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

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Jack Wallen walks you done the process of deploying your own, in-house chat server successful little than 10 minutes to marque it easier for employees to pass and collaborate.

Fingers typing connected  a tablet

Image: Natali _ Mis/Shutterstock

Your concern has grown considerably, and it's indispensable to empower your employees to much easy pass with 1 another. The occupation is, you don't privation them utilizing third-party tools and platforms for the task. So what bash you do?

You deploy your ain interior chat server. But how? Fortunately, unfastened root is determination to rescue you. With Openfire, you tin deploy a almighty chat server successful little than 10 minutes connected your LAN. Once you person the server up and running, instal the Spark lawsuit connected each those desktops, and everyone tin commencement chatting with 1 different for amended collaboration, without third-party intervention.

I locomotion you done the process of installing an Openfire chat server. I'll show however connected Ubuntu Server 20.04, but the server tin beryllium installed connected immoderate Debian-based organisation oregon immoderate Red Hat-based Linux flavor, arsenic good arsenic macOS and Windows. 

SEE: Checklist: Server inventory (TechRepublic Premium)

What you'll request to marque this work

You request a moving lawsuit of Ubuntu Server and a idiosyncratic with sudo privileges. That's it. Let's get to work.

How to instal the indispensable dependencies

First, we request to instal the Java Runtime Environment; fortunately, Ubuntu includes this successful the modular repository. Log into your server and contented the command:

sudo apt-get instal default-jre -y

When that installation completes, you tin determination on.

How to instal the Openfire server

You'll request to download the latest .deb bundle for the server. If you're connected a GUI-less server, that tin beryllium done with the wget bid similar truthful (making definite to update the bid beneath for the latest release):

wget https://www.igniterealtime.org/downloadServlet?filename=openfire/openfire_4.6.4_all.deb

One occupation you whitethorn find aft downloading the record is the filename mightiness beryllium malformed. Instead of openfire_4.6.4_all.deb, it mightiness upwind up being thing similar 'downloadServlet?filename=openfire%2Fopenfire_4.6.4_all.deb'. To hole that, contented the command:

mv 'downloadServlet?filename=openfire%2Fopenfire_4.6.4_all.deb' openfire_4.6.4_all.deb

Now, you tin instal Openfire with the command:

sudo dpkg -i openfire_4.6.4_all.deb

When the installation completes, commencement and alteration the work with the commands:

sudo systemctl commencement openfire sudo systemctl alteration openfire

You tin present constituent a web browser to http://SERVER:9090 (where SERVER is the IP code oregon domain of your Openfire server). You volition beryllium greeted by the setup wizard, wherever you'll request to instrumentality attraction of the following:

  • Choose language.

  • Server settings (domain, port, encryption type).

  • Database settings (Figure A).

  • Profile settings (where idiosyncratic accusation volition beryllium stored).

  • Administrator relationship (email and password).

Figure A

openfirec.jpg

Selecting the database for Openfire.

On the database settings, you tin prime the default, which volition make an embedded HSQLDB database–this is good for tiny to mean deployments. If, however, show and scalability are factors, you should take a modular database connection. For that, you'll request to instal a database server and past make the database/database user. In this installation, we're going with the default.

Once you've stepped done the installation wizard, you'll beryllium prompted to log successful with the admin relationship (Figure B). Note: The admin idiosyncratic is admin.

Figure B

openfiref.jpg

Logging into the Openfire console with the username admin and the password you created during installation.

After logging in, you tin commencement adding users and managing your server, which is each straightforward.

The Openfire lawsuit

To link to the Openfire server, you indispensable usage the Spark client, which tin beryllium downloaded from the authoritative Openfire download page–you'll find clients for Linux, macOS and Windows. After you instal the lawsuit connected your desktop machines, motorboat it, and you'll beryllium prompted for a username, password and domain (Figure C).

Figure C

openfireg.jpg

The Spark lawsuit for Openfire is casual to use.

As for the Domain, you tin usage the IP code of the Openfire server. If you find Spark errors retired connected connection, you'll request to click Advanced and past either disable encryption successful the Security tab (Figure D) oregon alteration Use Direct TLS method. I recovered that utilizing the Direct TLS method worked for me.

Figure D

openfireh.jpg

Disabling encryption for the Spark client.

The disabling of encryption is lone indispensable if you've acceptable up Openfire to enactment without encryption. You tin alteration this from wrong the Openfire admin console successful the TLS/SSL Certificates conception nether Server (Figure E).

Figure E

openfirei.jpg

Configuring SSL for Openfire successful the Admin console.

You present person an in-house chat server up and moving for your staff.

Openfire is simply a reliable instrumentality to assistance marque collaboration and connection easier wrong your organization, without having to trust connected a third-party service. 

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