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I'm looking for a chat protocol which:

  • Has easy to use clients which will run on both Windows and Linux.
  • Has a server which I can run myself on Linux (preferably easy to set up).
  • Supports duplexed voice and video with minimal hassle (optional).
  • Is open source/free software.

Is there a protocol that fulfils these requirements?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted aka jabber

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Tried that, couldn't get the server to work... – marcusw Mar 13 '10 at 20:22
+1 clearly the best option (and there are many, many different servers you can try) – squircle Mar 13 '10 at 20:44
This is the correct answer. Upvoted. Just because you can't get the daemon to work doesn't mean it's not the correct answer. XMPP is where it's at, especially when you wrap it all with TLS. Voice, text, video, and presence are all supported. – Alexander Burke Mar 13 '10 at 21:01
+1 too, and I recommand ejabberd too. – edomaur Mar 14 '10 at 9:52
Got ejabberd to work great, thanks everyone! – marcusw Mar 14 '10 at 18:26

IRC will do all your 'chat' needs. There are several options for servers and clients (even web based). Just wouldn't fill your 'video' optional request.

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I do not know of a protocol that works but what you can do is:

Use pidgin client which supports virtually all protocols and is available on Linux and Windows is open source and light weight.

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If you want to do a video-chat in the web-browser, there is only one way to do it at the moment. That is using Adobe Flash and using the Real Time Media Flow Protocol. You can freely use it, but some parts are hosted by Adobe. Have a look at Adobe Status or try a working example on Chatroulette.

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Um wrong, it is not the only way google talk has had this available via web for awhile. Again not what he wants but incorrect. – MrStatic Mar 14 '10 at 0:01
True, but then you have to download a custom plugin provided by Google. Adobe Flash is already installed on 95% of the computers on Internet. – Jonas Mar 14 '10 at 1:34
But adobe flash sucks, crashes, and opens a lot of leaks and is unbearable slow for video on linux and kills pulseaudio from time to time. – drahnr Aug 30 '11 at 9:25
@drahnr: I agree, that is often the case with plugins. I'm waiting for the day when this can be done in HTML5. – Jonas Aug 30 '11 at 9:27

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