{Latest update: 14 August 2003}

What is it?

Hey is a small shell script that allows the user to send visual messages to other users in the same network. It takes advantage of the fact that the X Window system is network centric in order to display the message in a small window in the remote system, although to make this possible the systems need to be configured for a trusted environment (i.e., run the xhost + command to allow remote access to the local display).

I came across this little script for the first time when I started working for SGI over in Eagan (Minnesota). Technical support engineers use it there to send quick messages to each other. However, the original version was written in the csh for Irix. One of my co-workers over there (Jeremy Shawley) ported it so that it would work on Linux when many of us started using Linux workstations. After a while, I decided I really didn't like the fact that the script still relied on the csh instead of bash so I decided to "port" it and, along the way, add a new features. So, version 2.0 of the script added some functionality such as a resource file where the user can save aliases for hostnames in the network.


All you need is a Linux system with bash installed (it should be there by default). I assume it should also run fine on FreeBSD or any other *nix as long as bash is there.

How to install and configure

To install the RPM packages I provide here, simply download the file to your hard drive, log in as root, and run:
rpm -Uvh [packagename]


You simply enter hey [hostname] in order to send a message to a given hostname. At that point, simply enter the message you want to send and hit Ctrl+D to send. If you want to, it is also possible to send a message to multiple hostnames. Also, take a look at the default configuration file (/etc/heyrc) for examplaes on how to set up some aliases if you are pretty bad remembering hostnames (as I am).


Here are the latest RPMs I packaged: