Instant Messaging Solutions for Linux

By | July 7, 2009

The Most Popular IM Clients for Linux OS



Kopete is a well-known multi-protocol instant messenger that is generally preinstalled in Linux distributions with KDE desktop environment. Though originally it was designed for KDE desktop environmet it’s often used on different Linux distributions and MacOS as well. The main goal of Kopete developers was to create a user-friendly and easy-to-use client that would provide users the access to all instant messaging systems they may need. That’s why Kopete supports a lot of different protocols. Kopete’s API provides developers with many features to make it easy to support a new protocol. All protocols are plugins and allow for modular installation, configuration, and usage. Here is the list of protocols Kopete supports at the moment:

  • OSCAR (AIM and ICQ)
  • Jabber (XMPP) with jingle for voice
  • Windows Live Messenger
  • Yahoo! Messenger
  • Bonjour
  • Gadu-Gadu
  • Lotus Sametime via the Meanwhile plugin
  • Novell GroupWise
  • QQ
  • SMS
  • Winpopup

Moreover Kopete supports Skype as well, but because of the incompatibility issues the development of this add-on was stopped in December 2004. However it’s still possible to use it, though new and some features of Skype are missing.

Although given client is very user-friendly its interface is not and will not be skinnable. As the developers stated Kopete was invented to be a KDE Instant-Messenger and this also includes having a KDE look and feel. Thus hey think that by adding skins this rule would be broken.


There is one more thing I would like to emphasize. At the very beginning I’ve spent a lot of time to configure Gtalk (and did not succeed). It may not seem to be difficult, but there are some “tricks” you need to know it order to make your Gtalk account work. Please visit this page if you find yourself unable to connect to Gtalk.

In general it leaves an impression of a very decent application, though it should be mentioned that Kopete does not support all the functions default clients do. Here are some of the most important features:

  • Ability to use multiple accounts on multiple services
  • Grouping messages within a window, with tabs for easy switching of conversations
  • Alias nicknames for contacts
  • On the fly spell checking
  • Contact grouping
  • MSN and Yahoo! messenger webcam support
  • KAddressBook and KMail integration
  • Conversation logging
  • Custom emoticons and etc.

Moreover its functionality may be increased by installing different plugins.

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