Profanity Illustration


Frequently Asked Questions


Will Profanity run on <some platform>?

Profanity should run on any POSIX system, see the install guide for specifics.

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Will Profanity work with Google Talk?

Profanity should work with Google Talk accounts as long as Google supports XMPP. Just use the /connect command with your email address e.g.:


If you receive a "Login failed" message, you may need to enable access to your Google account from third party applications. Use the following link after signing in to your Google account:

Google Talk is no longer a federated service, so you can only talk to other contacts who have a Google account.

If you are using a Google Apps account, the details are slightly different. For example, if your Google Apps user is "someuser" and your Google Apps domain is "" you can connect with the following:

/connect server

Google is deprecating older authentication mechanisms in favour or OAUTH2, which profanity does not yet support.

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How to I start groupchat with Google Talk?

Google Talk has a few constrains/subtleties for performing groupchat. Firstly your account muc property must be set to, you can do this with the following command:

/account set muc

Secondly, the chat room name must follow a certain convention private-chat-[UUID]@[service] where UUID is a unique identifier for the room, and service is the property set above. Profanity will automatically use this convention and generate the UUID for you if you simply enter:


A new groupchat will be created for you.

To invite users to the room use the /invite command as usual.

Finally, depending on the client your contacts are using, they may appear as a random number rather than their user name. To show the email address associated with each contact:

/occupants show jid
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Will Profanity work with Facebook Chat?

Facebook have recently announced that they will no longer support the open XMPP chat protocol, so Profanity will no longer work with Facebook Chat.

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Will Profanity work with Slack?

Provided the XMPP gateway has been enabled for your team, Profanity will work. See the Slack page on gateways.

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Will Profanity work with MSN/Yahoo/AIM/IRC etc?

No, Profanity is purely an XMPP chat client.

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Can Profanity use my keychain/keyring to retrieve my password?

Yes, the /account command includes an eval_password property which can be used to execute a script to retrieve your password.

For example on Ubuntu using gnome-keyring and secret-tool:

To add the password:

secret-tool store --label="Bobs account" xmpp

You will be prompted to enter the password.

Command to use for the account eval_password property:

secret-tool lookup xmpp

On OS X, use the following command for the eval_password property:

security find-generic-password -s -w
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Can I connect to more than one account at a time?

No, the recommended way is to use multiple terminal windows, or GNU Screen.

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Why does the F1 key open terminal help rather than going back to the main console window?

Some terminals have a key binding for F1 to open help. You can use the alt-num keys to change windows, or if you prefer to use the F keys, you'll need to change the terminal setting to open help with another key.

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Why can I not type anything in the input bar?

Profanity uses the ncursesw library to support wide characters, which requires a UTF-8 encoding. Try running the following (or the equivalent for your language's UTF-8 encoding) in the terminal before running profanity.

export LANG=en_US.UTF-8
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I've found a bug/have a feature request who do I tell?

If you have a github account, you can log an issue on the issue tracker.

Alternatively you are welcome to post on the mailing list.

Finally you can email the project maintainer at

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I'd like to contribute, what should I do?

A page has been written with some ideas for how to help out. Any contributions/ideas are very welcome.

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