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So I spend a lot of time at the Comms Room here in the SF chat, and I absolutely love the interface. It's a proprietary software, so, anyone know any open or free alternative that even begins to look like the SE chat?

I searched before posting and most of the questions are solved using jabber. I already have jabber with multiuser capabilities, what I need is a web chat that can be reliable used by my organization that is easier than a jabber client.

Example: my organization has various non-tech people that need to discuss stuff daily, from 4 different cities plus international participants. A quality web chat is way easier than explaining how to use a VPN and Pidgin to connect to the jabber client.

EDIT: It must run on GNU/Linux. And CGI-IRC would probably need to leave the IRC server exposed (and IRC servers are not that safe). Campfire is a good tool, but it's paid and hosted, I would prefer something running on my network.

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closed as off-topic by masegaloeh, Sven Mar 22 at 9:16

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IRC and CGI-IRC? – Tom O'Connor Feb 28 '11 at 0:55
It may be worth mentioning what platform(s) you intend to run it on. – John Gardeniers Feb 28 '11 at 1:04

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You may find that Campfire ( is pretty solid. It has been recommended to me by colleagues, though I haven't used it myself yet. Its biggest draw-back is that it isn't free. Far from it.

In fact, StackOverflow Internet Services (your humble hosts) even used it internally before building their own:

(search for 'campfire')

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I'm fairly sure the SE team trialled campfire before DIYing it, and if the SE team think something is worthy of a trial, it's usually fairly good. – Mark Henderson Feb 28 '11 at 0:55
Campfire is hosted, right? I would prefer something that run on my infrastructure. – coredump Feb 28 '11 at 13:02
@coredump I'm pretty sure that it is hosted, yes. – sysadmin1138 Feb 28 '11 at 15:19

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