7 Best Free and Open Source Console Based XMPP Clients

XMPP (also known as Jabber) is an open and free alternative to commercial messaging and chat providers. It is a secure battle-tested protocol developed by an independent standards organization.

XMPP was designed for real-time communication, which powers a wide range of applications including instant messaging, presence, media negotiation, whiteboarding, collaboration, lightweight middleware, content syndication, EDI, RPC and more.

The “X” in XMPP stands for “Extensible”, which means the core protocol is updated and extended with more features through a transparent process at the non-profit XMPP Standards Foundation every now and then. This results in some clients not implementing every feature of XMPP; for example, a typical instant messaging client won’t implement Internet-of-Things functionality.

Set it up for your company, organisation, or just your family and friends. You are in control, and your communication is private to you.

You can set up your own XMPP service on your server (dedicated, VPS, etc.) or on a box on your local network, to serve your home or office. Either way you can use it to converse with anyone else on the Jabber network, including people using Google Talk, probably the largest Jabber service on the network.

Here’s our verdict captured in a legendary LinuxLinks-style ratings chart. All of the console-based XMPP clients are free and open source goodness.

Ratings chart

Console Based XMPP Clients
ProfanityOTR, PGP and OMEMO encryption, inspired by Irssi
PoezioPython based console based Jabber/XMPP client
mcabberSmall client with SASL/SSL/TLS support, MUC support, and more
FreetalkSimilar to Emacs, you can customize and extend Freetalk with Scheme language
BarnOwlIM client forked from the ​ktools owl
BitlBeeIRC gateway program for a variety of instant messaging protocol
CenterIMUses the libpurple library as a communication backend

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