Running a Jabber server on Ubuntu

After the disintegration of any kind of Messenger service from MSN, and my reluctance to use Skype, I’m looking into a home grown, private messenger service. The service I’m after needs to be ‘invite only’ – i.e. our staff and work on Mac, Linux and PC (in order of preference!). I’ve found a couple solutions namely Jabberd2 and Openfire. The decision to install the solution on Ubuntu was mainly part of my ongoing ‘conversion’ from exclusively FreeBSD to Debian Based and Redhat based Linux. After reading through the install instructions, the Openfire solution seemed the quickest and Dirtiest to get off the ground.

I’m starting from a vanilla Ubuntu install (Basic Server), the first job is to update the system:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Openfire runs on Java, so we need to install the OpenJDK first:

sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jre

Now download the tarball from the Openfire web site, this actual filename will change over time, but today it was:


We just need to rename it to something a bit less clunky and then unzip it.

mv downloadServlet?filename=openfire%2Fopenfire_3_8_2.tar.gz openfire_3_8_2.tar.gz
tar -xvzf openfire_3_8_2.tar.gz

OK, now we can move the whole newly formed directory structure to the /opt directory

mv openfire /opt/

Lastly, its nice to use the service commands for starting up, so add a link and then let’s start the service:

ln -s /opt/openfire/bin/openfire /etc/init.d/
service openfire start

Now you can browse to http://yourserver:9090 and continue with the setup wizard. Most of it is pretty self explanatory now, but if you are going for the ‘zero-to-hero’ in the fewest mouse clicks then go for the embedded database option and fill in a few users. I am using the PSI client as it seems to work across platforms, however the Ubuntu Desktop client was very fussy about the self signed vert we get out of the box, but once that is sorted out, it ‘just works’. This project is a candidate for our pre-configured 30:30 servers, but the installation method may be changed for that

Here’s the link to Openfire:

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