The purpose of this document is to demonstrate how to use Gaim for using the instant messaging service of Google, Google Talk (or Gmail chat).

What is Gaim?Edit

Gaim is a multi-protocol instant messanger client supporting protocols like AIM, Yahoo, Jabber, ICQ,IRC among others. The protocol we are interested in here is Jabber (for reasons which will become clear shortly)

An introduction to JabberEdit

"Jabber is the Linux of Instant Messaging "- says the Jabber homepage ( It is basically a Open Source alternative for Instant Messaging. To know more about Jabber and its technologies visit the Jabber overview at

To get started using Jabber for Instant Messaging you will need to get a Jabber account on any of the Jabber servers and then of-course you need a Jabber client to connect to the server.

Among the numerous Jabber servers available, the most widely used (though unknown to most people) is Google Talk. Yes, Google Talk uses Jabber, which effectively means that if you have a Google Talk (Gmail) account, you just need to get a Jabber client to get started using Jabber for Instant Messaging. I just mentioned that Gaim supports Jabber.

Configure Gaim for Google Talk chatEdit


Go to Accounts -> Add Account and then follow the steps :

  1. Choose "Jabber" as protocol
  2. In Screen name,fill in your Gmail Account Name ( just the account name,no
  3. Server should be filled with
  4. Resource (Edit: Default is fine. If you change it, then people on your chat list will not be able to guess directly what client you are using. For example, Pidgin/Gaim defaults to Home, GTalk defaults toTalk.v<some version number> while Psi defaults to Psi)
  5. Password should be the Gmail password
  6. Local Alias will be the name you want people to recognize you by. It is seen in the User Info for a jabber login.

Additional Configuration on the Advanced tab

  1. Set Conect Port to 443 to use SSL encryption. Useful when you are behind a proxy that creates problems on the 5222 and 5223 ports. Port 443 always works, as it is the port for the https protocol.
  2. Set Connect Server to in case the default does not work. Advanced users can also enter the direct ip address of the Google Talk server by using nslookup.
  3. Tick the options Require SSL/TLS if you are using port 443, Force old (port 5223) SSL, Allow plaintext auth over unencrypted streams. These configurations may not be necessary for users directly conneting to the net, but are necesary for users who access the net through a very restrictive proxy. ;)
  4. And yeah, set the Proxy Type to the correct value.

That is it. Now you can use Google Talk from Gaim/Pidgin :).

--Amitsaha 13:53, 13 May 2007 (BRT) -- Edited by Ninadsp16289 14:09, 09 Sep 2008 (IST)