I think I'm looking for an XMPP bouncer. But XMPP federation is a confusing thing for someone who's never dug into it before, so I'm having trouble evaluating solutions or even searching for the right things. I know that I don't need a full standalone XMPP server, at least not in the traditional sense of wanting to self-host my chat.

I want to have an always-on service that:

  • Connects to my Gmail chat account (as a client) as well as my other XMPP accounts and collects messages sent to these accounts while I'm offline
  • Can forward these messages to me (i.e. via email), ideally according to rules I define
  • Ideally lets me point my XMPP client directly to the service and sends me messages I missed while offline when I connect (like IRC bouncers do)
  • Ideally keeps chat logs in some portable format

Am I looking for an XMPP bouncer? Or is there some other way I could go about achieving these goals through the the XMPP protocol? I think what I'm looking for is more of an XMPP client than an XMPP server—does that even make sense?

Is it even possible to have a service that acts as an intermediary proxy between me and an existing XMPP server, but passes chats and rosters through transparently without looking funny on either end? I'm thinking it would look roughly like this:

Me <----> My service <----> My identity on Google chat <-----> My Google contacts

I've done quite a bit of searching and have come up with very little.

  • Spectrum looks like the most promising one. However, I confess that their documentation confuses me a little and I don't exactly know how I would go about configuring it to meet my criteria.
  • xmppbnc, which is named right but isn't very active. According to a Redditor, they couldn't get it to connect to a multi-user chat.
  • znc-xmpp, an XMPP plugin for ZNC. Zero documentation and no activity means I have no idea if or how this plugin would work.
  • Smuxi, which as far as I understand it, only works with the Smuxi client. I want this to take connections from any XMPP client.
  • 3
    Here's the meta-explanation for why I want this: I run my email through my own domain. I have an XMPP account to do the same with chat, but Google turned off XMPP server-to-server federation, so the only way to keep in touch with every on Google chat is to use my Google account. Using Gchat without checking Gmail means that messages received while I'm offline go into the void - uncool. I also have two Slack accounts that I prefer to connect to through XMPP or IRC rather than use the web client. I would like to watch and log all of these in one place. And the more configurable, the better. Jan 30, 2015 at 23:54
  • This doesn't directly answer your question, but might be helpful anyway: IMHO the best IRC 'bouncer' is just a text based IRC client, run on a remote server, inside either screen or tmux. Perhaps the same approach with a text based XMPP client could work to your benefit? Feb 2, 2015 at 5:50
  • 1
    This is funny because someone wrote a XMPP server for Smuxi so you can connect a XMPP client to Smuxi. But this was only a PoC and I have never seen the patch/branch :/ otherwise Smuxi would be exactly what you are after.
    – meebey
    Feb 3, 2015 at 9:37
  • 1
    The reddit link you gave now has an alternative to xmppbnc which connects to muc chats
    – user343969
    Mar 16, 2016 at 13:42
  • Also of note, my core problem was recently extended to a whole new swath of people, as Google for some reason is now burying offline chats even for people who do regularly check Gmail. Sadly, I'm starting to feel like the writing's on the wall for Google's chat services, and that it might be wiser to work towards abandoning ship rather than try to beat it into compatibility. Mar 16, 2016 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


bitlbee has XMPP support for a whole bunch of XMPP options.

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