What is Jabber?
Jabber is an open protocol for Instant Messaging (IM) much like ICQ or
Yahoo Messenger. It has the advantage that the protocol is published and
therefore we can run our own servers. The Jabber protocol should soon
be approved by the IETF to become an RFC. Jabber servers are capable to
connecting to other protocols (such as MSN messenger or ICQ) and using
these services can be done using the jabber protocol to connect to the
appropriate server as normal.
Potentially there are a number of other applications for Jabber, other
than IM, possibly including passing on of alerts or for logging
How does it work?
Jabber uses XML to pass messages from client to server and there on to
it's destination. The XML stream is used to pass on information about
whether a client is online or not.
A user will have a local username and a server address. Thus
email@example.com is my address. Jabber holds it's clients
contact list (or Roster) on the server which means that it's possible to
run Jabber from a number of machines without worrying about new
contacts being propagated between clients.
When a client sends a message to another client the message is passed
to the local server, from there the server establishes a conection to
the remote server and the remote server will deliver the message. Using
this hierarchial approach means that Jabber isn't dependant on a single
How to use Jabber
Because Jabber is an open protocol there are a huge number of clients
for a variety of operating systems. I recommend:
Windows: WinJab 184.108.40.206
Redhat Linux: Gaim 0.59.7
- Download the install and run the executable from:
- Run WinJab
- Click on "New Profile" and enter a profile name ie. "First Jab"
- Enter a server name:Use "jabber.com" for a public server, or
"mail.polaris.org" to use a test server.
- Port 5222
- Username: up to you
- Passwd: something secure
- Resource: a lable relating to this computer used if you are
logged in more than once.
- When you click OK you will be told "You are not authorized,
create new account", Click Yes.
- You should then connect to the server.
- Try adding a contact by pressing the green button with a + in it.
- User Type: Jabber Transport (we're using jabber after all)
- Jabber ID (JID): firstname.lastname@example.org (that's me)
- Nick: Martin
- Group: Nice People
- Click "OK"
- This will add me to your Roster which is held on the server.
- Download the Redhat RPM file from:
Martin Stewart v0.2
23rd Feb 03
- Install the rpm using "rpm -i gaim-0.59.701.i386.rpm"
- Run gaim (it will be in /usr/bin)
- Add the jabber plugin. Go to Tools/Plugins, click on Load and
select libjabber.so from /usr/lib/jabber
- In the gaim account editor (ctl-a) click on Add
- Screenname is the new jabber id you want ie: email@example.com
- Password is obvious and Alias is a one word label for hte account.
- Protcol should be set to "Jabber"
- Port should be 5222
- Click on Register with the server if you don't already have an
- Hit OK.
- You should then be registered with the server.
- Click on "Sign on".
- Use File/Add a
Buddy to add Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, Alias: bluebus, Group:
- Click "Add"