On Linux and Windows, we recommend using Pidgin. Mac OS X user should look into using Adium, which is built on top of the same libraries as Pidgin, but is meant to give a more integrated experience. If you are already using Thunderbird, it supports chat via XMPP.
Android users should look at using yax.im or Conversations, both of which support XMPP extensions for better handling flaky mobile networks. Xabber is another good client for Android, but it doesn't yet support several extensions necessary for moving between networks without dropping messages.
Firefox OS users should look at using Loqui IM.
iOS uses should consider using Monal IM.
Usually the only configuration you'll need to give your client is:
- Protocol: XMPP or Jabber (only needed for clients that support multiple protocols)
- Username: Your login, e.g.
- Password: Your LDAP password
If you are using a client that supports Kerberos authentication while logged into a department machine, you will not need to use your LDAP password. Other configuration options that you may need or want to use:
- Resource: How this client should uniquely identify itself from your other logins. This defaults to the name of your host or a random string.
Joining/Creating a room
Joining an existing room and creating a new one are both done in the same way. In most XMPP clients, this functionality is referred to as joining a "conference" or a "chat". For example, to join the sunlab chat room in Pidgin, click on "Buddies" → "Join a Chat". Under the room field, enter
sunlab, and make sure that the server field is
conference.cs.brown.edu. Pick what name you want to be displayed to others in the room, and then click "Join". If you are curious what other rooms there are, you can click on "Room List" and search
conference.cs.brown.edu for public rooms.
Managing a room
If you are the owner of a room, you can configure it to have different properties. The method for doing so depends on the client, but in Pidgin and several other popular XMPP clients, you just need to send
/config in the room you want to configure. Some useful configuration options that our XMPP server supports are:
- Description: A description of the room
- Make Room Persistent: Whether or not the room should survive all members exiting
- Make Room Publicly Searchable: Whether or not this room should be listed when a user looks for rooms to join
- Make Room Moderated: Prevents people who aren't owners or admins of the room from sending messages by default. Once someone joins a room, an owner or admin can change the user's role to allow them to speak.
- Make Room Members-Only: Only users affiliated with the room are allowed to join. In Pidgin, running the command
/affiliate (member|admin|owner) firstname.lastname@example.org set the user's status to either member, admin or owner, allowing them to join the room.
Talking with users on other domains
XMPP supports federated communication and therefore allows you to communicate with users from other domains. Our XMPP servers are configured to allow federated communication from user to user, but we do not currently support inviting external users into chat rooms.