Frequently Asked Questions

This page answers some frequently-asked questions about the jabber.org IM service and Jabber technologies in general.

  1. What is Jabber?
  2. What is jabber.org?
  3. How do I create an account at jabber.org?
  4. How do I use my jabber.org account?
  5. What can I do after I create an account?
  6. I can't log in! What should I do?
  7. I forgot my password! How can I reset it?
  8. I don't like my password. How can I change it?
  9. I don't need my account any longer. Can you delete it?
  10. What is a JID?
  11. What is the "Resource" setting for in my client?
  12. Is jabber.org secure?
  13. I get a certificate warning. What can I do?
  14. I'm behind a firewall — can I still log into jabber.org?
  15. Can I chat with people on other IM services?
  16. Does jabber.org support chatrooms?
  17. How can I create my own room on the conference server?
  18. I noticed that some of the chatrooms are logged — can you log my room, too?
  19. Why don't you provide a crossdomain.xml file on jabber.org for Flash-based clients?
  20. Can I use the Jabber logo in my product/website/T-shirt?
  21. How can I find out about service updates?
  22. How can I provide comments about the service?
  23. How can I contact the administrator?
  24. My question isn't answered here, where do I go for help?

1. What is Jabber?

Jabber is the original open instant messaging (IM) technology, invented by Jeremie Miller in 1998 and formalized as the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) by the IETF as an Internet Standard for IM and presence.

2. What is jabber.org?

Jabber.org is a free IM service run by volunteers since 1999 and hosted at USSHC in Iowa, USA.

3. How do I create an account at jabber.org?

To create an account at the jabber.org IM service, visit register.jabber.org.

4. How do I use my jabber.org account?

You can use your jabber.org account with any of the dozens of free IM clients that support the XMPP standard (a list is here).

5. What can I do after I create an account?

When you first log in, we strongly encourage you to add your preferred email address to your "user profile" (vCard) that is stored on the server. We do not capture your email address during account registration, so if you ever forget your password we will need to know your email address!

After that, you can chat with friends on other XMPP-based services, join chatrooms, and so on.

6. I can't log in! What should I do?

If you haven't forgotten your password, it might be that the service is temporarily offline. Please check the website for notices.

7. I forgot my password! How can I reset it?

If you have lost your password for the jabber.org IM service, please send an email message to stpeter@jabber.org with a subject of "Lost Password", and provide the following information:

  1. Your jabber.org account name (e.g., "maineboy@jabber.org")
  2. The email address that you added to your user profile
  3. The usernames of at least two people in your contact list (e.g., "romeo@example.net" and "juliet@example.com")

If your information matches, we will change your password and send you the new password (for security reasons we will not give you the old password).

Note: We can change passwords only on the jabber.org IM service!

For encrypted communications, follow the instructions here.

8. I don't like my password. How can I change it?

You can change your password using any full-featured IM client, such as Adium, Gajim, Pidgin, or Psi.

In Adium, log in, go to the File menu, scroll down to "Disconnect" and you will see a list of actions you can perform. Choose "Change Password". A new window will appear. Enter your preferred password and click "OK".

In Gajim, go to "Accounts" (through "Edit" menu), choose your account, expand "Administration operations" on "Account" tab, click "Change Password", type a new password twice, and click "OK".

In Pidgin, go to "Accounts", select your account, and choose "Change Password..."

In Psi, go to "Account Setup", choose your account, click "Modify", type a new password, and click "Change..."

9. I don't need my account any longer. Can you delete it?

We actually don't delete accounts, but we will disable accounts upon request. If you want us to disable your account, please send an email message to stpeter@jabber.org with a subject of "Disable Account", and provide the same information that you would provide for a Lost Password request (see above).

10. What is a JID?

Your Jabber ID or "JID" identifies you on the Jabber network. It looks like an email address, but it's used for instant messaging instead. If you create an account at the jabber.org IM service your JID will be of the form "username@jabber.org", but your friends might have JIDs from gmail.com or any other XMPP service.

11. What is the "Resource" setting for in my client?

Unlike many other messaging networks, Jabber allows you to use the same account and log in from multiple devices at the same time. For example, you might have a client at home, one at work, and one on your mobile phone. Any of them can be connected at once. The resource is used to identify each of these individual clients for message delivery. Just make sure to set each one differently (or let the server assign a resource to you).

