Register a new account

Most account types require you to create an account with a service provider before you can use that account with instant messaging applications. You can use Empathy to register for a new account with some account providers using the same steps as you would to add an account.

Once you create a new account, your account provider should give you a login or a username and a password, as well as any additional information you need to connect using Empathy.


IRC networks require that you specify a nick (nickname) when you connect to the server. Some IRC networks use a service, such as NickServ, to allow users to protect their nick. If you did not register your nick or are unable to do so and another user is using it, then you will need to choose a different one.

Some IRC servers are password protected. You will need to know the password to connect to these servers. Generally, these are private IRC networks.

Many GNOME projects use for project-related discussion.


Jabber is an open instant messaging system. Like email, Jabber allows you to choose your account provider and communicate with all other Jabber users, regardless of their account provider.

You will need to create a new account with a Jabber provider. There are many free providers; one popular provider is

If you use Gmail or Google+ Hangouts, you already have a Jabber account. Use your Gmail address and password in Empathy to connect.

People Nearby

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 providor, just set up your account through Empathy. It automatically finds all other users on the network who are also using this service.

For more information, see the salut protocol.


SIP is an open system which allows users to have audio and video conversations over the Internet. You need to create an account with a SIP provider. You can communicate with all other SIP users, regardless of which SIP provider they use.

Some SIP providers allow you to call normal phones from your computer. Generally, you will need to subscribe to a paid service for this feature.

Proprietary Services

There are many proprietary instant messaging services that have been developed by different companies or organizations. Empathy allows you to connect to an existing account for some of these services. To create a new account with one of these services, you will need to visit the website for the service.