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I'm looking for a chat program that I can run on my corporate workstation that does not need to go outside of the firewall to operate. All communication should be limited to the same subnet ideally ... anything free, lightweight, and with a good chat client available?

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Similar question: superuser.com/questions/37654/… –  jweede Sep 8 '09 at 13:23
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This is definitely a duplicate. I've seen two other questions (one in the last 24 hours) that are the same question. –  ephilip Sep 8 '09 at 13:35
    
you're right, that is definitely a similar question. however, please note that I did look and could not find those questions with the search terms I was using. if you listen to the SO podcast, you'll find that having multiple formulations of the same question is an expected result as sometimes the different text of my question will lead others to the answer in the future if asked in the same way :-) –  Joel Martinez Sep 8 '09 at 15:40

5 Answers 5

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Pidgin with zeroconf (bonjour) is ideal for this solution.

Otherwise a local Jabber server has a long list of clients that can be used with it, and could be run behind the firewall.

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IP Messenger is a perfect match

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I'd suggest running Openfire on a spare box (Windows or Linux). It's extremely easy to configure, has plenty of plugins, and includes monitoring and logging functionality out-of-the-box.

I've been running it here for about 3 years on a Windows XP box and our SQL server and it has been rock-solid with about 100 users.

If you need any specific help, feel free to contact me.

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OpenFire is good, robust, free, open-source, under active development, and secure. It is also enterprise size and far more then a small company needs. It does support voice chat and stuff, and is cool, but you have to have a central server.

IPMessenger is small, fast, powerful, secure, and runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, even Android. It is, however, server-less and would die trying to run with a lot of chatters because of it. Further, the programmers are Japanese, and the whole thing assumes you know a bit about IP's and SUBNETs.

Borgchat is from a security standpoint, a program scares the crap out of me. It is not open source, and it has not had an update in four years. After all, it is far harder to hit a moving target. So, Borgchat would be very risky if any computer on your subnet accessed the Internet, ever, in my opinion. (I do security for a living, this seems very sneaky to me)

Pidgin with Zeroconf works, it is cross platform and open source, and does many protocols. It was my first thought, but without plugins all of your information is easily snooped internally. If you go that route, look at any of the encryption plugins. Otherwise, realize you are passing notes that can be picked up and read.

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BorgChat is my personal favourite. Its peer-to-peer rather than client-server

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