Host your own jabber server

Posted by Katie McLaughlin on September 29, 2014

Ever think "Gosh, I wish I had yet another service on my VPS that duplicates existing systems just so I can run it myself"? Disabled Google Plus and realized that it also takes out your Google Hangouts, and therefore Google talk?

Well, you could go back to carrier pigeons, or you could use your existing Pidgin client and run a ejabberd server on your own VPS. Francois Marier has some really good documentation on how to get this happening. I was able to follow that process on Wheezy.

One tip for those trying to set this up: the config file syntax is really important. If you try and start ejabberd and it fails (e.g. when trying to run ejabberdctl) make sure none of the old processes are running. Kill anything that looks like erlang in ps aux and then try restarting again. The logs in /var/log/ejabberd are helpful for the issues in the last restart, if it fails, but should you not get results in there, try restarting after clearing the server of related processes.