Secure Chat with YTalk and SSH

Friday, 21 February 2003, 3:30 PM EST

Under normal conditions, when everybody trusts everybody else, YTalk, talk, ntalk, et cetera will work without any problems. Alas, I found the real world a little more difficult and disappointing. It turned out my buddies couldn't reach me because of firewalls. Either their firewall rules would block the UDP connection or my firewall rules would stop it. Then there was the issue of corporate firewalls and even the ISP who sometimes played the big brother by blocking certain ports for the protection of our Windows brethren. Rather than taking the time to reset my firewall to better rules and hoping my buddies could take the same effort for theirs, I opted for another approach: remote logging with SSH and using guest accounts expressly setup for the purpose.

YTalk is a multi-user chat program that has been around on the Unix systems for a number of years now. Its strength lies in its ability to interface with both talk and ntalk, Unix-based daemons permitting more that two parties to talk at the same time.

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