rev. 18 January 2008

Multi-Protocol Clients

Pidgin

Pidgin (formerly Gaim)
License: Open Source
Description: Pidgin is an open-source instant messaging clients that supports even more protocols than Trillian (see below), but has very little in the way of customizability. “Pidgin is a multi-protocol instant messaging client for Linux, BSD, MacOS X, and Windows. It is compatible with AIM (Oscar and TOC protocols), ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, and Zephyr networks.” Note: Gaim was recently rebranded as Pidgin IM
Miranda

Miranda IM
License: Open Source
Description: Miranda IM is another multi-protocol Instant Messaging application. It’s a little rough around the edges, I think, but some people swear by it. The program as it’s known now is being completely rewritten for a 1.0 release.
Trillian

Trillian
License: Freeware (paid version optional)
Description: Trillian is an ad-free instant messaging client that supports 5 simultaneous protocols: AIM, ICQ, IRQ, MSN, and Yahoo. It’s skinnable, with downloads available at their site. The Pro version is a bit more robust than the regular version, with plugins and more options.

Protocol-specific Clients

MSN/WLM

aMSN

aMSN
License: Open Source
Description: aMSN is an entirely open-source implementation of the MSN Messenger protocol. It also has many features that the official client does not, as well as compatibility for plugins and skins. Available for a variety of platforms, including Windows.
Mercury Messenger

Mercury Messenger
License: Freeware
Description: Mercury Messenger is a Java client for accessing MSN (now Windows Live Messaging). It stays up to date, has a number of extra features, including Port Forwarding, and is cross-platform due to it being written in Java.

Jabber/XMPP

Psi

Psi
License: Open Source
Description: Psi is an open-source, cross-platform Jabber client written with Trolltech’s Qt toolkit, and integrates into the look of the host operating system—it doesn’t support skins. Psi has a policy of not implementing a feature until there is an accepted standard for it within Jabber/XMPP, so new features might be slow in coming, but the client itself is a workhorse.
Gajim

Gajim
License: Open Source
Description: Gajim is a GTK+ client for the Jabber/XMPP protocol. It has an interface much like Gaim, but doesn’t support multiple protocols and doesn’t (to the best of my knowledge) share any code. It comes with plenty of bells and whistles, including TLS/SSL support, spellchecker, and Wikipedia lookup.
Google Talk

Google Talk
License: Freeware
Description: Google Talk is program which provides instant messaging using the XMPP protocol, as well as VoIP. Any Jabber-capable IM client is capable of talking to the Google Talk client; however, VoIP features require Google Talk proper. Let’s face it: it’s Google, so you know it’s fabulous.

IRC

XChat

XChat
License: Open Source
Description: XChat is perhaps the IRC client for Linux (and now ported to other platforms as well). Based on Gtk+, it has a lot in common with programs like Gaim or MSN, but this one is for IRC only. It’s got a long and stable history, so if you’re looking for a free (in every sense) IRC client, this is for you.
Bersirc

Bersirc
License: Open Source
Description: Originally a closed-source freeware program, Bersirc was opened up in 2004. There hasn’t been a release in over a year, but development is apparently still in progress, including compatibility with mIRC, the gold standard for Windows IRC clients. It seems to have a very simple interface and few options.
§1418 · By · October 10, 2006 ·


4 Comments to “Instant Messaging”

  1. QIP

    is another good ICQ Client

    Homepage:
    http://qipim.com/

  2. hm says:

    kvirc is an other IRC Client

    http://kvirc.net/

  3. deadwing says:

    Qnext – multiprotocol messenger

  4. Andrew says:

    Miniaim, buggy with few functions but fast and clean for those who don’t use aim a lot.

Leave a Reply