aMSN Forums
December 07, 2019, 01:15:41 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: New forum for aMSN !!
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]
Author Topic: AMSN FAQ  (Read 35527 times)
« on: January 26, 2005, 01:11:37 am »

EDIT: This FAQ is outdated. You can see the newest version at

FAQ 1.8

Q: What is Amsn?
A: Amsn is a Microsoft Messenger clone. It allows you to keep in touch with
your friends and exchange instant messages and files.


Q: What do I need to run amsn?
A: Amsn is written in tcl/tk, so you just need a working tcl/tk interpreter
(version 8.3 or later). You can get it at The
interpreter is available for linux, windows and macintosh.Some additional
features might require extra programs or libraries, like the docking icon,
the Display Pictures or the SSL connection for MSN Protocol 9.

Q: How do I install and run amsn on unix/linux?
A: Just download the amsn-x_xx.tar.gz file. Untar it with the command:
  gzip -d amsn-x_xx.tar.gz
  tar xvf amsn-x_xx.tar
It will create an msn/ directory, and amsn is installed and ready to run.
To launch it, do:
  cd msn
or if this doesn't work, try
  wish amsn
If wish command doesn't exist, then you don't have tcl/tk correctly installed.
If "wish amsn" works, but "./amsn" doesn't, edit 'amsn' file and set the
correct path to 'wish' in the first line. By default it's set to:

Q: After downloading imagemagick, How do I enable Display Pictures?
After you installed imagemagick, go to the AMSN's Preferences dialog. There,
click on "Others". Go to a field named "CONVERT", and click the browse button.
Then go to the folder where you installed imagemagick, and select the
The, save preferences and restart AMSN. Then go to preferences again, and
check that the option "Enable receiving Display Pictures from other users"
is enabled, as it was disabled automatically because CONVERT.EXE couldn't
be found.

Q: When I double click "amsn" file from a graphical file browser, like
konqueror or nautilus, it opens a text editor instead of running AMSN!
A: AMSN is written in tcl/tk, an interpreted language, so the "amsn"
file is just a text file with the program code. The file manager might
think it's a text file, so it will launch the text editor. To run AMSN
you should choose "Open with...", "Launch with..." or similar, and use
the program "wish" to open the file "amsn". Again, as seen in the
question above, if the "wish" command doesn't exist, you need to
install tcl/tk.

Q: How do I create a shortcut to amsn on my desktop?
A: 1.- Add an icon to your gnome/kde desktop or menu, that
launches the command:
 for example
 2. Other way:
 As root, create a link in /usr/bin to the amsn file
 ln -s /wherever/you/have/amsn/installed/amsn amsn
 This way, you can launch amsn by just typing 'amsn' from
 Then add an icon that launches the command 'amsn'.

Q: How do I get the Gnome/KDE docking to work?
A: You have to run 'make' inside the plugins directory, to build
the OLD GNOME1 plugin. You'll need gnome development libraries. When
the plugin is built, just run amsn and select Gnome Docking in the
options menu.
To build the NEWER freedesktop (Gnome2 and KDE3 compatible)
docking, read README file in plugins/traydoc.


Q: What do the magenta contacts in my contact list mean?
A: It means that you are not in that person's contact list.

Q: Can I copy a contact address to the clipboard?
A: Yes, right click on that contact name on the contact list, and
click its address on the pop-up menu. The contact email address
will be copied to the clipboard.

Q: How can I access the history of the messages I sent in my chat windows?
A: If you want to access previous messages you sent in your chat windows
you only need to use the Control key with the arrows. It works the same way
as in a shell so Ctrl-Up gives you the previous message sent and Ctrl-Down,
the next one.

Q: In the preferences' privacy tab, what do those four lists mean?
A: There are four lists, known as Allow List(AL), Block List(BL), Reverse
List(RL) and Contact List. The last one is obvious, I'll explain what
other three lists mean :
AL : This list contains the emails of people who are allowed to see you when
you get online and they can also chat with you when you aren't offline
BL : This is the block list, which means it contains the list of people you
are blocking. So this means they can't see you when you are online, and they
can't chat with you.
RL : This is the reverse list, it contains the email addresses of people who
added you to their list. People appearing in green in this list are people
who aren't in your contact list but you are still in theirs.

