Instant Messaging

Jabber Clients

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 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:

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:

Conference Rooms

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 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 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:

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.