Install your own Instant Messaging Server with Openfire

Openfire is a powerful instant messaging (IM) and chat server that implements the XMPP protocol written in Java. It is previously known as Wildfire and Jive Messenger.

In this article, let us see how to setup a Instant Messaging Server using Openfire in CentOS/RHEL based platforms. Openfire is very easy to install and administer through a cool web interface.

Getting Openfire

Download the latest version of Openfire here. I prefer the RPM file. Because it contains Java application which is necessary for Openfire. Or you can install Java using the following command:

# yum install java-1.7.0-openjdk -y

Install Openfire:

# rpm -ivh openfire-3.8.2-1.i386.rpm

Now start the openfire service and let it to start automatically on every reboot:

# service openfire start
# chkconfig openfire on

Add the Openfire administrative ports 9090 (http) and 9091 (https) in your firewall/router to access Openfire from anywhere:

# vi /etc/sysconfig/iptables
-A INPUT -p tcp -m state --state NEW --dport 9090 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p tcp -m state --state NEW --dport 9091 -j ACCEPT

Restart iptables using the following command:

# service iptables restart

Now navigate to http://ip-address:9090 from your browser. You should see the following screen. Select your preferred language and press Continue.

Openfire Setup: Welcome to Setup - Mozilla Firefox_001Enter your server hostname or IP address and press Continue.

Openfire Setup: Server Settings - Mozilla Firefox_002Now you will be asked to select the database settings. Openfire offers an embedded database powered by HSQLDB. Or you can select external databases like MySQL and Oracle etc. To install and configure external databases click on this link. Here, I select Embedded Database Connection.

Openfire Setup: Database Settings - Mozilla Firefox_011Now choose your profile settings and press Continue. Or you can import the users from LDAP server.

Openfire Setup: Profile Settings - Mozilla Firefox_012Now the installer will ask you to set the administrator password. Setup your account password. It will ask the current password. If it is new installation, the default password will be admin. I don’t want to change admin password. So here I skip this step to use the default password.

Openfire Setup: Setup Complete! - Mozilla Firefox_015Openfire installation is completed now. Restart the openfire service now. It is important. Otherwise you can’t login to administrative console:

# service openfire restart

Click on Login to Admin Console to enter into Openfire administrative console. Enter username and password. Both are admin.

Openfire Admin Console - Mozilla Firefox_016You will be able to login to the administrative console.

Openfire Admin Console: Server Information - Mozilla Firefox_017Update Administrative password

Now change the administrator user password. To do that, Go to Users/Groups tab. Click on the administrative user. Click on Password tab in the left pane and enter the new password twice.

Openfire Admin Console: Change Password - Mozilla Firefox_018Create Users

Go to Users/Groups section. Select Users tab. Click on Create a new user link and enter the username and password for the new user. Click on Create.

Openfire Admin Console: Create User - Mozilla Firefox_019By this way, you can create as many users as you like.

Connecting to Openfire

Download the Openfire client Spark from here. Install it in your client systems. Open Spark and register for the new user. Alternatively you can use Pidgin Messenger that comes with pre-installed on all distributions.

Open Pidgin Messenger from your client systems. Go to Accounts -> Manage Accounts -> Add. A new window will open now. Select XMPP in the Protocol drop-down list. Enter the Openfire user name, password and domain name which you have created in the administrative console.

Add Account_022

Buddy List_024That’s it. Start chatting with your friends!