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Kopete is an application designed for KDE (and features as part of KDE's network package) that emulates many of the common (and some not so common) internet messenger programs, in particular the following:

  • AOL Instant Manager (AIM);
  • Gadu-Gadu
  • ICQ (part of AOL, also known as QIP in eastern countries);
  • Internet Relay Chat (IRC);
  • Jabber;
  • Lotus Sametime;
  • Microsoft Messenger (MSN, rebranded as Live Messenger);
  • Novell GroupWise
  • Short Message Service (SMS);
  • Skype (being removed eventually);
  • Winpopup (as issued by a NET SEND command on Microsoft Windows platform);
  • Yahoo! Messenger;

The interface is similar to other messenger applications, like that of Live / MSN Messenger or ICQ for example, but has the advantage of hosting multiple accounts using the multiple protocols. This means you can have an account for each ICQ, MSN and Yahoo! and use a single instance of Kopete to sign into all of them. Indeed you could have two or more accounts of the same protocol at once, such as two ICQ accounts. Kopete allows the user to assign different colours to identical protocols to differentiate them.

Being KDE specific means it integrates very well into the desktop, including the system tray as an icon and the use of KDE's KWallet feature for password management.

Many of the features provided by the genuine messenger protocols are supported by the 'emulation' within Kopete, including the ability to use and receive voice and webcam sessions (though this is largely dependent on the hardware support of the underlying operating system). Other features include pop-up 'speech bubble' notifications of contacts online status, multi-person chat and, possibly considered eye-candy, MSN's animated pictorial words and nudges (much to the annoyance of many!).

Those messenger protocols available under open source licenses are fully supported where-as the commercial protocols are available by methods of reverse engineering and therefore are on a best-efforts basis, hence the term emulation.

See Kopete official website.

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