Ubuntu: Thunderbird Chat - Additional Chat Protocols


In Windows I have the chat client Trillian, that supports multiple chat protocols (Facebook, Google+, Skype, AOL, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo and many others). Skype does not need to be installed, just Trillian.

I plan to switch to Ubuntu, where Thunderbird is installed. Thunderbird has its own chat client that supports for example Facebook and Google+. The other chat protocols are not supported in Thunderbird.

Is there a way to add support for Skype, AOL, ICQ, and Yahoo? Skype and ICQ would be most important.


Empathy and Pidgin are popular choices for multi-protocol instant messaging clients in Ubuntu Linux. They're both based on the same library libpurple and therefore roughly the same features.

Unfortunately there is no FOSS solution for Skype without the proprietary client, because Skype doesn't allow that.


The "Additional Chat Protocols for Thunderbird" addon is not supported in Thunderbird 24.0, the default version in Ubuntu. You can either downgrade your Thunderbird version, or use another IM client such as Pidgin. Pidgin supports many protocols and integrates very well with the Ubuntu UI.

Thunderbird chat supports the XMPP protocol. See whether the service you want to use supports XMPP.

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