I am looking for a messenger or chat application, which should fulfill following criteria:

  • Peer-to-peer serverless application.
  • No login required.
  • Should search and display for other users (running same app), in particular network.
  • having very small GUI.
  • Give instant pop-up on any message.

IP Messenger (in windows) is perfect example which I have seen, but its performance and GUI are NOT good in Linux (GIPMSG - Gnome IP Messenger).

I have tried messengers like Empathy and Ekiga, which comes with the distro, but the problem is they all need login and GUI of those are very large.


3 Answers 3


Empathy is very small app, integrated with Gnome and login is not required. Try feature named people nearby

[With people nearby] you do not need to connect and authenticate to a central server in order to use it.

This kind of serverless messaging system is restricted to a local area network and an active Internet connection is not necessary.

The people that use this service inside the same local area network will be auto-discovered, and it will be possible to send them messages and files as with other services.

Empathy is best choice when your Linux distro is using Gnome as default (empathy is default gnome client).

Read how to Register a new account for LAN communication:

This service works whenever you are connected to a local network, such as a wireless hotspot, you do not need to create an account with service provider, just set up your account through Empathy. It automatically finds all other users on the network who are also using this service.


As described in my answer to a question about LAN file transfers, you could use any XMPP client that supports Zeroconf/Avahi.

  • No registration/login required. Clients discover each other automatically in the LAN. As soon as you start the client, you are connected.
  • Each user/PC could use a client of their choice; no need for all to use the same. Would work even cross-platform.

Gajim and Pidgin are two examples. Empathy, as suggested by MariuszS, seems to support Zeroconf also.

Here is a list of some clients (however, it doesn’t show which ones support Zeroconf):

In XMPP, this feature is called XEP-0174: Serverless Messaging, so if a client claims to support XEP-0174, you should be able to use it for this purpose.


At the office we use IP Messenger or IPmsg for short, it's one of the most basic Instant-Messaging/Files-Sharing programs that I've used. We use it mostly to communicate among staff, share files locally, and see whose PC is on :D

enter image description here

What I like about it is it's main features which can be summarized in:

  1. It's very basic, nothing complicated, a few seconds to download a few seconds to install. It works by finding available devices by their PC user name, IP address, logon, and host etc.

  2. Instant message to one or more PC. Just choose to whom you want to send the message (single person or group) and hit send. You will get notified if the message didn't reach them.

  3. Share any type of files as fast as your network allows you (I suppose).

  4. Share screenshots by just PrtScr/paste into the IM area. Or use the built in tool to highlight and capture an area of your screen (can use simple brush to draw something or highlight an area) similar to Windows Snipping Tool.

Features list from their website, basically what I just mentioned:

  • Serverless message communication

  • Fast file/folder transfer

  • Image embedded message,

  • desktop (area specified) capture

  • Message encryption(RSA2048bit + AES256bit) and sign/verify (PKCS#1-v1_5)

It available on several platforms including:

  • Windows

  • Macintosh

  • UNIX Linux

  • iPhone

  • iPodTouch

  • iPad

  • Android

    I use it on win7/8 though.

enter image description here

  • Have you tried it on Linux?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 8:24

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