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cmccabe's tilde.town guide

This is a build-it-as-you-do-it tilde.town guide.

I am new to tilde.town, and I've heard repute that there is a lot of fun to be had here. I learn best by doing, so here's what I've learned as I've done it; in what better form than a to-do list.

Why tilde.town? I am a big supporter of indepdendent, non-commercial social communities online that serve as places for creativity and collaboration. We need a lot more places like this these days.

~~ To Do: ~~

Command Line / Linux Basics

Feels - a tilde-specific, command-line-driven blogging platform



tilde.town Wiki

/usr/local/bin Including 'bbj' and Others

(Please email me with anything unique to tilde.town that I'm missing!)

~~ Doing: ~~

Games & Amusements


botany - botanical simulator; plant a seed, water it regularly, watch it grow.

cadastre - multi-user tilde.town ascii art map: tilde.town/~troido/cadastre/

faling snow simulator

holodeck - a multi-user, text-based virtural world that continuously expands as users describe new areas and features.

non-original games (/usr/games): e.g. minecraft, adventure, wump

todo: sort through this treasure chest: https://tilde.town/~bear/code.html

tildecoin - a tilde currency (not blockchain-based) that you can send to other users. You get around 1000 just for having a user account; and evidently you can win more by playing Tilde Game (what is Tilde Game?)

tron - a snake game

where - geographic location of current online users (http://tilde.town/~bear/where.html)


chat See the chat section in this guide. Typing chat at the command line opens tilde.town's IRC server.


wall send this message displays "send this message" to the screen of all logged-in users. Typically used by sysadmins to notify users of system events like system shutdown. Do not abuse this or you could end up annoying everyone logged into tilde.town.

~~ Done: ~~

Most of these tools or activities require that you're logged into the server via something like ssh or mosh, and that you know how to work in a command line environment.

BBS/Bulletin Butter & Jelly

BBJ is a simple (but colorful) bulletin board system accessible from the command line. It is self-described as "a persistent, chronologically ordered text discussion board for tilde.town." Log in by typing bbj at the command line; and you will then be prompted to either enter a username or proceed anonymously. The oldest posts are from April 2017. One way to navigate the posts is with your keyboard's up/down/left/right arrows. BBJ has a built-in help system accessed by pressing the '?' key. BBJ is a fun way to asynchronously communicate with other tilde.town users.

shadowrun is a bbj instance with a sci-fi Shadowrun theme.


Typing alpine or mutt at the command line will let you use either e-mail client. E-mail on tilde.town is configured so that you can only send email to other tilde.town addresses. If using mutt, note that the default editor is 'joe'.

Watch your tild-e-mail for the periodic newsletter, the "tilde.town times", edited by ~jumblesale (to which you can even contribute).


I'm used to using weechat to connect to IRC servers, but here I couldn't figure out what the IRC address is (irc.tilde.town?). Instead, you can just type chat at the command line and you'll be connected to tilde.town's charybdis IRC server, where you can type "/list" to see various channels. You'll initially be dropped into the #tildetown channel but there are various others, #abookclub, #chinese, #dumpsterfire, as of the time I'm writing this.

You cannot connect to tilde.town IRC from off the local server, but ~nick has written instructions on how to connect from off site through an SSH tunnel.

Stil to do -- tilde.town's IRC bots: spellbot, talklike, botany, breakfast, tacobell, magic, pokemon, toot (...and more: to see a list of bots, use the !rollcall command on IRC; best used in the #bots channel so you don't clutter the airwaves of human channels.)

Read the Code of Conduct

Good, long-lasting online communities are special places. A shared sense of purpose is one thing that keeps them together. Another is genuine respect for other users and the sysadmins. Everyone should carefully read and abide by the tilde.town Code of Conduct.

Setting Up & Managing a Personal Homepage

Your account's ~/public_html directory has an index.html file that you can edit. To do anything beyond hosting a raw-text file for your personal homepage, you'll need to know some HTML (which is beyond the scope of this guide). You can edit your index.html file with nano or various other editors, and then make it publicly available by chmod'ing its permissions: chmod 604 ~/public_html/index.html. And, your public_html folder will need to be made executable, e.g. chmod 601 ~/public_html

It looks like 'apache2-utils' is not installed on the server, so there will be no .htaccess tricks here.

You can create other pages in addition to your index.html page. For example, create one called tildebook_profile.html in the same directory as your index.html and it will be automatically included in the tildebook. Take THAT Facebook!

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