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This Spec is to discuss the creation of Gaim-ssh plugin for zeroconf administration for beginners.


With the need of DEAD SIMPLE support from fellow users in the Linux Community, some times all you can really do to help a user is to log into their computer and help them out. But sometimes that processes is just as bad or worse than solving the problem itself. Problems with NAT and firewalls can make the effort to admin the other computer impossible. I propose I make a plugin for gaim that can give me ssh/terminal access to their computer with their permision. From there, I can send commands threw whatever protocol they use... msn, aol, gtalk, whatever, and those are then sent to an terminal screen that both he and I can control. Permission can only be given threw physical permission and no password logins are allowed. This can also help with an educational aspect for the other user.

Use cases

  • Bill is a new user in linux. He has figured out gaim and ubuntu forums. After trying to solve his problem himself he has turned to trying to find someone to chat with the knows something about that his problem is. After finding someone, they decide it is best for him to allow remote access to his system. But they don't want to have to instal openssh-server or setup the NAT and firewall in his router. They use gaim-ssh for simple commands and the problem is solve quickly and Bill learns from the experience.
  • Mrs. Gates is new to the linux experience.... she has a major problem working with complicated text files that need to be edited, but her network system has restrictions. It only alows communication with her MSN messenger. Her community helper is able to login with Gaim-ssh and fix her text files quickly.


Simple interface The option will be given to use the system for "admin" or "problem computer". When the person needing help presses on the "problem computer button" the computer will then wait for the proper signal from the admin part of Gaim-ssh. When the Admin sends the signal with the plugin. Both of the gaim connections startup and make sure that the encryption is enabled. From there a terminal will open and the computer can be controls by that user and the admin together from the console. Single application install There will be no need to implement a server or worry about NAT or Firewall port forwarding. Dead, clean, simple.


Python and PyGtk will be used to create the system itself. Proper documentation is key and Dia will be used to show all Use Cases and UML diagrams. A document on the security will also be created.


I have not seen any admin programs that do things this simple. I am in a sence reinventing the wheel, but with the simplisity, the wheel will roll a lot better for these cases.


Code will be entirely Python Programming. Created using the Python Plugin for Eclipse. Python python python! Security is a very high priority as this information is traviling in plain text. Advice from the community will be taken humbly the entire way.

Unresolved issues

Gaim-ssh has neither been accepted or rejected as a Google Summer of Code Project.

BoF agenda and discussion


GoogleSoC2007/gaim-ssh (last edited 2008-08-06 16:32:18 by localhost)