ktools Software
Owl  -  Instant Messaging Client
Owl is a curses-based instant messaging client. Currently it supports AOL Instant Messenger and the MIT Zephyr protocol. Other instant messaging protocols are also on the way. The main features of Owl are:
  • As a text client it can be run over telnet, rlogin or text ssh sessions
  • It is easy to use and can run without a config file
  • An optional Perl configuration file can set preferences and format messages
  • It has emacs style editing of message
  • It has advanced message sorting and filtering capabilities
  • There will be future suport for IRC and Jabber
Download Owl

The latest stable release of Owl is owl-2.2.2.
Other versions are available here.


An quick introduction document is included in each distribution in the doc directory. You can read the intro document from the latest beta release here.

Mailing List

You can add yourself to the Owl-users mailing list. This is a low-traffic list that receives announcements about new releases of Owl.

Additionally, archives of the old list are available, as well as archives of the new list


Owl was primarily written by James Kretchmar. Many others have contributed to the software, especially Erik Nygren, who wrote the variable, key binding, and command aliasing systems. Stephen Gildea, David Resnick and a number of others have helped test Owl in a different operating environment. Mark Eichin maintains the Debian package. Many others have submitted patches and bug reports.

Reporting bugs and additional information

Bugs and other requests can be sent to <bug-owl@ktools.org>. Also send mail to this address if you would like to receive future announcements about Owl releases.

Email: <bugs@ktools.org>
Web: http://www.ktools.org/