How to deploy an easy to use chat server on your LAN

Jack Wallen walks you thru the method of deploying your personal, in-house chat server in lower than 10 minutes to make it simpler for workers to speak and collaborate.

Fingers typing on a tablet

Picture: Natali _ Mis/Shutterstock

Your online business has grown significantly, and it’s a necessity to empower your staff to extra simply talk with each other. The issue is, you don’t need them utilizing third-party instruments and platforms for the duty. So what do you do?

You deploy your personal inside chat server. However how? Fortuitously, open supply is there to rescue you. With Openfire, you’ll be able to deploy a strong chat server in lower than 10 minutes in your LAN. Upon getting the server up and working, set up the Spark consumer on all these desktops, and everybody can begin chatting with each other for higher collaboration, with out third-party intervention.

I stroll you thru the method of putting in an Openfire chat server. I am going to exhibit how on Ubuntu Server 20.04, however the server might be put in on any Debian-based distribution or any Purple Hat-based Linux taste, in addition to macOS and Home windows. 

SEE: Guidelines: Server stock (TechRepublic Premium)

What you will must make this work

You want a working occasion of Ubuntu Server and a person with sudo privileges. That is it. Let’s get to work.

The right way to set up the required dependencies

First, we have to set up the Java Runtime Setting; fortuitously, Ubuntu contains this in the usual repository. Log into your server and situation the command:

sudo apt-get set up default-jre -y

When that set up completes, you’ll be able to transfer on.

The right way to set up the Openfire server

You will must obtain the most recent .deb bundle for the server. In case you’re on a GUI-less server, that may be accomplished with the wget command like so (ensuring to replace the command under for the most recent launch):


One drawback you might discover after downloading the file is the filename may be malformed. As a substitute of openfire_4.6.4_all.deb, it would wind up being one thing like ‘downloadServlet?filename=openfirepercent2Fopenfire_4.6.4_all.deb’. To repair that, situation the command:

mv 'downloadServlet?filename=openfirepercent2Fopenfire_4.6.4_all.deb' openfire_4.6.4_all.deb

Now, you’ll be able to set up Openfire with the command:

sudo dpkg -i openfire_4.6.4_all.deb

When the set up completes, begin and allow the service with the instructions:

sudo systemctl begin openfire
sudo systemctl allow openfire

Now you can level an online browser to http://SERVER:9090 (the place SERVER is the IP tackle or area of your Openfire server). You may be greeted by the setup wizard, the place you will must deal with the next:

  • Select language.

  • Server settings (area, port, encryption sort).

  • Database settings (Determine A).

  • Profile settings (the place person data can be saved).

  • Administrator account (electronic mail and password).

Determine A


Deciding on the database for Openfire.

On the database settings, you’ll be able to choose the default, which is able to create an embedded HSQLDB database–that is nice for small to medium deployments. If, nonetheless, efficiency and scalability are components, you must select a normal database connection. For that, you will want to put in a database server after which create the database/database person. On this set up, we’re going with the default.

As soon as you’ve got stepped via the set up wizard, you will be prompted to log in with the admin account (Determine B). Observe: The admin person is admin.

Determine B


Logging into the Openfire console with the username admin and the password you created throughout set up.

After logging in, you can begin including customers and managing your server, which is all easy.

The Openfire consumer

To connect with the Openfire server, you could use the Spark consumer, which might be downloaded from the official Openfire obtain web page–you will discover shoppers for Linux, macOS and Home windows. After you put in the consumer in your desktop machines, launch it, and you will be prompted for a username, password and area (Determine C).

Determine C


The Spark consumer for Openfire is simple to make use of.

As for the Area, you need to use the IP tackle of the Openfire server. In case you discover Spark errors out on connection, you will must click on Superior after which both disable encryption within the Safety tab (Determine D) or allow Use Direct TLS methodology. I discovered that utilizing the Direct TLS methodology labored for me.

Determine D


Disabling encryption for the Spark consumer.

The disabling of encryption is barely needed should you’ve arrange Openfire to work with out encryption. You may allow this from inside the Openfire admin console within the TLS/SSL Certificates part below Server (Determine E).

Determine E


Configuring SSL for Openfire within the Admin console.

You now have an in-house chat server up and working in your employees.

Openfire is a dependable software to assist make collaboration and communication simpler inside your group, with out having to depend on a third-party service. 

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