// onlyup.net / vAIM

vAIM - a multiplatform TOC-based Java AIM client

download vAIM r0.2.15 (231 KB)
Note: current latest is r0.2.17 - so please update vAIM via the Options menu.


  • download the above ZIP file and extract it
  • make sure you have a JRE installed and java binaries are in your PATH
  • in Windows, run vAIM.bat (or if you have the Java web plugin, you can just double click the JAR file); on any platform, you can just run "java -jar vAIM.jar"
  • check for updates (via the Options menu) after you launch vAIM!
What is vAIM?

vAIM is an AOL Instant Messenger client, which utilizes the TOC protocol. It is written entirely in Java and hence runs on any Java-supported platform. Here are a few screenshots (click to enlarge):

What sets vAIM apart from the traditional AIM clients are a set of useful features (such as conversation and chat logging, no annoying ads, and others) and high customizability - the user has a lot of options that control how the conversation windows behave and look. vAIM was originally written as a simple alternative to AOL's bulky AIM client and has grown to include many features requested by various users. See the update history below to read about exactly what types of features have been added.

Known bugs/issues in the latest release:

  • The "get info" feature doesn't work lately - it seems that TOC2.0's command for retrieving buddy info is returning NULL.
Updates/fixes in r0.2.15

  • removed the idle controls at the bottom of the away panel
  • added automatic idle support (enabled on Windows systems only) using JDIC's SystemInfo library; see the Options->Idle menu
Updates/fixes in r0.2.14

  • added buddy notifications - check out the Options->Notifications menu
Updates/fixes in r0.2.13

  • sorting introduced - you can sort both buddies and groups within your list - check out the Option->Buddy List->Sort List menu
  • bug fix: sometimes vAIM would hang and eat up all resources - this seemed to happen when connection was partially or fully lost, but vAIM wouldn't recognize this and go into an infinite loop - this has been fixed thanks to juce!
  • bug fix: removing a group with buddies in it didn't actually work - the group and the buddies remained; this was related to an issue of how buddy names are stored and displayed - vAIM would actually normalize the names before putting them on display (i.e. make all letters lowercase and remove spaces) - this has been fixed, and removing groups with buddies works fine now, and you can now have buddies with spaces and different case letters displayed correctly in your buddy list!
  • added a new menu option to customize text size in IM and chat windows
Updates/fixes in r0.2.10

  • a very significant change in this release is the addition of CHAT functionality - vAIM now supports chat rooms!! you can start/join a room via the Options menu; note that not ALL features are supported: intra-chat-room warning and whispering are not supported, but other than that, everything works fine; you can also be invited to a chat room now - and once you are inside, invite other users!
  • a new sound option is finally enabled - you can choose vAIM to notify you when a new IM window is opened via a sound (for both brand new and hidden conversations) - the sound used is the current "incoming message" sound, so if you have sounds enabled for all incoming messages, you won't tell any difference
  • NOTE that log file name format has been changed - MONTH is now first, day second - American standard; although I like the European standard better, this way allows for better sorting of log files by the OS; the date within the IM window has also been changed to follow the American standard.
  • added a new option - "Cascade new windows" - when a new IM conversation is started (either by you or someone else), windows can now cascade downward and to the right, so it is easier to see new windows if you haven't moved them manually; this option is OFF by default but can be enabled via the Options menu
  • potential bug fix - too many file descriptors open in Unix-type OSes - not sure if this has been fixed, need to test more
  • profiles are here! you can now edit your own profile via the Options->Edit profile menu item; your profile is stored in a file called "profile" in the same place as your config file
  • links in people's profiles are now clickable! :)
  • bug fix: clicking on a URL that began with "www" instead of "http" automatically assumed you were trying to open an "https" address - this has been fixed
  • bug fix: URLs containing & would not open correctly before - they do now
  • bug fix: removing a buddy with a name that was a substring of another buddy would sometimes remove the wrong buddy from the viewable list - this works correctly now
Updates/fixes in r0.2.03

  • new option added for a mini vAIM user - to expand the buddy list automatically on logon - see it under the Options->Buddy list menu
  • blocked buddies are back - you can now block/unblock buddies as before the switch to TOC2.0
  • minor fixes to some buddy list issues
Updates/fixes in r0.2.00

  • due to the recent (temporary?) death of TOC, vAIM has been switched over to TOC2.0
  • please refer to updatechanges.txt to see current limitations and bugs
Updates/fixes in r0.1.40

  • critical bug fix for blocking/unblocking users: in r38 and r39, blocking users with a space in their names would cause funky behavior; this has been fixed
  • the icon of the "Check for updates" menu item now reflects the status of new updates - if it is an exclamation point, there are new updates available; if it is a checkmark, you are up to date; if it's a question mark, vAIM could not determine update status
  • buddies can now be blocked and unblocked
  • added a new option to show or hide blocked buddies
  • smiley keyboard shortcuts (CTRL+1, CTRL+2, etc.) have been rearranged slightly
  • user can now choose to include the current date in the timestamp
  • clickable links have been added - note that this only works for Windows platforms right now
  • the get info focus problem has been fixed: before, closing any info window would give focus to the main buddy list, even if the info was requested from an IM window (via the "i" button); now the info window has the correct parent depending on where the info was requested from - an IM window or the main buddy list
  • bug fix: bug discovered in previous releases by the most dedicated vAIM user :) - when sending HTML encodings using & and ;, sometimes vAIM would hang - it hangs no more
  • vAIM.bat has been updated to run vAIM without the extra console window
  • clear history button added to message windows (this does not affect logging)
  • added check to not send messages over 2500 characters long (AIM server limit seems to hover around that number)
  • added this file, so that users can get info on changes via vAIM's automatic updater
Updates/fixes in r0.1.31

