What I want from an IM Client

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By Andrew McCombe
October 5, 2011

What I want from an IM Client

I've been 'struggling' to find the ultimate IM Client on my Ubuntu setup. Some do most things but there is usually some functionality missing. Here's the list of what I want from an IM Client:

  • Multiple Accounts (Hotmail/Windows Live, Google, Jabber)
  • Chat rooms (Jabber)
  • Bring chat to front when new message received or a new message in the room
  • history log
  • file transfers
  • Block contacts
  • small/compact contacts list

There are many available clients for Linux.

  • Empathy
  • Pidgin
  • Kopete
  • PSi/PSi Plus
  • Swift
  • Gajim


This is the default with Ubuntu and integrates with the system nicely. However, I don't like the notification system. I want it to bring up the chat window when a message is received, either in a single chat or a room. Also, the sound notifications don't seem to work on both my Maverick and Natty installs.


I've been using pidgin for a long time and keep coming back to it. It does everything I need it to.