Q: I want to add my own custom smileys, how can I do it ?
A: There is a new button in the smileys menu that allows you to do this.
Click on the "Add new custom smiley" button and a window will appear, you must
fill the required fields. The "description" field should be set to whatever
you want, it will only be the description shown by the tooltip. The "text
triggers" field is what you want typed for the smiley to be shown, for example,
the regular smiley has triggers like :) :-) .. the big smile smiley has
triggers like :D :-D :> :-> ... to set multiple triggers, you must type them
one after the other, separated by a space. if you want a trigger that already
has a space in it for example "hello there", you should put it between quotes..
for example :
"hello there" hi "what's up"
this will be 3 triggers for the same smiley.
The "smiley file" field is the filename of the gif file. it must be of size
19x19 so the smileys menu won't be corrupted. but it can have any size you
want, but we some weird things might happen... (smileys menu corrupted, if
you add that smiley to your nickname, the "My status" part of the main amsn
window might get corrupted too, etc..). You can give a full pathname, use the
browse button, or just put the name of the file, if it is a file in the
~/.amsn/<profile>/smileys or msn/skins/<skin>/smileys directory. The file
will then be copied in your profile directory in case you move or rename the
original file.
The same properties may be considered for the "Sound file" field... this is
used for playing a sound, when the smiley is shown.. for example the LOL
smiley triggered on LOL makes a laughing sound. The sound must be a .wav file
or any extension supported by your sound player (set in the application
preferences tab... play, esdplay, or mpg123 if you want it to be an .mp3
file...) . For that entry to be available, you must first activate the
checkbutton that says "play sound"
The check-button "animated" means that this GIF file is animated, if the GIF
is animated and you don't set this option, then the smiley will be a still
The "Hide from smileys menu" option, means that if you set this option on,
then the smiley won't appear in the smileys menu, but will still be activated
on triggers.
The "case sensitive" option, means that the triggers should be considered
case sensitive, that means, that a "LOL" trigger would be different from a
"lol" trigger. if not set, then the lowercases/uppercases won't have any
When you finished your settings, press the OK button, it will prompt errors
if you forgot to set one of the 3 first option (description, triggers and
GIF file) or if the files (GIF and/or sound) does not exist or are not
readable by the user. if no error message is shown, then you can already
use your new smileys.
Have fun.

Q: Nicknames are now truncated. Is it possible to revert back to full nicknames?
A: Yes. To have nicknames be displayed in their full length on the contact
list, in the alerts and the chat window, go to the advanced preferences section,
inside the preferences window, and disable it.

Q: Blocking detection is not available anymore, why?
A: The protocol bug that allowed us to detect blocking people has been fixed.
It's no longer possible to detect them, so it makes no sense to include this


Q: Sometimes amsn "hangs", why?
A: When amsn hangs it's usually a problem with the sound configuration. Maybe
you're playing a sound but the sound card is blocked, and the play command
stops until the sound card is available. Try disabling sound or changing the
sound command configuration.

Q: I try to run amsn but I get this error:
bash: ./amsn: bad interpreter: No such file or directory
A: you need to install the tcl/tk packages, because you need the wish
interpreter. If you think you have it, try "wish amsn" instead of "./amsn". If
this works, edit amsn and change the first line:
 with the location of the wish interpreter.

Q: When I run amsn I get this error:
Error in startup script: bad option "map": must be
compare, first, index, last, length, match, range,
tolower, toupper, trim, trimleft, trimright, wordend,
or wordstart
while executing
"string map $map $md5body"
(in namespace eval "::md5" script line 65)
invoked from within
"namespace eval ::md5 { ... etc
A: You're using a version of tcl/tk that is older than 8.3. Update tcl/tk.

Q: After updating amsn, this is what I get when I run it:
Error in startup script: expected integer but got ""
while executing
"font create menufont -family $family -size $size
-weight normal"
(procedure "::amsn::initLook" line 5)
invoked from within
"::amsn::initLook $family $size $config(backgroundcolor)"
(file "amsn" line 2184)
A: There have been some changes in the configuration file. A quick fix to have
the new version working is to delete the old config file in your home dir.
Delete /home/yourusername/.amsn/config and it should work now.

Q: Can't type chinese / japanese / other languages in amsn. What can I do?
A: It looks like xcin or similar programs are not supported in the current
version of tcl/tk, so amsn doesn't work with them either. You should wait for
next version of tcl/tk and hope it supports xcin. Meanwhile, you can type the
text in another editor, and copy-paste it into the chat window .
New:Internationalization copy and paste. If you have problems pasting characters
in to AMSN, download and install this version of Tcl/Tk from this site:
Please note that this could be a work around in case
you can't type your language directly in to AMSN, for
example Traditional Chinese using xcin.

