About a six weeks ago I discovered ssh-chat, as a side note to a post on medium.com that asked, “Why aren’t we using SSH for everything?” A good question.
Just to be clear, that is not me running ssh-chat. That is, I believe, me connecting via ssh to a system that is running ssh-chat. I can show you what it looks like when I connect to my own system running ssh-chat, but it’s not very exciting.
So I think the thing to remember here is, ssh-chat itself is the server-side application that allows others to connect via ssh and join the chat session. If you have ssh installed on your machine, you already have the client.
Most commands are what you might expect after working with things like irssi or weechat, with some omissions for joining channels and so forth. You can drop out of a session with CTRL+D, much like you might use to exit an ssh session anyway.
It’s very clever, although it might not satisfy you if you’re entrenched in another chat client. And needless to say, this is probably more interesting to people who host the chat, and not the people who connect to it. I wouldn’t look for it on Freenode any time soon.
I only see this in AUR, and considering it’s quite new (with updates within past weeks), it might be a while until it reaches more venerable distros. If you can get your hands on Go though, you should be able to build it yourself.
As for the original question … I haven’t got an answer. I am just a solitary pedestrian on the grand information highway. If everyone used it, I probably would too. Until then. … 😐