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.TH 7 "07 March 2020" "version 0.01"
.SH NAME (RTC) - the "slow" social network.
The (RTC) is an experimental public access GNU/Linux system for socializing, digital skill building, and collaboration through the medium of the GNU/Linux shell.
RTC is not only an experiment in pubnix technology but also an experiment in community. It's a heavily asynchronous social environment—that is, you may see communications others have left even while you were offline. You can leave notes, long-form posts, emails, and chat messages for others in the same way. Synchronous (real-time) communication is possible here too, of course—it's just more rare, as the RTC userbase is small.
Check this man page periodically. The community will maintain it as a living document outlining technical and policy changes to the system.
.B gab
- post public messages in various rooms with this minimalistic, asynchronous chat program written by RTC user sloum. Type 'gab -h' to learn how to use it. And try 'partyfett' as well, the great real-time shell on top of 'gab.'
.B talk
- chat with one or more users in real-time with this GNU-licensed synchronous chat program. Type 'talk --usage' to get started.
.B write
- send messages to other users by copying lines from your terminal to theirs. Type 'write -h' to learn how.
.B linkulator
- share links to interesting materials with this a minimalistic shell-based link aggregator by cmccabe, asdf, and sloum. It's currently in beta. Type 'linkulator -h' for additional details.
.B shlog
- share your thoughts on an internal shell blogging (shlogging?) platform designed as simply as we could. Type 'shlog -h' to learn how to use it. See ~cmccabe/.shlog/2019-04-26-begin-shlog.txt for additional details. Also try additional shlogging tools 'shlog' by papa, 'shlogit' by trnslts, or 'shlogdown' by wangofett.
.B who-is
- create a small profile other users can query to learn more about you. Type 'who-is -h' to get started.
.B pinky
- create micro-status pages in your .plan and/or .project files. Type 'pinky -l username' to check others' status.
.B neighborcat
- help the community care for its feline pal, courtesy of mryouse. Type 'neighborcat -h' for more details.
.B mutt
- send and receive email from
.B jrnl
- keep a personal journal. Type 'jrnl -h' to get started.
.B task
- manage your todo list.
.B mc
- manage your personal files.
.B newsboat
- subscribe to RSS and Atom feeds. Type 'newsboat -h' to get started.
.B wordgrinder
- write, format, and manage documents from the console.
.B git
- collaborate on software development projects (please feel encouraged to develop software for use by the community on this system, or on other pubnixes!). Optionally, create an account at to fork and modify system tools and resources with others.
.B lynx, links, w3m
- surf the web in text-only fashion with any or all of these browsers. You can also set up your own public webpage in your public_html directory (but please keep your pages plain text, and don't attract internet hugs of death!).
.B gophernicus (gopher)
- start your own gopher hole and set up your public gopher phlog in your public_gopher directory.
.B molly brown (gemini)
- publish content over the new gemini protocol by putting .gmi files into your public_gemini folder. give cmccabe a heads up when you are ready so your directory can be linked to from /var/gemini/users
.B various text editors
- let the admin know if your favorite lightweight editor is missing.
.B various compilers and scripting languages
- again, let the admin know if your favorite lightweight tool is missing.
.B sl
- like the old UNIX 'steam locomotive' prank. Type 'sl -h' to learn how you can contribute to the hijinks.
.B train
- also like the old UNIX 'steam locomotive' prank, but this one is an actual train. Type 'train -h' to see how you can add your own boxcar to the train.
And many more. If you don't find something you think should be here, just ask (start in 'gab -c helpdesk').
Accounts on are free and available for people who are attracted by the system's values and culture.
Accounts with an extended period of inactivity (think months) will be removed. This is not without exception though. Simply make a request to the admin if you need an exception.
Some system services are restricted to users who demonstrate active involvement in the goals of this system. These include cron and systemd linger which are limited to local community-oriented purposes or for special projects on request.
Sorry be so uptight and have "policies," but a few past users have abused the system, and I now see it is easier to make it clear up front what is acceptable use and what is not.
Any violation of these policies is grounds for immediate account termination with no warning and no questions asked. Sorry, this is a small server with a trusting community of users, and it's far too easy for one abusive user to ruin it for everyone.
Harrassment of any form is not tolerated, including of other users or people outside the system.
Do not use this system to host relay services of any type (IRC bouncers, web scrapers, etc.). If you're only here for free cpu cycles or storage, you're in the wrong place.
Don't use this system to hack or disrupt other devices on the internet. Don't do this ever.
Do not do anything that could result in legal trouble for RTC or trouble from our ISP.
Keep system resource usage to a minimum. This includes network, disk space, and CPU. Learn how to monitor these metrics. Keep in mind, one of the goals of the RTC is to demonstrate how much can be accomplished with GNU/Linux using a very tiny server.
Don't hack the box! Well actually, you can hack the box, but only if (1) you ask for and receive permission from the sysadmin, (2) you agree to use the results of your quest to fix problems or improve the system, and (3) your activities do not damage the system or undermine the privacy or security of other users.
If you observe anyone violating these policies, politely refer them to this man page. If that does not work, notify the sysadmin.
The RTC is an experiment in user-driven social networking. You might think of it as the DIY social network.
The RTC started as a stock Debian image in 2018, shifted to Arch in 2019, and is gradually accumulating homegrown software and system config tweaks based on member contributions. In fact, many of the RTC's tools are written and maintained by members themselves.
If anything isn't working, see AUTHOR below.
Contact cmccabe with any questions, comments, or smart remarks. Catch him on the RTC or send email to
You too can be a contributing author of this man page. Just submit a PR here:
The RTC is just one pubnix among many. Others include:
And many more...