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documentation.suse.com / Documentación de SUSE Linux Enterprise Server / GNOME User Guide / Internet, Communication and Collaboration / Empathy: Instant Messaging
Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5

16 Empathy: Instant Messaging

Empathy is an instant messaging (IM) client that allows you to connect to multiple accounts simultaneously. Chat live with your contacts in one tabbed interface, regardless of which IM system they use. Empathy uses Telepathy for protocol support.

Empathy supports the following instant messaging protocols: Google Talk (Jabber/XMPP), MSN, IRC, Salut, AIM, Facebook, Yahoo!, Gadu Gadu, Groupwise®, ICQ and QQ. (The supported protocols depend on installed Telepathy Connection Manager components.)

In the following, learn how to set up Empathy and how to communicate with your contacts.

16.1 Starting Empathy

To start Empathy, select Applications › Internet › Empathy.

16.2 Configuring Accounts

To use Empathy, you must already have an account for the messaging service you want to use. For example, to use Empathy to chat via AIM, you must first have an AIM account.

Procedure 16.1: Adding and Editing Accounts in Empathy
  1. To start Empathy, select Applications › Internet › Empathy.

    If you start Empathy for the first time, a message appears, prompting you to configure an account.

  2. Enter your account data. The Messaging and VoIP Accounts dialog shows the accounts that have been configured so far.

  3. To add another account:

    1. In the Messaging and VoIP Accounts dialog, click the plus icon.

    2. Choose the type of account you want to configure, enter your user ID and password for the account and click Add. The dialog to add or modify accounts differs for each type of account, depending on what setup options are available for that account.

  4. To enter or modify connection data for an account:

    1. Select the account and click Edit Connection Parameters › Advanced.

    2. Enter a server name and a port to use for the connection. Specify additional parameters, such as encryption options, if necessary. If you are unsure which parameters to use, refer to your system administrator or messaging service.

    3. Click Apply to confirm your changes.

To go online with your account, turn the account switch on. When prompted for your password, enter it.

To disable the account, turn the switch off. If you are finished with the configuration of your accounts, close the Messaging and VoIP Accounts dialog.

16.3 Managing Contacts

Use the Contact List to manage your contacts. You can add and remove contacts and organize them in groups, so they are easy to find.

Procedure 16.2: Adding Contacts
  1. To add a contact, click Contacts › Add Contacts.

  2. Select the Account for which you want to add a contact.

  3. As Identifier, enter the name or user ID of the person you want to add.

  4. By default, Alias will show the same entry, but you can enter a different name or nickname for the contact person here.

    As soon as you start typing into the Identifier text box, the dialog will also show any groups that you have already defined.

  5. To add the new contact to a group, activate the respective group's check box.

  6. To create a new group, type a group name into the text box next to Add Group and click Add Group.

  7. Click Add to confirm your changes and to close the dialog.

In case the groups or the newly added contacts are not displayed in the Contact List, check the Empathy preferences by clicking Preferences › General. Activate Show offline contacts and Show groups to make all contacts and groups appear in the Contact List.

To remove a contact from the list, right-click the name of that contact, select Remove and confirm your choice.

16.4 Chatting with Friends

To chat with other participants, you need to be connected to the Internet. After a successful login, you are usually marked as Available in the Contact List, and thus visible to others. To change your status, click the drop-down box at the top of the Contact List and select another option.

To open a chat session, double-click a contact name in the Contact List. The chat screen opens. Type your message, then press Enter to send.

If you open more than one chat session, the new session appears as a tab in the existing chat window. To see all messages of a session and to be able to write a reply, click the tab of that session. To see multiple session side by side, use the mouse to drag a tab out of the window. A second window will open.

To close a chat session, close the tab or window for it.

16.5 For More Information

This chapter explained the Empathy options you need to know about to set up Empathy and communicate with your contacts. It does not explain all features and options available. For more information, open Empathy, then click Help.

For updates about new features and for the latest information, refer to the home page of the project at https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Empathy.