Serverless LAN Chat

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User guide for Console

This is the user guide for the Console version of KouChat.

It’s part of KouChat for Desktop, and must be started with the --console startup argument for the console mode to be enabled.

Main chat

The main chat is a public chat containing all the users on the network. It looks like this:

Console chat

Chat area

The whole screen displays information messages and chat messages. Information messages are prefixed with ***. Chat messages are prefixed with the nick name of the user who sent the message.

User list

There is no user list visible at all times. Use the command /users to see a list of currently online users, and /whois to see details about a certain user.

Input field

Everyone can send a message to the main chat, as long as they are not away. Type a message or command and press the Enter/Return key to send.

Private chat

You can start a private chat with a user if you do not want everyone to see the conversation.

Use the command /msg to send a private chat message. Received private chat messages are shown in the main chat. The messages are prefixed with (privmsg).

Away mode

You can use away mode to say that you do not wish to be disturbed. When you go away:

  • You can not send or receive files.
  • You can not change the topic.
  • You can not change your nick name.
  • You can not send any messages to the main chat.
  • You can not send or receive private chat messages.

Use the command /away to go away. The away message can’t be empty.

Use the command /back to return from away mode.


You can set a topic in the main chat that all users, including users joining later, will see. The topic is shown when you log on.

Use the command /topic to see, set or change the topic.


Use the Settings to tweak certain aspects of KouChat.

Most settings have to be changed manually in kouchat.ini, and require a restart of KouChat before they take effect. See Storage for the location of this file. Here is a description of relevant settings for the console:

Setting Default value Description
nick User name from operating system. The unique name that identifies you in the chat. A nick name can have between 1 and 10 characters. Legal characters are: a-z, 0-9, - and _. Use the command /nick to change.
owncolor -15987646 The color used when you are sending messages. You can use the hex to integer page to find the correct value to use for a given color. Note that you will not see the color yourself.
logging false Stores the conversations in the main chat and private chats to log files, if the value is true. This may be permanently enabled using a startup argument.
networkInterface null Allows you to select the network interface KouChat should use for sending and receiving messages. Use null to let KouChat choose, or use the short network interface name from ifconfig or ipconfig /all, like eth0 or wlan0.


KouChat uses a folder called .kouchat for storage, located in your home folder. Settings are stored in kouchat.ini, while logs are stored in its own logs folder, unless the log folder is overridden by a startup argument.

Example locations:

Operating System Location
Windows XP C:\Documents and Settings\Username\.kouchat\
Windows 7 C:\Users\Username\.kouchat\
Linux /home/username/.kouchat/

File transfers

Send file

Use the command /send to send a file to a user:

/send christian /home/user/Brave_Trailer_HD.mp4
[12:15:49] *** Trying to send the file Brave_Trailer_HD.mp4 (#1) [12.47MB] to Christian
[12:15:59] *** Christian accepted sending of Brave_Trailer_HD.mp4
[12:16:10] *** Brave_Trailer_HD.mp4 successfully sent to Christian

The transfer will not start until the other user has accepted the file. Use the command /cancel during the file transfer to abort, and /transfers to see the progress.

Receive file

When someone sends a file to you, you need to use the command /receive to start receiving the file, or /reject if you don’t want to receive the file:

[13:01:33] *** Christian is trying to send the file Brave_Trailer_HD.mp4 (#2) [12.47MB]
[13:01:33] *** /receive or /reject the file
/receive Christian 2
[13:03:28] *** Receiving Brave_Trailer_HD.mp4 from Christian
[13:03:29] *** Successfully received Brave_Trailer_HD.mp4 from Christian, and saved as Brave_Trailer_HD.mp4

The transfer should start immediately after deciding to receive, and it will be stored in your home folder. If a file with the same name exists, the received file will be renamed automatically to avoid overwriting the existing file. Use the command /cancel during the file transfer to abort, and /transfers to see the progress.

Note the usage of the parameter “2” in the /receive command, which corresponds with the file transfer id (#2) seen in the first information message. This id will increase by one for each send/receive file request.


Write these commands in the main chat.

Command Description
/about Information about KouChat.
/away <away message> Set status to away, with the specified away message.
/back Set status to back from away.
/cancel <nick> <id> Cancel an ongoing file transfer with a user with the specified nick name and file transfer id.
/clear Clear all the text from the chat. This does not work in console mode.
/help Show help message for all commands.
/msg <nick> <msg> Send a private message to a user with the specified nick name.
/nick <new nick> Changes your nick name to the specified new nick name.
/quit Quit from the chat, and shutdown the application.
/receive <nick> <id> Accept a file transfer request from a user with the specified nick name and file transfer id.
/reject <nick> <id> Reject a file transfer request from a user with the specified nick name and file transfer id.
/send <nick> <file> Send a file with the specified file path to a user with the specified nick name.
/topic <optional new topic> Prints the current topic if no arguments, or changes the topic to the specified new topic.
/transfers Show a list of all file transfers and their status, including the file transfer ids.
/users Show the current users.
/whois <nick> Show information about a user with the specified nick name.
//<text> Send the specified text as a normal message, with a single slash in front. Useful when you need to send a command to the chat, instead of having the command executed.

Startup arguments

These are arguments sent to KouChat on startup like this:

java -jar kouchat-x.x.x.jar <argument>

Replace <argument> with either the short or the full argument from the table below. Use from the command line or in shortcuts.

Short Full Description
-c --console Starts KouChat in the console mode this guide is for.
-d --debug Starts KouChat with verbose debug output enabled. The output is visible in the console.
-h --help Lists all commands with a short description of them.
-v --version Shows version information.
  --no-private-chat Disables the support for private chat in this client.
  --always-log Activates logging of both main chat and private chats, with no option to turn it off in the Settings.
  --log-location=<value> Location to store chat log files, to override the default location. Replace <value> with the chosen path.

Log location

Remember to use quotes if the path contains spaces, and use double backslash at the end of Windows paths.

Example arguments:

Operating System Argument
Windows --log-location="C:\logs\KouChat logs\\"
Linux --log-location="/logs/KouChat logs/"