Last week I found myself with the need to communicate with some people via AIM. I’d never bothered with that particular protocol before but being a Linux enthusiast I detected the opportunity for a bit of geekery…

All my IM needs are taken care of by jabberd running on substance. I can communicate directly with the people I know who use Google Talk and I’ve the MSN transport running to keep in touch with a few folks using that network, so, instead of taking the easy route and switching to a multi-protocol client, I opted to install the AIM transport.

I downloaded the latest release, extracted it to /usr/local/pyaim-t and proceeded to simply, almost blindly, follow the given instructions.

I assigned a JID to the transport,, added the info into /usr/local/pyaim-t/config.xml and created a corresponding subdomain in my dynamic DNS settings.

I added the transport details into /usr/local/etc/jabberd/router-users.xml and added an alias for chatroom.aim.nulltheory into /usr/local/etc/jabberd/router.xml. No heavy lifting so far…

I restarted jabberd and, fingers crossed, launched the transport with python /usr/local/pyaim-t/ &, used my Jabber client to discover the available services and there it was, w00t!

The whole process took the minimum of effort and the lengthiest part was signing up for an AIM account: once I had that it was plain sailing to register with the transport and add the contacts to my roster. Open-source to the rescue once again :)