(also known as ) is a free open federated standard for instant messaging.

To use it, you need to install an XMPP app, then sign up for an account on an XMPP server.

There are lots of XMPP apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux:

There are also lots of XMPP servers to choose from:

The choice is maybe a bit overwhelming, but once you've picked an app and server it's very easy to use the service.

By the way, does anyone have opinions about ?

(Considering adding it as an easy to use option for XMPP)

Ok, due to popular demand I have added XMPP to the messenger alternatives page:

Feedback welcome, especially about the choice of apps.

@switchingsocial Have you looked into Quicksy? Haven't tried it myself, but looks interesting

Quicksy is a variant of Conversations (from the same developer) using phone numbers as nicknames (and the Quicksy service). Of course you can still communicate with other providers. I can't see much benefit in this, through.

I used kontalk for a while. It works quite well.
The problems we had with it where:
- it's xmpp. almost. you need a patched server if you want to self-host.
- it's xmpp. almost 2. the crypt is gpg but (afaik) key distribution is unique, so incompatible with other xmpp clients.
- Small usability issues with key validation
- Group chat are a brand new extension over xmpp: instead of using a MUC, messages are distributed directly to every chat participant. It works, but when someone change his keys (because no-one remember to backup them) the chat broke...

On a positive note, any extension to xmpp they are using are documented, for someone a XEP has been written

Plus there was plans to switch encryption to OMEMO, but then we installed our xmpp server and I switched to conversation.

It was anyway enough easy to be used by non-techie familiars and friends

@switchingsocial does it federate with the rest of xmpp? last time (some months ago) I looked into it it didn't.

yes it does. it's just not easy to add a "non kontalk" contact, the only way seems to be using desktop kontalk client.

@switchingsocial Years back when Signal was not around, I used Openfire server and Pidgin client 🤓 #opensource

@switchingsocial offers free public servers to get started plus much more information on their site. As a bonus @404_city is also on #mastodon :)

As a side note, one of the most beginner friendly/pretty android apps is #zom

@LPS @404_city

I think they've just (like... literally one minute ago!) stopped taking new signups :D

But thank you for the link.

Zom is great, it's already listed on the alternatives for Messenger.

@switchingsocial @LPS
We have prepared an unpleasant surprise for spam bots creating massively user accounts. I think the registration will be available in a week.

@switchingsocial With all things federated it is always worth mentioning that your friends do not need to be on the same server, like with email.

> There are also lots of XMPP servers to choose from

Worth mentioning that have been around for ages (what, close to 20 years?) and is hosted by #TUWien so in pretty good hands. 🙂

@switchingsocial for iOS Monal is a promising app, but at the moment there is still ChatSecure to mention. For Windows and Linux the application Gajim is missing. That's the best choice there.


I've added ChatSecure, thanks!

Gajim is a bit difficult as the official website's download page isn't very user-friendly, it's a big list of linux icons. Also, there's no Mac version :(

@switchingsocial one of the "Linux-Icons" on is in fact the Microsoft Windows logo 😉. And yes, there's no Mac version, but that can't be the reason to not list the #1 tool for Windows.
BTW: Im a penguin - so I'm not advertising anything for Windows 🙂


I am trying to get people to switch away from Whatsapp.

Compare the Whatsapp download page with the Gajim download page (see image attachments).

Even clicking on the Gajim Windows icon brings up a confusing batch of text:
"There is a 32 bits Gajim installer and a 64 bits Gajim installer
There is also a 32 bits Gajim portable installer. and a 64 bits Gajim portable installer."

What is a portable installer? Which of the four links am I meant to click on?

@switchingsocial "portable" means the following: On Windows most software has to be installed on a hard drive that can not change the drive letter C: or D:. You're also often not able to move a software in a different folder.

Portable means that this type of software can be installed everywhere, for example also on a usb drive / stick that is changing its drive letter depending on the computer it is used.

So it is a big advantage if a software is also available as portable software.

