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I need to set up an IM system for a network that won't be connected to the internet - probably just a number of laptops connected via wireless. There will be a central server. What options do I have for clients and server software? Open source or free would be preferred.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

XMPP (Jabber) servers work just fine without an internet connection. I use ejabberd and it works quite well, but there are a number of other options for both Linux and Windows servers.

XMPP also has excellent client support, including most of the "alternative" IM clients like Adium, Miranda, Pidgin, etc.

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thanks - I'll give it a try. –  chris Oct 21 '09 at 23:19
    
Agreed - jabber is the way to go. Check out the Openfire jabber server. It's free, and very easy to set up. –  EEAA Oct 22 '09 at 2:24

You could also go for IRC, the Internet Relay Chat. There are several opensource servers and a lot of clients for windows and linux (like mIRC or irssi).

We use IRC at our company, where we have most of NOC and Servicedesk in a channel, so questions or announcements can be broadcasted to everyone.

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I have used Vypress chat for years as a private IM system. It works great on a LAN with no inet. Per there web site, there are .nix ports of the client.

http://www.vypress.com/products/chat/

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