Instant Messaging Solutions for Linux

By | July 7, 2009



Empathy represents an instant messaging application which has a lot of similarities with Pidgin and Gossip. It supports a lot of protocols, such as: AIM, MSN, Google/Jabber, Facebook, SIP, Yahoo and other supported by Pidgin. It includes a sample client with a similar overall look and feel to the earlier Gossip client for XMPP servers.

Empathy consists of different reusable instant messaging widgets, and a GNOME GUI client which uses those widgets. It has been included in GNOME desktop environment since 2.24 version of the last one.


Here are the most important features of Empathy:

  • Geolocalization of contacts (Display contacts on a map)
  • Private and group chat (with smileys, spellcheck)
  • Voice and Video call using SIP and XMPP (including support for Google Talk voice calls)
  • Powerful theme engine for chats (see list of supported Adium themes)
  • Collaborative work using Tubes
  • Log conversations, view / search in logs
  • Auto away and extended away using gnome-screensaver
  • Auto re-connect using Network Manager

As a result I would say that this client has a really considerable value becoming more and more popular. There is a probability that in some time it will become as commonly used as Pidgin currently is.

Comparing the best IM clients for Linux

I’m more than sure that you already have some clients which you would like to use or at least give a try. Still it will be much easier for you to make the final decision if you check one more time all the distinctive features, which were included in the following comparison table:

Table with Choice

Summing up…

Finally we can conclude that you don’t need to think about the way you would communicate after switching to Linux, because no doubt there is a great deal of IM clients to choose from. Many of them, as you could see, are as functional as the default Windows applications are. Of course, it doesn’t mean that there are no features to introduce, but you can certainly be sure that you won’t lose anything if deciding to use one of the Linux distributions.

Taking into account the fact that almost all of the abovementioned clients can be run on Windows and MacOS, I would strongly recommend you to try them out right now. In this way the process of switching from one OS to another will become even more unnoticeable and pleasant.

2 thoughts on “Instant Messaging Solutions for Linux

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