buddycloud console client
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Welcome to bccc, the buddycloud console client.


They say it's worth a thousand words, so here it is.


There's even a screencast on YouTube.


bccc is written in Python 3, and is known to work with Python 3.1 and 3.2. It probably won't work with previous versions of Python 3, and it definitely won't work with Python 2.

bccc uses the following libraries:

  • Urwid, a console user interface library (tested with v1.0.1)
  • SleekXMPP, a library for XMPP (tested with v1.1.0)
  • dateutil, everything you need for manipulating dates and times in Python (tested with v2.0)
  • dnspython3, a DNS toolkit (optional)
  • pyasn1 and pyasn1-modules, a library used by SleekXMPP to verify SSL certificates (optional)

You can install them using pip3 (python-pip package in Arch Linux) or easy_install3 (python3-setuptools package in Debian/Ubuntu):

# Global installation (in /usr or /usr/local):
sudo pip3 install urwid sleekxmpp python-dateutil dnspython3 pyasn1{,-modules}
# or
sudo easy_install3 urwid sleekxmpp python-dateutil dnspython3 pyasn1{,-modules}

# User installation (in $HOME):
pip3 install --user urwid sleekxmpp python-dateutil dnspython3 pyasn1{,-modules}
# or
sudo easy_install3 --user urwid sleekxmpp python-dateutil dnspython3 pyasn1{,-modules}

(If you're using Debian/Ubuntu, you will need to install python3-dev and gcc first.)

If you use Arch Linux, you're awesome! And if you have installed yaourt (or any other AUR helper), you can install all of these with the following command:

yaourt -S python-{urwid,sleekxmpp-git,dateutil,dnspython,pyasn1,pyasn1-modules}

After doing all of this, you can install bccc from its Git repository:

git clone git://github.com/Schnouki/bccc.git
cd bccc
python3 setup.py build

# Global installation (in /usr or /usr/local):
sudo python3 setup.py install
# User installation (in $HOME):
python3 setup.py install --user

If you want to hack on bccc, you should install it with develop. It will be installed globally, but will still use the files in your Git checkout, making it easier to test your changes:

# Global "develop" installation (in /usr or /usr/local):
sudo python3 setup.py develop
# User "develop" installation (in $HOME):
python3 setup.py develop --user

If you installed bccc with --user, you must add $HOME/.local/bin to your $PATH.

You should now be able to run bccc by just typing bccc in a terminal emulator. If it complain about a missing configuration file, congratulations, your installation probably works :)


If you don't like bccc, you can uninstall it with pip3:

pip3 uninstall bccc

There may be some leftover files after that if you did a --user or develop install: $HOME/.local/bin/bccc and /usr/bin/bccc. You will have to remove them by hand.

At the moment easy_install does not seem to be capable of uninstalling modules. So if pip3 is not available on your platform (and can't be installed with easy_install3 pip), you will have to uninstall bccc by hand. On my computer I can do it with these commands (as root):

rm /usr/lib/python3.2/site-packages/bccc*
rm /usr/bin/bccc
nano /usr/lib/python3.2/site-packages/easy-install.pth
# remove bccc lines in easy-install.pth

You will probably have to adapt them on your system, for example by using /usr/local instead of /usr.


When using easy_install3 or some old versions of setuptools or distribute, bccc won't run but will fail with the following message:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/local/bin/bccc", line 7, in <module>
NameError: name 'execfile' is not defined

This is due to these versions of setuptools/distribute not being correctly updated for Python 3, where the execfile function is no longer available.

To fix it, edit your /usr/local/bin/bccc file and replace the execfile(__file__) line with the following one:

exec(compile(open(__file__).read(), __file__, 'exec'))


Before being able to use bccc, you will need to write a configuration file. The easiest way to do so is actually to run bccc: if no configuration file is found, it will ask for your credentials and create a configuration file using the default one.

If you want to write the configuration file by hand, a good sample is available in the Git repository, in bccc/bccc.conf.sample. You should copy it to ~/.config/bccc/bccc.conf, make sure it is only readable by you (chmod 600 ~/.config/bccc/bccc.conf), and edit it to adjust your login and password.

This configuration file also contains the name of the theme used to render the UI. Two sample themes are bundled with bccc: "dark" for terminals with a dark background, and "light" for terminals with a light backgrounds. You can of course write your own theme; feel free to share it here if you write a nice one!

Basic usage

  • Use the arrow keys to navigate through the interface.
  • Channels are displayed in the sidebar on the left, and their content in the main panel on the right.
  • Channels are sorted by the date of the most recent item in the channel, i.e. most recently updated channels first. Your personal channel will always be the first one at the top.
  • The info bar (top of the main panel) has information about the active channel.
  • The status bar (bottom of the screen) displays relevant messages and can be used for some inputs (see below).

  • When the sidebar is focused, you can browse through your subscribed channels. Press Enter to select one and display it in the main panel.
  • You can go to an arbitrary channel by pressing g and typing the name of the channel. When a post or reply in the main panel is focused, you can press G to go to the author's channel. If you're not subscribed to this channel, its current content will be displayed but it won't update automatically as new content is posted.

  • In the main panel, you can start writing a new post by pressing n, or you can start replying to the focused post/reply by pressing r. After you have typed your message, press Alt+Enter to send it or Escape to cancel.
  • You can also edit an existing post/reply by pressing e.
  • In the main panel, you can press = to force reloading the channel. This is mostly useful when debugging, not for general usage :)
  • In the main panel, you can update the active channel title, status message and description by typing t, s or d.
  • If the focused post/reply contain URLs, you can open them in your browser by pressing o. This is especially useful for URLs longer than one line (other URLs may be handled correctly by your terminal emulator).
  • You can delete the focused post/reply with the delete key.

Posts and replies in the active channel are grouped by thread: first the post, then its replies in chronological order. Most recently updated threads are listed first.

When new content is posted to the active channel, the corresponding thread will be moved to the top, and the view will scroll so that you can see it. If it can't scroll enough without hiding the currently focused item, a message will be displayed in the status bar instead.

When new content is posted to an inactive channel, the channel will be moved to the top of the sidebar and the number of unread items will be displayed next to the channel name.


  • get PubSub notifications for unsubscribed channels displayed with g/G
  • better handling of Atom elements: should be done in SleekXMPP by registering new stanza types
  • handle errors: private channels, posting forbidden, etc.
  • handle subscriptions, affiliations, moderators, etc.

Patches welcome! :)


bccc is free software, available under the terms of the Apache License, version 2.0. You are encouraged to redistribute and modify it as you need. If you wish to contribute to it (by reporting bugs, writing doc or submitting patches), the easiest way is to use the GitHub page.


If you need help setting up, using or hacking bccc, feel free to contact me: