Configuring a Client for CollabChat

Our collaborative chat uses XMPP (Jabber) protocol.

For most chat clients, the basic settings needed are:

Replace @ in collab username with % (e.g.

Some per client settings below.


Settings for pidgin:

Replace @ in collab username with % (e.g.

OS X Messages

Replace @ in collab username with % (e.g.


Replace @ in collab username with % (e.g.


mcabber is a small Jabber console client. --

For recent versions of macabber following ~/.mcabber file appears to work:

set jid =

For older versions following ~/.mcabber file has worked in the past:

set ssl=1
set ssl_verify=-1
set ssl_cafile=~/

Irssi XMPP plugin

irssi-xmpp is an irssi plugin to connect to the Jabber network.

This configuration has been seen to work with fairly recent versions of Irssi and irssi-xmpp. For example, the versions distributed with Ubuntu Karmic (Irssi 0.8.14-1ubuntu1, irssi-xmpp 0.13+cvs20090617-1) work.

According to documentation and our experimentation, the following combination should work:

  • Irssi >= 0.8.13

  • irssi-xmpp 0.50

irssi-xmpp apparently doesn't support STARTTLS so instructions below are for old style SSL which we don't officially support.

The certificate validation requires the CA certificate to be installed correctly (eg. /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt in Ubuntu Hardy).

Sample ~/.irssi/config snippet:

servers = (
    address = "";
    chatnet = "abusesa";
    port = "5223";
    use_ssl = "yes";
    password = "x";

chatnets = {
  abusesa = {
    type = "XMPP";
    nick = "";

You will also need to put the following line in your ~/.irssi/startup:

LOAD xmpp

or to say /LOAD xmpp at irssi startup.

Joining a CollabChat conference room