MUD Clients

"What are clients?"

Clients are programs, usually written in C, that connect up to servers. Telnet is one such client program. Many clients written for MUDs have special added bonus features through which they filter the output; most, for instance, separate your input line from the output lines and wraps words after 80 columns. Some also have a macro- writing capability which allows the user to execute several commands with just a few keypresses. Some allow you to highlight output coming from certain players or suppress it altogether. Still other clients make the sometimes tedious task of building new areas a breeze.

"Where do I get clients?"

Listed below is a list of clients, and a site or two where they can be ftped from. If the site is down, your best bet is to ask around. In general, ( and ( are good places to look. Remember, first check if the client in question is already on your local system.

"Do I need a special operating system to run clients?"

Yep, you sure do. Most use BSD Unix, although there are clients which also run under SysV Unix with networking, VMS with either MultiNet or Wollongong networking, and there's even one for IBM VM, and a new one that runs on a Macintosh.

"What clients are out there, and how are they different?"

Here's a reasonable accurate listing of available clients. Please note that we have not tested each of these, and they're not guaranteed to work for you.

UNIX clients appear first, VMS clients next, miscellaneous clients last. EMACS clients for UNIX appear after those written in C.


Runs on BSD or SysV with networking. Latest version is 1.1.7GEW. Designed primarily for TinyMUD-style muds. Features include line editing, command history, hiliting (whispers, pages, and users), gag, auto-login, simple macros, logging, and cyberportals.


Runs on BSD or SysV with networking. Latest version is 2.0beta6. Commonly known as 'tf'. Designed primarily for TinyMUD-style muds, although will run on LPMUDs and Dikus. Features include regexp hilites and gags, auto-login, macros, line editing, screen mode, triggers, cyberportals, logging, file and command uploading, shells, and multiple connects.


Runs on BSD. Latest version is 0.9. Designed primarily for TinyMUD-style muds. Features include regexp hilites, regexp gags, logging, auto-login, partial file uploading, triggers, and is programmable.


Runs on BSD. Latest version is 2.12. Must have vt102 capabilities. Useable for all types of muds. Features include a C-like extension language (VTC) and a simple windowing system. Typical client features can be programmed. Does come with a VTC distribution file for mud client support.


Runs on BSD or SysV with networking. Latest version is 1.2.1. Designed primarily for LPMUDs. Features include hiliting, gags, auto-login, simple macros, logging.


Runs on BSD. Latest version is 0.2.18. Designed primarily for TinyMUD-style muds. Features include regexp hilites, regexp gags, macros, triggers, logging, cyberportals, rudimentary xterm support, and file uploading.


Runs on BSD. Latest version is 1.12.1. Usable for both LPMUDs and TinyMUD-style muds. Features include line editing, auto-login, macros, triggers, gags, logging, file uploads, an X-window interface, and ability to do Sparc sounds.


Runs on BSD. Latest version is 1.0. Designed for use primarily for TinyMUD-style muds. Features include screen mode, macros, history buffers, line editing, and multiple connects.


Runs on BSD. Latest version is 3.0. Designed primarily for Dikus. Features include macros, triggers, tick-counter features, and multiple connects.


Runs on GNU Emacs. Usable for TinyMUD-style muds, LPMUDs, and MOOs. Features include auto-login, macros, logging, cyberportals, screen mode, and it is programmable.


Runs on GNU Emacs. Latest version is 0.5. Designed primarily for TinyMUD-style muds. Features include auto-login, macros, logging, screen mode, and it is programmable.


Runs on GNU Emacs. Designed primarily for LPMUDs. Features include macros, triggers, file uploading, logging, screen mode, and it is programmable.


Runs on GNU Emacs. Designed primarily for LPMUDs. Similar to LPmud.el, but with the added capability for remote file retrieval, editing in emacs, and saving, for LPMud wizards.


Runs on GNU Emacs. Latest version is 1.31. Designed primarily for LPMUDs and Dikus. Features include screen mode, auto-login, macros, triggers, autonavigator, and it is programmable.


Runs on VMS with MultiNet networking. Latest version is 2.2. Designed primarily for TinyMUD-style muds. Features include hiliting (whispers, pages, users), gags, file uploading, simple macros, screen mode. See also TINTw.


Runs on VMS with Wollongong networking. See TINT.


Runs on VMS with either Wollongong or MultiNet networking.


Runs on VMS with MultiNet networking and BSD Unix. Primarily designed for TinyMUD-style muds. Features include screen mode, and it is programmable. See RispTalk below.


Runs on BSD Unix. FooTalk with an interpreter for converting a lispish language into footalk's language. See FooTalk above. NO KNOWN SITE


Runs on IBM VM. Latest version is 2.1. Designed primarily for TinyMUD-style muds. Features include screen mode, logging, macros, triggers, hilites, gags, and auto-login. Allows some IBM VM programs to be run while connected to a foreign host, such as TELL and MAIL. (Warning: Ftp-ing the module sometimes does not work. Try emailing SESPC381@YSUB.YSU.EDU or SESPC381@YSUB.BITNET and he should be able to send you the module via bitnet.)


