the primary notification management module, for example, providing tray notification icon about unread messages; supports flexible notification rules;
  • Azoth — IM core;
  • Azoth Acetamide — IRC protocol support;
  • Azoth Autopaste — half-automatic pasting of long texts to pastebins;
  • Azoth Chathistory — plugin for storing and displaying conversations history;
  • Azoth Rosenthal — spellchecker for outgoing messages;
  • Azoth Standardstyles — support for native LeechCraft themes — simple, elegant and fast;
  • Azoth Vader — support for the protocol;
  • Azoth Velvetbird — wrapper for supporting libpurple protocols;
  • Azoth Xoox — one of the most complete implementations of the XMPP (Jabber) protocol out there;
  • Kinotify — platform-independent visual notifications (sysnotify module could be installed instead for notifying via desktop environment);
  • Pogooglue — support for searching for the selected text in search engines;
  • Secman — password storage module;
  • Secman Simplestorage — one of the implementations of password storage backend;
  • TabSessManager — plugin for recovering opened tabs on startup and unclosing tabs.

One could also recommend the following:

  • Auscrie — plugin for making screenshots and uploading them to imagebins;
  • Azoth Adiumstyles — support for Adium chat styles;
  • Azoth Astrality — support for protocols provided by the Telepathy framework, for now only basic IM features are supported;
  • Azoth Autoidler — automatic status changing according to user activity;
  • Azoth Depester — support for ignoring users in conferences;
  • Azoth EmbedMedia — showing images, Youtube videos etc. into chat window on link click;
  • Azoth Herbicide — SPAM filter;
  • Azoth NativeEmoticons — smiles support;
  • Dolozhee — client for LeechCraft issue tracker for submitting bug reports and feature requests in a few clicks;
  • Liznoo — integration with system services for properly supporting sleep and hibernate modes, as well as some fancy things for notebook users;
  • New Life — import settings and history from other clients;
  • CSTP — support for the http(s) protocol, is used in the Lackman plugin and similars;
  • Dumbeep — sound notifications (one could use LMP module instead if one needs a media player as well);
  • Lackman — userspace package manager for LeechCraft, allows installing additional chat themes, smiles, iconpacks, etc.

It is also worth noting these plugins:

  • AnHero — crash handler for KDE;
  • Azoth BirthdayNotifier — notifications about birthdays of users from the contact list;
  • Azoth HiLi — additional options for configuring highlights in conferences;
  • Azoth LastSeen — local tracker of buddies activity;
  • Azoth p100q — integration with the microblogging service;
  • Azoth SHX — shell commands executor supporting pasting command output to the chat;
  • Azoth Xtazy — publishing (unobtrusive as well) the information about current tune if the player supports MPRIS (or if LMP is used);
  • Glance — быстрый компактный обзор всех открытых вкладок;
  • NetStoreManager — provides support for cloud storage services, in Azoth context it is useful for file transfers;
  • NetStoreManager GoogleDrive — Google Drive backend for NetStoreManager (registration is required);
  • Pintab — support for tabs pinning;
  • Poshuku — LeechCraft web browser, is used in Lackman for fancy themes information displaying;
  • SB2 — dock panel with support for various quarks (similar to widgets or plasmoids in other environments) like for switching between tabs, quickly enabling or disabling sound notifications or display file transfer status via the TPI module (this module may be unstable on some systems due to untested Qt features);
  • Summary — plugin for displaying background activity of other plugins, may be used instead of SB2 + TPI as it can, for example, display unread news in news aggregator as well;
  • TabsList — yet another implementation of fast tabs switching, more keyboard-oriented.

Plugins packages are usually prefixed with leechcraft-, like leechcraft-azoth or leechcraft-netstoremanager-googledrive.
If package manager of your distro doesn't have such a rich set of LeechCraft packages, don't worry: subplugins (leechcraft-X-Y) are likely bundled with the corresponding first-level plugins, like leechcraft-azoth.

Encrypted instant messaging with PGP

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This guide is contributed by our nice Windows maintainer DJm00n.

Some notes

LeechCraft doesn't work with Cygwin GnuPG. Instead it works with native GnuPG build. If you understand the difference you probably already have the right version.


Later LeechCraft builds for Windows support message encryption, particularly via XMPP (the XEP-0027). Native GnuPG build called Gpg4win is required for this to function properly. Gpg4win can be obtained here.

After installation you need to generate a pair of keys — public and private (secret) ones. Your public key will be used by others to encrypt messages addressed to you, which could be decrypted by you using the private key. For this one can use the GNU Privacy Assistant application from Gpg4win. After keys are generated you need to give your public key to your chat buddies.

You can also add public keys of your chat buddies using that same program, GNU Privacy Assistant. This is needed for LeechCraft to encrypt messages you write. Ask your buddies to send you their public keys via any method convenient to them, from email to XMPP file transfer.

After you've generated your keys and imported public keys of your contacts, LeechCraft needs to be configured for this to work.

Configuring LeechCraft

Incoming messages decryption

Open LeechCraft settings: Main Menu → Settings → Azoth.
Select account you wish to configure and press the PGP... button on the right. Select your private key in the drop-down list which will be used to encrypt incoming messages and press OK. Then press Apply for settings to take effect.

Outgoing messages encryption

Each user can be assigned with a public PGP key, which will be used for encrypting the messages for that user.

For assigning a public key, you need to:

  1. Right-click the user in Azoth roster.
  2. Select Manage PGP keys... in the context menu.
  3. Choose the public key for the contact and press OK.

Using encrypted messaging

One can enable or disable message encryption before sending the message.

To toggle the encryption, one needs to press the Enable encryption button in the chat tab's toolbar (a lock is drawn on it). After that all your messages will be encrypted with the chosen public key for that contact, and the other part will be able to read the messages only if it has the corresponding private key. It's up to the other party, though, whether to send you back encrypted or plain messages.

If something goes wrong, the button won't be enabled and you'd get an error message instead.

Also, LeechCraft automatically enables sending encrypted messages if it receives an encrypted message from the other part and a public key for it is set.


There is an excellent page about common problems and their solutions on the Psi IM project page here.

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