Console sharing without setuid gnu screen

I mentioned in my last post Shared console sessions that I would have an update to get near same functionality without setuid of the screen binary. Well here it is. Hopefully you are aware of expect and how it can be used to automate interactive programs like telnet. Expect is has many more uses that people are exploiting. Enter kibitz.
Kibitz allows two (or more) people to interact with one shell. Kibitz comes along buried in the examples of expect (in Debian see package libexpect-perl). Its fairly easy to use but one note any person expecting to use it should have messaging enabled as it also uses talk.

mesg y

To initiate a shared session just run

/usr/share/doc/libexpect-perl/examples/kibitz user

where user is the user that you would like to share a session with. Kibitz will then prompt that user to run a kibitz command that will connect them to the shared session.

One Comment

  • Kick ass !

    I was just playing with that today…
    There is another version of kibitz in this package:

    sudo aptitude install expect-tcl8.3

    and then I linked it to /usr/local/bin/

    sudo ln -s /usr/share/doc/expect-tcl8.3/examples/kibitz /usr/local/bin/

    (the perl version messes up my newlines after it exits, the tcl version no)

    I am not sure what the difference between the two version, but I will print out the source when I get to the office and see how they do their magic under the hood.


    BTW: The work “Kiebitz” designates the person sitting next to you on a table (say you are playing Poker) and watches and gives advice.
    Ex: In chess a kibitz is not allowed to speak — only watch.

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