Runs on any Macintosh. Latest version is 1.1d4. Connects to a MUD through either the communications toolbox or by MacTCP. Usable for both LPMUDs and TinyMUD-style muds. Current features include multiple connections, a command history and a built-in MTP client for LPMUDs.


Runs under MSDOS. Latest version is 1.00. Requires an Ethernet card, and uses the Clarkson Packet drivers. Does NOT work with a modem. (If you telnet in MSDOS, you can probably use this.)

BSXMUD Clients

These clients run on various platforms, and allow the user to be able to see the graphics produced by BSXMUDs. For more information, contact For Amiga: requires a modem - amigaclient.lzh For PC: requires a modem - msclient.lzh AND For X11: sources, version 3.2 - bsxclient.tar.Z For Sun4: binary - client.sparc.tar.Z Also available are programs to custom-draw your own graphics for a BSXMUD: - muddraw.tar.Z

A few quick definitions

Automatically logs into the game for you.
Allows boldface or other emphasis to be applied to some text. Often allowed on particular types of output (e.g. whispers), or particular users. "Regexp" means that UNIX-style regular expressions can be used to select text to hilite.
Allows some text to be suppressed. The choice of what to suppress is often similar to hiliting (users or regular expressions).
Allows new commands to be defined. How complex a macro can be varies greatly between clients; check the documentation for details.
Allows output from the MUD to be recorded in a file.
Supports special MUD features which can automatically reconnect you to another MUD server.
Screen Mode
Supports some sort of screen mode (beyond just scrolling your output off the top of the screen) on some terminals. The exact support varies.
Supports events which happen when certain actions on the MUD occur (e.g. waving when a player enters the room). (This can nearly always be trivially done on programmable clients, even if it isn't built in.)
Supports some sort of client-local programming.

Read the documentation and README files

Some of these clients are more featured than others, and some require a fair degree of computer literacy. TinyTalk and TinyFugue are among the easiest to learn; Tcltt is more professional. Caveat Emptor. Since many MUDders write their own clients, this list can never be complete. As above, ask around.

"Is there any problem with running a client?"

Not usually. Clients can be large when compiled, especially if they have lots of nifty features. They don't take up much CPU time at all. It is recommended that you ask your friendly systems administrator or other machine-responsible person if it's okay for you to install one on the system, if only for the reason that someone else might already have done so, and you might be able to save space by sharing with them. If there's a no games policy at your site, don't try to sneak by it with a client -- their activities are easily detectable. Be good.

"Okay, I know a client. Is that which connects to a server
? What is a server?"

...That which is connected to by a client. A server is a program which accepts connections, receives data, mulls it over, and sends out some output. In the MUD world, the server keeps track of the database, the current players, the rules, and sometimes the time (or the 'heartbeat'). Servers are usually very large C programs which maintain a small-to-enormous database of the objects, rooms, players and miscellany of the MUD. Because of their size and their constant computational activities, servers can be extremely CPU-intensive and can even be crippling to any other work done on that computer. Do not ever run a MUD server on a machine illicitly or without express permission from the person responsible for the machine. Many universities and companies have strict policies about that sort of behavior which you don't want to cross.

Of course, people who don't know any better start up illicit MUDs all the time. Apart from the possibility of losing all your work and energy to one press of a sysadmin's finger, there's no harm done to the player. But we must stress: running a MUD where you shouldn't can get you into a whole new world of hurt. Don't take the chance, it's not worth it.

"Are there lots of different kinds of MUD servers?"

There are probably as many MUD server types as there are MUDs. Since everyone has their own opinions as to what MUDs should be like, and since the server source can be edited, most MUDs have site-specific fixtures in them. However, there are a few main protoMUDs (also called 'vanilla versions' because they haven't been 'flavored' yet). Note that this list is not complete, and that it may contain errors in fact or judgement, but is deemed pretty much right as of this writing. Corrections/additions are welcomed.

"My [client, server] won't compile! What do I do?"

Your first best bet is to check out the documentation and see if someone is listed as 'supporting' (i.e. generally responsible for) the program. If they are, send them a short, well-written e-mail note explaining your hardware and software completely as well as a transcript of the error. Do not post to the internet unless all other realistic options have been considered and taken -- generally speaking, most readers will not be interested in your dilemma and may get upset that you're wasting their time. Since MUDs have probably been compiled on every single platform since the Cyber 3000, there's a good chance that asking around the subculture will get you the answers you crave. Do not mail me. I probably won't know.

"What's a cyborg, and should I be one?"

A cyborg is defined as 'part man, part machine.' In the MUD world, this means that your client is doing some of the work for you. For instance, you can set up many clients to automatically greet anyone entering the room. You can also set up clients to respond to certain phrases (or 'triggers'). Of course, this can have disastrous consequences. If Player_A sets his client up to say hi every time Player_B says hi, and Player_B does likewise, their clients will frantically scream hi at each other over and over until they manage to escape. Needless to say, runaway automation is very heavily frowned upon by anyone who sees it. If you program your client to do anything special, first make sure that it cannot go berserk and overload the MUD.

"So I should read the documentation of whatever client I select?"


See also

  • Clients
  • Servers
  • RWho

    Jennifer Smith,

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