By Burt Henry
Facebook in its continuing agressive efforts to keep people on the FB website for as much time as possible disabled API conponents that allowed FBCMD to interact with a user's Facebook account. In other words, FBCMD is no longer usable. For now this article is left for historical purposes.
Bitlbee Pidgin and Thunderbird among other applications still allow for easy and accessible chatting on Facebook, but most other interaction is onlly possible via a browser and the Facebook website. You can still do some things via email, but FB seems to have finally taken away all of our stand alone desktop apps that used to save users, especially those of us who need screenreaders, much time and or frustration in our dealings with FB. Be aware that that one now needs to install a new/special plugin to use pidgin with facebook chat, i.e. the xmpp facebook account type/protocol no longer works. Bitlbee also requires a new Facebook plugin for FB chat. Thunderbird continues to work with no need to modify configuration.
The original article begins below.
I have picked what I believe is the easiest way to install "fbcmd", a fast and user friendly way to use facebook from the command line. You'll need to know your friends' names for some features but the commands themselves are pretty easy to remember after having used them a few times. Ive written everything so that if you like you can copy and paste commands directly in to a Terminal or Console except for your auth code which you get from your web-browser and may of course paste it from there.
While some FBCMD commands still work there have been many major changes in the Facebook APIs since this guide was originally written, some of which have broken important functionality. There was one major rewrite of FBCMD a couple of years ago, but many of the changes on FB's side have occurred since then, and there is another major update to FBCMD being coded in as I write this. Fortunately both m.facebook.com and the main facebook site are easier to use with the assistive tech available to us as Linux-users now than they were when I started using FBCMD in early 2011. I recommend Lynx or similar CLI web-browsers for use with the mobile site, and most things are quite doable with Firefox/Orca on the main site.
We will be working in the Terminal. To open the Terminal press "Ctrl+Alt+t".
As "fbcmd" is not in any of the Vinux repositories, we will have to get it from the Internet and install it ourselves.
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install php5-cli
curl -O https://raw.github.com/dtompkins/fbcmd/master/fbcmd_update.php
sudo php fbcmd_update.php sudo php fbcmd_update.php install
sudo php ~/dtompkins-fbcmd-5fc0332/fbcmd_update.php sudo php ~/dtompkins-fbcmd-5fc0332/fbcmd_update.php install
Try the "fbcmd" command. Type:
If all is well with your installation you will see a little bit of help which will describe what happens next.
You'll need to authorize this program to use your Facebook data.
fbcmd go access
fbcmd go auth
fbcmd auth XXXX34
Now you will be given a totally insane list of things you can access from the command-line with "fbcmd". Congrats, you've made it. Just type fbcmd in your terminal and you will receive a list of your basic "fbcmd" commands. The help is good so you can use Facebook without waiting for painfully slow webpages to load and refresh. >
Your interaction with Facebook will be handled by commands issued from the command line. The output will be on your terminal screen. Rill likes to redirect this output to a file. You can do this by adding the following to your commands. Note: You will need a space before the ">" and "gedit" is a handy editor to use to read the file.
Your output is in three columns:
Some of the commands require the use of the number. It is a reference point. Once you execute another command which generates a new set of numbers your previous numbers do not apply.
fbcmd status "Fancy this: I'm writing from the command line of Vinux!"
If you want only status updates, type:
fbcmd stream 4
fbcmd fstream "John Q. Public"
Note:You must match "John Q. Public"'s name exactly. If you typed "John Public" it wouldn't match.
fbcmd wallpost "John Q. Public" "You're doing a great job representing us all."
fbcmd comment 3 "Hey, I have a comment to make on your status."
fbcmd like 6
You can find out more information about fbcmd at http://fbcmd.dtompkins.com Check the "commands" section.
Rill and Storm Dragon contributed to this article.