Monday, August 06, 2007

How to Setup a Jabber Server Using WildFire

Unless you have been living under rocks for the past few years, you must have heard of instant messaging and how it changed the world of communications via Internet. Instant Messaging (IM) is a service that allows users to communicate with their friends or colleagues in real time through private or public chat areas. Unfortunately, most of the IM service providers are using proprietary protocols that only allow you to communicate with users on the same system. These systems usually provide their users with IM clients that aren't compatible with other networks.

Jabber is an open source implementation of the IM server that uses free XML-based protocols for instant messaging. The biggest advantage a Jabber server has over a commercial IM server is that since it's free, anyone can run a Jabber server and it can be restricted to a specific community like employees in a company or a group of friends.

Installing a Jabber server could take from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on how complicated the server config will be. There are also many Jabber server alternatives, each with its own features, licenses and limitations. From what Jabber servers I've tried so far, Wildfire seemed to be the easiest to install and use. Requirements

Wildfire requires Java Virtual Machine to be installed. If you think that you have a fine Java installation, you may ignore this step.

- Download the current JRE (jdk-1_5_0_09-linux-i586.bin) from the Java Download Center to the /tmp directory.

- Extract it to /opt directory:

# chmod 700 /tmp/jdk-1_5_0_09-linux-i586.bin
# cd /opt
# /tmp/jdk-1_5_0_09-linux-i586.bin

and accept the agreement. You should now have a JRE in /opt/java/jdk-1_5_0_09-linux-i586/jre/.

Installing Wildfire

- Download the latest release (wildfire_3_1_0.tar.gz) from Wildfire Download Center to /tmp.

- Extract it to /opt directory and change directory:

# cd /tmp
# tar xfz wildfire_3_1_0.tar.gz -C /opt

# cd /opt/wildfire/bin

- Edit the wildfire startup script using your favorite editor and replace the line:




- Start Wildfire with the command:

# ./wildfire

If everything worked out well, you should see a message Starting wildfire.

Once Wildfire has been started, you will have to install it through a web browser. Open up your favorite browser and go to the address http://server.address:9090

- Step 1: Language. Select here your preferred language.

- Step 2: Server Settings. The Domain field should contain the hostname or ip address that can be accessed by the users. For instance, enter the LAN ip if you want your Jabber server to be accessible ONLY by users in your local network, or enter the Internet IP (or domain name, if available) if you want your server to be accessible by users everywhere. It's recommended you add a subdomain to your domain name that will resolve in the server IP (either Internet or LAN). Eg:

- Step 3: Database Settings. The Standard Database Connection option will configure Wildfire to use an external database (MySQL, Oracle etc), while Embedded Database option will configure Wildfire to use an embedded database in order to get things quickly up and running.

- Step 4: Profile Settings. Choose here the option that best suits your needs and knowledge.

- Step 5: Admin account: Enter here the administrator email address and password. The password set here will be used to login as admin in the administration console.

Your Wildfire installation is now finished!

Configure Wildfire

Fortunately, Wildfire can be configured as desired through the administration console, which offers an intuitive, easy to use interface where every option is explained. You shouldn't have any problems configuring it. Enjoy it!

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