Instant Messenger (IM)

Instant messaging helps us connect with people online in real time. Many Linux, Windows, Mac  users IM with either Pidgin (formerly Gaim) or Kopete, two applications that handle multiple IM protocols. Here are few alternatives to the top names that each focus on one of the major IM protocols, and offer some pretty cool options.

Psi 0.10
Available for: windows mac linux
Psi is an open source instant messenger client built for Jabber (the open source instant messaging protocol). However, to ensure that you don’t loose touch we your friends who have not yet switched… Read more

Adium 1.2.4
Available for: mac
Adium is open source instant messaging for Mac OS X. All of the most widely use protocols are supported such as AIM, ICQ, .MAC, MSN, Jabber and more – even Novell Groupwise and Lotus Sametime are… Read more

aMSN 0.96
Available for: windows mac linux unix
aMSN is an open source clone of MSN Messenger. It aims to implement as many features as possible from the original, and to provide even more features on top of that. Alot of the extra features are… Read more 0.2
Available for: windows mac linux unix is an open source universal Instant Messenger (IM) developed fully in Java. has plug-in based support for the different IM networks. Among the supported… Read more

Pidgin 2.6
Available for: windows mac linux unix
Pidgin is an instant messenger (IM) application that cover multiple protocols – including (but not limited to) AIM, ICQ, MSN, IRC, Jabber, Novell GroupWise Messenger and Lotus Sametime. These… Read more

Miranda IM 0.7.6
Available for: windows
Small and fast are only two positive things that come to mind when trying to descripe Miranda IM. Like many of its open source “competitors” it is an multi-protocol instant messenger capable of… Read more

Emesene 1.0.1
Available for: windows mac linux
Emesene is a MSN Messenger clone, which primary goal is to support all features of the Windows Live Messenger Network (WLM). However, it does have a few extra features – besides trying to be… Read more

Available for: windows linux
Gajim is a lightweight instant messaging application written in PyGTK and GTK+ for use with the Jabber messaging protocol. Its strength lies within its multiple options embedded within a simple and resource-light user interface… Read mode

Gyach Enhanced
Available for: linux
Gyach Enhanced, whose philosophy is to bring all of Yahoo! Messenger’s features to Linux, might just be the most feature-rich instant messaging application for Linux. Too bad the project hasn’t been active since 2006. Despite this little inconvenience, Gyach Enhanced provides better Yahoo! connectivity than Pidgin, offering webcam access, voice functions, and environments. The overall look of the application is a little rugged and the first impression it creates is “complicated,” but once you customize the fonts and get used to it, Gyach Enhanced works well… Read more

KMess for MSN
Available for: linux
If you have to chat with friends who use Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger), you might want to install KMess, which is written with the Qt toolkit and integrates perfectly within KDE. Like Gajim, KMess provides email notifications, offers file transfers between users, and some emoticon themes. The application can display pop-up messages whenever someone contacts you. If you click your avatar image on the main window, you are taken to the main configuration dialog, where you can change various settings ranging from the display picture to the default login status, and modify the font size, pick an emoticon theme or install a custom one, and choose a chat style. KMess has a plus here over Gajim, as it can display the title of the song a user is currently listening to. On the minus side, KMess doesn’t have any plugins… Read more

Available for: linux
Yux is an alternative Yahoo Messenger client for *nix systems. What distinguishes Yux from other clients is that Yux attempts to match the look and feel of the official version of the Windows client… Read more

Many Linux users like Pidgin and Kopete not only because they allow users to connect to multiple protocols at once, but also because they are in active development. However, Gajim, Gyach Enhanced, and KMess all are worthy alternatives to those noteworthy names. Other Linux IM applications you might find interesting include Gabber, Psi, Jabbin and Fama IM (for the Jabber protocol), Mercury Messenger, aMSN and emesene (for MSN use). People using AOL can give naim a try.