Jabber

Jabber is an instant messaging system designed as an open standard so that anyone can set up their own instant messaging server. There are many clients that support jabber. Some of them are strictly for jabber, others support jabber among many other IM protocols.

If you are not going to be using any other instant messaging systems besides Jabber, I would recommend using Exodus if you use Windows, or Psi if you use Linux or OS X. These seem to have the largest set of Jabber client features implemented. If you want to use other instant messaging systems, you can either use a client that supports them or use Jabber Gateways to connect to them.

Clients

Windows:

Mac:

Linux:

Other Clients

Visit the Jabber client page at jabber.org

Connecting to the ITECS Jabber Server with a Google account

Follow these directions to setup Pidgin. Replace conference.jabber.eos.ncsu.edu for the name of the conferencing server.

Connecting to the ITECS Jabber Server with a jabber.eos account

An account must be created for you before you will be able to connect. Currently, we are offering jabber accounts to any full time or part time IT staff on campus. If you do not fall into this category and still want a jabber account, there are many free jabber serverswhere you can obtain an account. If you have an account on another server, you can still participate in our groupchats and send and receive messages to and from any of our jabber users.

Jabber servers allow you to log in with multiple clients/from multiple locations if you so desire. Most Jabber clients allow you to set aresource name when you connect to the server. If someone has connected to the Jabber server from multiple clients, the resource name allows you to select with which of the person’s clients you want to chat.

Information for connecting to our Jabber server at a glance:

  • userid(JID): your unity ID
    NOTE: your JID is actually <userid>@jabber.eos.ncsu.edu; however, some clients have you log in with just your <userid> part; you will need to use the full JID when adding someone to your “buddy list”
  • password: set your password
    Note: Do Not Use Unity Passwords! They are stored in clear text in the DB and we don’t want to see them!
  • server: jabber.eos.ncsu.edu
  • port: 5222 if no SSL or StartTLS, 5223 if using SSL

Jabber Presence and Buddy Lists

In creating buddy lists, Jabber was designed to respect your privacy. In order to add someone to your buddy list, you must request from the person to be notified of his/her presence. The person can then accept or deny your request, resulting in your being notified, or not notified when the person is online/offline/away/etc. When requesting notification of someone’s presence, you will need to enter the person’s full JID (i.e. <userid>@<servername>; jadoe@jabber.eos.ncsu.edu, for example). You are not limited to adding people to your buddy list that are on our Jabber server. You can add anyone who has a Jabber account on any Jabber server (unless it is an organization’s internal, private server).

Groupchats (aka chat rooms)

Jabber supports chat rooms that are known in the Jabber world as “groupchats”. Several clients (including Psi and GAIM) allow you to browse for groupchats on a server (as well as other services). Others require you to specify which groupchat you want to join. Groupchats can be created on the fly and are not limited to just being on our server. The servername for groupchats on our server is conference.jabber.eos.ncsu.edu. When you connect to an existing groupchat, the Jabber server will allow you to see the last several messages sent to that groupchat so that you can see the context of what is being discussed.

Some groupschats that are generally available:

Note: Anyone can create a permanent groupchat room IF the client supports room configuration. Currently Exodus is recommended for that.

Gateways to Other IM Services

You can use Jabber to chat with people on other IM services (AIM, MSN, Yahoo, etc). To do this, you need to find a jabber server with a gateway or transport service installed to the IM service you want to talk to. This is different from clients that allow you to log in to multiple IM systems in that all the information about your other accounts is stored on a jabber server. This allows you to sign in to a single server with any jabber client and be able to IM with all the IM services you have accounts with. There is a list of open Jabber servers where you can find one that meets your needs. NOTE: Your account information for the other IM service including yourpassword will be saved on the remote jabber server. You should not do this unless you use a password that is different from any passwords you use for sensitive accounts (ie, don’t use your unity password, a banking password, etc).

File Transfers

File transfers with Jabber can either be done direct client-to-client or via a proxy. The default port for file transfers without using a proxy is 8010; so, if you want to transfer files with Jabber and you are running firewall software on your machine, you will need to open that port. If you don’t want to open the port or if you are behind a network firewall (such as a cable/DSL router), you can still transfer files through a proxy. There is a list of open Jabber servers where you can find servers that have the file proxy installed (however, proxy.jabber.org is the only listed one in the US). Configuring your client to use a proxy for file transfers can be a little confusing because alot of clients can also connect to Jabber servers for normal chatting via a proxy (which is a different thing than what you use for file transfers). For example, in Psi, you can configure a proxy under the “Connection” tab of the “Account Properties” dialog, but the file transfer proxy is configured as the “Data Transfer Proxy” under the “Preferences” tab of the same dialog.