  • semi-automatic updates! vAIM now has an option to check for new updates - if there is a newer version of vAIM out there, vAIM will ask you if you want to upgrade, and if yes, will update and restart vAIM for you; there is a new dummy version 0.1.32 out but available only via auto updates - be sure to grab it via the brand new updater! :)
  • bug fix for a small problem involving saved buddy list size option (the client would save a different height for the buddy list when the away/idle panel was showing)
Updates/fixes in r0.1.30

  • critical fix for a bug introduced in r0.1.29 for config file reading (r0.1.29 would crash with Java 1.4.2 but work fine with Java 1.5 - r0.1.30 should now work fine with Java 1.4.2)
Updates/fixes in r0.1.29

  • options are now saved and restored for every user - the config file is stored under [vAIMroot]/users/[your_username]/
  • the dir structure for logs has been changed to accomodate the above config file - logs are now stored under [vAIMroot]/users/[your_username]/logs/[your_IM_partner]/
  • additional mini-fix for the same large buddy list bug as below - for reconnect only issues
  • added option to flip the red and blue message colors in IM windows
Updates/fixes in r0.1.28

  • IMPORTANT bug fix for users with large buddy lists: the way vAIM would connect to the server before sometimes did not allow you to connect (because of the way it was sending over buddy list data) - this has now been changed, and users with large buddy lists should not experience problems
Updates/fixes in r0.1.27

  • added a new menu - "Convos" - which shows all open IM windows, whether minimized or not; this is specifically helpful for window managers that do not use a taskbar and hence minimized windows just disappear - this way the user can use the Convos menu to open up his/her hidden conversations
  • the Convos menu also now notifies the user of new incoming messages by flashing blue!
  • WinXP focusing issue seems to be gone (when the "Hide new windows" option is activated)
Updates/fixes in r0.1.26

  • a few miscellaneous GUI bug fixes, including buddy list and IM windows
  • error messages now contain descriptions of what went wrong
  • keyboard shortcuts have been added for certain smileys into IM windows per request of a very special vAIM user - try CTRL-1, CTRL-2, etc.
  • auto-reply in away mode now doesn't reply to a message unless 50 seconds passed since last auto-reply to that user
  • added the ability to preserve away/idle state during reconnects (i.e. if you are away, you will be away after reconnect)
  • set the DEBUG flag off - debug logs should no longer be generated in the root directory of vAIM
Updates/fixes in r0.1.25

  • user now has control over his/her idle mode
  • the main buddy list window has been slightly restructured - the away & idle area can be hidden or shown
  • groups can now be renamed
  • no big deal mode has been added - randomly adds "no big deal" to all your messages.. kind-of an inside joke ;)
  • smileys have been made more forgiving - for example, :D is recognized as :-D
  • a confirmation window has been added on exiting vAIM
Updates/fixes in r0.1.24.f1

  • a couple small fixes on new window focus behavior, for both hidden and not hidden options
Updates/fixes in r0.1.24

  • made some existing features toggleable via options
  • added option to hide new incoming IM windows
  • added option to auto reconnect
Updates/fixes in r0.1.23

  • inactive windows (not in focus or minimized) will now visually notify the user of new messages
  • small bug fixed with profile viewing
Updates/fixes in r0.1.22

  • added the ability to view buddy profiles - either via right click on list or via message window
  • the client is now a lot more robust - when connectivity is lost, it will act appropriately
Updates/fixes in r0.1.20

  • BUG_077 fixed: during typing of a message, the window GUI stops responding and vAIM seems to hang, causing the java process to take 99% of the CPU; this issue was related to a nasty unbreakable loop and is now fixed!
  • buddy list management - user can now add/remove buddies and groups
  • tooltips have been improved to parse the times better
  • the initial login will now respond to the [Enter] key as well as the "Sign on" button
Updates/fixes in r0.1.17

  • idle support added - idle buddies in buddy list displayed correctly
  • NOTE that right now, going into away mode makes you idle, as well!
  • tooltips added for buddy list - display idle time and signon time for now
Updates/fixes in r0.1.15

  • the buddy list structure redesigned - user can now choose to hide or display offline buddies
  • also added some options for sounds
Updates/fixes in r0.1.13

  • the "[" character bug has been fixed - it is now sent correctly
  • logging dir structure changed - introduced logging directories for each vAIM user
  • some test send/receive sounds have been added for easier detection of new messages
  • DEBUG mode introduced - currently on - all client activity logged
Updates/fixes in r0.1.12

  • logging introduced - simple text format for now, always on
  • away message bug fixed - can't set an empty away message now
Updates/fixes in r0.1.11

  • smiley faces improved - chat windows now have an insert smiley button
  • modicizing introduced - currently only bot mode available - when enabled, but mode will respond in a dumb fashion to your chat partner
  • away message bug fixed - editing message will now actually change the away message

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