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12 of the Best Free Linux Instant Messaging Clients

12 of the Best Free Linux Instant Messaging Clients

Instant messaging (IM) is a form of real-time communication between two or more individuals based on typed text. The text is conveyed via devices connected over a network such as the Internet.

There are a number of different instant messaging protocols which are used by the major networks. The primary ones are XMPP (used by Google Talk, Jabber etc), AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger (formerly called MSN Messenger), and the venerable Internet Relay Chat (IRC). The IM clients featured in this article either cater for as many different networks as possible, or focus on a small subset.

Skype has revolutionised the communications world with its supreme internet telephony / instant messaging / videoconferencing functionality. Unfortunately, Skype could not be featured in the list below as it is released under a proprietary license. Another proprietary instant messaging application that is worthy of a plug is Digsby. There is a native Linux version coming soon which will definitely be worth checking out!

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 12 high quality free Linux IM clients. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to converse with others.

Now, let's explore the 12 IM clients at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshot, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

Instant Messaging Software
Pidgin Graphical multi-protocol instant messaging client
Kopete Advanced multi-protocol instant messaging and chat application
Psi Multi-platform and standards-based instant messaging client
Jabbim Client for the Jabber/XMPP protocol using the PyQt toolkit
Gajim Client for the Jabber/XMPP protocol using the GTK+ toolkit
Empathy High-level library and user-interface for Telepathy
BitlBee An IRC to other chat networks gateway
Gyache Improved Client for the Yahoo! Messenger protocol
Emesene MSN Messenger client
aMSN MSN messenger written in Tcl
Mercury Messenger Java MSN Messenger client
KMess KDE MSN Messenger

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Last Updated Wednesday, March 19 2014 @ 04:32 PM EST


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