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Ejabberd (Chat Server)

ejabberd icon

Available since: version 0.3

What is XMPP?

XMPP is a federated server-client protocol for Instant Messaging. This means that users who have accounts on one server, can talk to users that are on another server.

XMPP can also be used for voice and video calls, if supported by the clients.

Currently FreedomBox offers both, a server (ejabberd) and a web client (JSXC) from its web interface.


With XMPP, there are two ways that conversations can be secured:

  1. TLS: This secures the connection between the client and server, or between two servers. This should be supported by all clients and is highly recommended.
  2. End-to-end: This secures the messages sent from one client to another, so that even the server cannot see the contents. The latest and most convenient protocol is called OMEMO, but it is only supported by a few clients. There is another protocol called OTR that may be supported by some clients that lack OMEMO support. Both clients must support the same protocol for it to work.

Setting the Domain Name

For XMPP to work, your FreedomBox needs to have a Domain Name that can be accessed over the network.

If you only need the local network (LAN) users to chat with each other you can invent your domain name, but if you want users from the internet to join your rooms you need a public domain name. You can read more about obtaining a Domain Name in the Dynamic DNS section of this manual.

Once you have a Domain Name, you can tell your FreedomBox to use it by setting the Domain Name in the System Configuration.

Note: After changing your Domain Name, the Chat Server (XMPP) page may show that the service is not running. After a minute or so, it should be up and running again.

Please note that PageKite does not support the XMPP protocol at this time.

Use Let's encrypt certificate for ejabberd

If your Freedombox server uses a Let's Encrypt certificate, you will also want to use it foe ejabberd. To do so, in your Freedombox admin, go to System > Let's Encrypt, and select the checkbox at Use certificate for ejabberd.

Registering FreedomBox users to use XMPP

Currently, all users created through FreedomBox will be able to login to the XMPP server. You can add new users through the System Users and Groups module. It does not matter which Groups are selected for the new user.

Port Forwarding

If your FreedomBox is behind a router, you will need to set up port forwarding on your router. You should forward the following ports for XMPP:

Compatible clients

Mobile clients

You can download a XMPP client for your smartphone or tablet by downloading one of the apps listed below.


Conversations is an Android XMPP client available on F-Droid or the Play Store. In addition to text messaging, you can use Conversations to send images and have group chats.

Conversations - First screen Conversations - Login [ATTACH] Conversations - Add contacts

From left to right: (1) First sreen - (2) Login screen - (3) Create an account - (4) Add contacts.

Once you have downloaded Conversations and when you app the app, you will be asked whether you want to create a new account or if you already have an account (1).

If you already have a XMPP account, you just need to enter it along with your XMPP account password (2).

If you don't have a XMPP account, Conversations allows you to either choose a XMPP provider you have already chosen or to easily create an accont on (this latter option comes with a price) (3).

Once you have logged onto your XMPP account, you will want to start a conversation. To do so, click on +: a few choices will allow you to connect to other people (4).

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