Q: Can I use AMSN behind a proxy server?
A: As of the development version right after 0.61, HTTP proxy support is
available. This means that you can only connect behind an HTTP proxy (such as
squid for example). If your proxy server is socks5 then you will not be able
to connect yet, but socks5 support is on the way.

Q: Amsn looks connected, but when I try to chat with someone or change my state
I get disconnected. This happens often, after some minutes of inactivity.
Probably I'm behind a router or firewall.
A: Try enabling "Keepalive (NAT)" in the tools->options menu, inside advanced
preferences. It's a fix for shared internet connections that keeps sending a
dummy packet to the server every 2 minutes, to keep the connection alive.

Q: The sound event is repeating. For example if XMMS is running and someone
logged in or you were chatting with someone, after XMMS is closed or the
file is finished all the sound events that weren`t able to be played
because of XMMS are now played in an annoying way.
A: You have many solutions. If you're using KDE, you can configure XMMS
to play sound through arts, and use artsplay as sound play command for amsn.
This way sounds will be mixed. If you use gnome, you can use esdplay and
configure xmms for playing through ESD. Or instead of using the play command,
you could just make a small script that checks if /dev/dsp is busy, or free,
before calling "play".

Q: I'm using amsn behind a firewall, or using IP-Masquerade. Sending files
won't work, can I fix it?
A: Maybe the firewall is blocking incoming connections. File transfers work
this way: When you want to send someone a file, you send an invitation with
your IP address and a port number. Then the remote client must connect to
your IP:port to start the transfer.
The used port is usually 6891, 6892 and so on (first transfer is on port 6891,
but if you start a new file transfer while the first one hasn't finished yet,
then it will use 6892, and so on).
So, if using a firewall, you must make sure that it allows incoming
connections to port 6891 (and next ones if you want to be able to make more
than one transfer at the same time).
If you're inside a private network with private addresses, like 192.168.0.x,
then it's more difficult to make file transfers work. You need to send the
real internet address (you can enter it manually or tell amsn to guess it
from a web page), instead of the internal address, and tell the gateway (the
computer with direct connection to the internet) to forward incoming
connections to port 6891 to your computer inside the private network.

Q: How to open filetransfer ports in Suse Linux?
A: Guide thanks to John Hillier
1. Open Konqueror in Super User mode (KMenu/System/More Programs/File
Manager - Super User Mode).
2. Enter in Konqueror URL field /etc/sysconfig/SuSEfirewall2.
3. Click on text, right click with mouse, open KWrite to edit firewall
4. Edit section #9 line FW_SERVICES_EXT_TCP="6891" to include port 6891.
5. Save prior to closing all windows then restart firewall in YaST.
An easiest way is to open "YaST/Security and
Users/Firewall/Firewall Configuration". Click on "Expert" in "Additional
Services" and add port 6891. I posted both steps since I learned a lot of
useful information is contain

Running on Windows

Q: Can I make the sound work under windows?
A: Yes, we have a small program called plwav.exe that just plays a wav under
windows. You can use it as sound command (amsn needs some external program
to play sounds). Go to the Tools->options->preferences->applications menu and
enter "plwav" as sound server command.

Q: When notify window pops up, the windows taskbar partially hides it, can I
fix this?
A: Yes, you can move the notify window X pixels to the left and Y pixels to
the top. You can change this in Tools->Options->Preferences, inside the
"Advanced" preferences section.

Q: I noticed AMSN is opening some ports over port 60000. Is it normal? Is it
a backdoor? Why does this happen?
A: It is normal. AMSN uses sockets as a locking system to avoid two AMSN
instances use the same profile at once (which could cause trouble). This is
the better platform independent locking system we found. If you find a better
way of doing this, just tell us :)
If you check ~/.amsn/profiles, you can see what port is used for each profile.

Q: I have another question, can you help me?
A: Yes, we can. But first, take a look at the sourceforge project page, located
at, and check all the bugs, support
request and general forums to check if your problem is already answered. Don't
check only the messages marked as "Open". There's a drop down list where you
can select "Closed", or "Pending" at the top of the messages list. Already answered
questions are usually marked as Closed.
Before submitting a bug or asking for support, get the following information:
- Amsn version.
- Tcl and Tk version.
- Stack trace of the submitted error (if applicable).
- Last error messages in debug windows (Ctrl+D and Ctrl+S in contact list).

If you still have a question, you can mail us at:[/b]
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2005, 05:58:45 pm »

How the hell do you use the AMSN Remote Control?! Its listed everywhere, but not in the FAQ or the documentation Sad


Offline Offline

Posts: 6

View Profile
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2006, 10:36:13 pm »

why nobody answer the guest's question?
Pages: [1]
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!