Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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.

share|improve this question
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 (campfirenow.com) 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')

share|improve this answer
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

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.