Finally, Being Able to Chat to all Contacts on Ubuntu Linux

One of the trade-offs of using Ubuntu Linux is the fact that one can no longer use the popular chat clients like Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk etc. thus making it difficult to get in touch with your contacts on Yahoo! and Gmail.

The solution is using a multi-protocol chat client like Pidgin which is popular amongst Linux users. Unfortunately, I cannot get it to work with my Google Apps account, so for the last two weeks, I’ve been using the built-in chat in Gmail.

A better solution turned up when I received a notice that my Google Apps account can now be transitioned to function like a full Google Account.

It means, I can now use my jhay [at] account to login to Google’s services like Gmail, Calender, Google Reader, Feedburner, AdSense etc. using their default login pages (,, etc). Finally, I can use single account to control and manage all of the Google services I use.

Empathy Multi-chat client for Ubuntu Linux
Chat with friends on Facebook friends without logging in (Click to zoom)
The most immediate benefit I gained from this is I could again use my Google Apps-powered account for online chat because it will use the Google Talk protocol to connect. Being totally turned off by Pidgin, I used instead another multi-protocol chat client that is bundled with Ubuntu Linux 10.04; Empathy.

Setting it up was easy, and it worked right away. So after adding my account, I imported my Yahoo! accounts from Pidgin to Empathy. The best thing about it, I can also chat with my friends on Facebook as well, without having to actually log in to Facebook. Suweet!!

Now I you can reach me via IM whether you’re on Facebook, Yahoo! Or Gmail. If you’re a Google Apps user, I suggest transitioning your account to a full Google Account today, the process is easy and smooth. You can check this page to see all the Google services you can access once your Google Apps account has been transitioned. Now all I’m waiting for is to receive the new Gmail with Priority Inbox for my Google Apps account.

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