12. Is jabber.org secure?

The jabber.org service uses industry-standard Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) to encrypt your connection to the server. Our security certificate is issued by the StartSSL, a widely-recognized certification authority that is bundled with Mozilla Firefox, Apple MacOS X, Microsoft Windows, numerous Linux distributions, and many modern IM clients. Furthermore, the jabber.org IM service is hosted in a secure data center by USSHC, with strict physical security as well as up-to-date security patches on a Debian GNU/Linux operating system.

The jabber.org administrators take your privacy and security very seriously — please read the Service Policy for full details about our security measures. If you have any questions about security, please ask in the jabber@conference.jabber.org chatroom (see below).

13. I get a certificate warning. What can I do?

The domain certificate used at the jabber.org IM service is issued by StartSSL, which is recognized by Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla, and many other platforms. It is possible that your IM client or device does not yet recognize StartSSL, which means you might want to install their root certificate from http://www.startssl.com/certs/ca.crt.

14. I'm behind a firewall — can I still log into jabber.org?

Yes, you can, but you need to make sure that outbound port 5222 is open (this is the IANA-registered port for XMPP client connections). To check whether your connection is blocked, type 'telnet jabber.org 5222' in a terminal or console window.

15. Can I chat with people on other IM services?

Yes! The jabber.org service connects with all IM services that use XMPP, the open standard for instant messaging and presence over the Internet. The services we connect with include Google Talk and thousands more. However, you can't connect from jabber.org to proprietary services like AIM, Facebook, ICQ, MSN, Skype, or Yahoo because they don't yet use XMPP. It's true that AIM, Facebook, MSN, and Skype have experimented with XMPP interfaces, but currently those services do not "federate" with jabber.org or the main XMPP network.

16. Does jabber.org support chatrooms?

Yes! In Jabber these are known often as Multi-User Conferences, or 'MUCs' for short. Usually you will find the option to join rooms in the menu of your client (e.g. "Join chat" in Pidgin). At jabber.org the MUC service is conference.jabber.org (e.g., our "help room" is jabber@conference.jabber.org, see below).

If you have an account at the jabber.org IM service, you can also join chatrooms at other XMPP servers on the Internet. You can search for rooms of interest at <http://search.wensley.org.uk/>.

17. How can I create my own room on the conference server?

Because we experienced a lot of abuse from public chatrooms, we have disabled the ability for anyone to create a room. Now only the jabber.org administrators have permission to create rooms. If you would like us to create a room for you, please join the jabber@conference.jabber.org chatroom (see below) and request a room there.

18. I noticed that some of the chatrooms are logged — can you log my room, too?

We do indeed archive the conversations in a few of the more public chatrooms hosted at conference.jabber.org — see logs.jabber.org for a complete list. In general we don't like to turn on room logging because of privacy concerns and space limits on our servers, but if you ask really nicely in the jabber@conference.jabber.org chatroom (see below), we might do that for you.

19. Why don't you provide a crossdomain.xml file on jabber.org for Flash-based clients?

If you are trying to use a client based on Adobe's Flash technology with jabber.org, you probably noticed that we redirect "jabber.org" to "www.jabber.org", which breaks the Flash security model (it expects to find the crossdomain.xml file on port 80 of jabber.org, not www.jabber.org). We're sorry about this, but it is intentional because for security purposes we do not want to run a full HTTP service on the same machine that runs our XMPP service.

The Jabber logo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, so you are free to use it. Feel free to contact Peter Saint-Andre if you have questions about the logo.

21. How can I find out about service updates?

To find out major service updates, including changes to our service policy, follow us on identi.ca or Twitter, or subscribe to the juser@jabber.org mailing list.

22. How can I provide comments about the service?

For general comments and questions, please post to the public juser@jabber.org discussion list (also accessible via news group).

23. How can I contact the administrator?

The person ultimately responsible for this service is Peter Saint-Andre. His email address and JabberID are listed at his contact page. You can also send him faxes at 303-308-3749 and physical mail at his work address, 1899 Wynkoop Street, Suite 600, Denver, CO 80202 USA. If you need to call him, please ask for his phone number via email or IM.

24. My question isn't answered here, where do I go for help?

The best place for help with the jabber.org IM service is the jabber@conference.jabber.org chatroom. Thanks to our friends at speeqe.com, you can even join it via the web.

You can also post to the public juser@jabber.org discussion list (also accessible via news group).

As a last resort, feel free to contact the administrator as described above.