@switchingsocial There are tons of them; for the sake of simplicity, and thinking on a general audience, I'd say Gajim for the desktop and Conversations for mobile (android)
@aab no te esfuerces. Esa cuenta no es más que un buscalaiks.
@colegota Pues mira tú que aún le he vuelto a responder. Creo que me ha pasado esto...
@aab :)

Y las respuestas esas de que no recomienda cosas que no corran en Mac porque las personas que lo usan no pueden instalarlo... Las personas que usan productos de Apple tienen que asumir que solo van a poder usar un conjunto de programas reducido. No es culpa del resto.
@colegota Ya... si es que ha sido leer algunos mensajes más, y me da que tampoco se aclara. Y además, haciendo observaciones "atrevidas" basadas únicamente en su (parece) poca experiencia. En fins, yastá, ya se me ha pasao la fiebre de corregir a la gente XD

@aab A ver, que no es un experto lo sabemos todos los que le seguimos desde hace tiempo, pero es que tampoco va de eso, creo yo. Al fin y al cabo, por eso pregunta.

Personalmente, su web me ha sido muy útil, por ejemplo, para quitarme de Amazon.


@josemanuel @colegota Sí, me parece una labor muy loable, de ahí que le haga apuntes sobre sus afirmaciones para aportar a su tarea.
Tampoco tiene más importancia, es sólo que decir "la versión de gajim que ofrecen en la página oficial está anticuada" cuando en realidad estás instalando la versión antigua de tu ubuntu... pues eso, que no me parece que sea muy riguroso.

@aab Claro, por eso digo que todos sabemos que no es un experto, y por lo mismo digo también que me parece fenomenal (e incluso necesario) que le hagas apuntes. Si él no los acepta, al menos los demás sí los leemos.


@switchingsocial I do prefer #Gajim over Pidgin as Windows client software. It's available for most #Linux distibutions, too. It's Open Source and extensible by plugins, where #Omemo is the most important one.


Gaijim has a couple of problems:

-not available for Mac
-official website's download page is not very user friendly, it's clearly aimed at technical people

@schusterjunge @aab

Also, the version of Gaijim for Ubuntu seems to be very out of date.

@switchingsocial @schusterjunge @switchingsocial @schusterjunge Mmm... I don't use mac, but I've read about Adium.
And about Gajim: when you install it, it gives you a lot of public servers to choose from, making the process simpler.

Official website is, you click on downloads and choose your OS... Why do you say it is aimed at techical people?

@aab @schusterjunge

The choice of OSes is lots of Linux distributions plus Windows.

Most people would expect a simple choice of stuff they've heard of like Win, Mac, Linux

I'm using it on mac.. not the easiest thing to do...

@switchingsocial It's important to mention #OMEMO, #XMPP's end-to-end encryption standard.

Both software AND service provider MUST support Omemo to make encryption happen.

As for providers, compliance check is strongly recommended via

Omemo support of software clients can be checked at


It sounds like a good idea, but I think that would scare non-technical people away :/

@switchingsocial No, it's NOT just a good idea. Omemo encryption is *essential*. Otherwise you trap people into unsecure communications. It's very easy to set up, at least compared to encrypting e-mails. (Not as easy as an integrated or central service like Matrix or Signal though, off course.


It is an extra hurdle which people will not do. It doesn't matter if I mention it or not, people won't do it.

Is XMPP valueless without omemo?

@switchingsocial Without Omemo XMPP is like E-Mail without PGP.

In my opinion XMPP is the gold standard of free, open source, federated, distributed, lightweight chat communication, where users are not locked in into any ecosystem or choce of software.

I'd suggest to keep it listed and let people make their own choice.

Also, I forgot to mention. All conversations are synced over all of your devices.

@switchingsocial Gajim is the pinnicle of XMPP apps for Win/Lin. You're really disservicing people by not listing it


I would list it if the Gajim website was more suitable for non-technical people :/

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