Empathy's Frequently Asked Questions
See also the Telepathy FAQ
Empathy's Frequently Asked Questions
- Account Creation
General and Chat
- How can I install new themes in Empathy?
- How can I create a theme in Empathy?
- Can I change the font of Adium Theme Styles?
- Will Empathy have OTR ("Off The Record") support?
- I can't hear any sound notifications.
- Where does Empathy save files (accounts, logs, configuration)?
- How can I disable contact groups?
Audio and Video calls
- Does Empathy support audio and video chat?
- For which protocols does Empathy support audio and video chat?
- Which video codec do I need?
- Does Empathy support audio and video chat with Google Talk?
- Can I do a video chat with a contact using Microsoft Windows?
- I can't establish a call. The call gets disconnected right away, Empathy crashes, I can't send/receive video, etc. What am I doing wrong?
- I am using Fedora 11 and Empathy crashes when I try to make a call.
- How can I connect to my SIP account?
- My Ekiga account doesn't work.
- How can I test if audio/video is working?
- What cameras work?
- Connection issues
How can I create / enable an account (without entering my password)?
You must enter a password.
What if I'm not willing to have my password saved to disk?
How can I connect to (a protocol) in Empathy? (Facebook, Google, Yahoo, ...)
See main article: Protocols
Can I use proxies with my accounts?
Jabber, Google Talk, XMPP: With telepathy-gabble (>=0.10.4), glib (>=2.26.0) and glib-networking, it uses the proxy configured on your system.
MSN: With telepathy-butterfly (>=0.5.9) and python-libproxy (>=0.3.1), it uses the proxy configured on your system.
- For all other protocols, it is not yet supported.
If you do not want to use the currently system-wide configured proxy for a connection, you could add the target server to the “Ignored Hosts” list (System → Preferences → Network Proxy).
General and Chat
How can I install new themes in Empathy?
How can I create a theme in Empathy?
Can I change the font of Adium Theme Styles?
Yes, to change the theme style font, locate your theme style folder. Edit the file Info.plist which in the folder "Contents"
Will Empathy have OTR ("Off The Record") support?
We think that the correct approach to secure end-to-end communications is to support it natively in the protocol. There is ongoing work on standardising secure end-to-end messaging in Jingle (using XTLS and Jingle) and we plan to support this in the future (current API sketch).
We don't think that layering encrypted messaging on top of protocols that don't support it is very useful, since such extensions won't, by definition, work in native protocol clients, and any clients that do go out of their way to support encrypted messaging might as well do so using a native protocol.
Nevertheless there is a bug report talking about OTR support, and a comment dated October 2009 is talking about API sketches for encrypted channels and OTR. <https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=545347#c12> (please do not submit "me too" comment in the bug report, thanks).
I can't hear any sound notifications.
Make sure you have sound-theme-freedesktop installed.
If sounds still don't work, make sure that Preferences → Sounds → Sound Theme is not set to “No sounds”, and that sounds are enabled in Empathy's Edit → Preferences → Sounds.
Where does Empathy save files (accounts, logs, configuration)?
Accounts settings are saved in .mission-control/accounts/accounts.cfg (except passwords which are stored in gnome-keyring).
New logs (since Empathy 2.31.4) are saved in ~/.local/share/TpLogger/logs
Old logs are saved in ~/.local/share/Empathy/logs/.
As a convenience to its users who have previously used other chat applications based on libpurple (such as pidgin and finch), Empathy sometimes picks up and displays chat logs (conversations) from these apps. Their chat logs are stored in ~/.purple/logs.
Empathy configuration is stored in DConf and ~/.config/Empathy/
Avatars are cached in ~/.cache/telepathy/avatars/
Metacontact settings (since Empathy 2.32) are located at ~/.local/share/folks/relationships.ini
Note: changing files underneath Mission Control or Telepathy Logger will require you to kill the appropriate service so it notices (mission-control-5 and telepathy-logger respectively). D-Bus will respawn them.
How can I disable contact groups?
Since Empathy 3.4 you can disable groups in the contact list using:
gsettings set org.gnome.Empathy.ui show-groups false
Empathy 3.6 will have an option in the preferences dialog to easily change this setting.
Audio and Video calls
Does Empathy support audio and video chat?
Yes. Empathy should be compatible with any client which implement Jingle and supports ICE and the corresponding XEPs properly.
For which protocols does Empathy support audio and video chat?
Currently for SIP/XMPP/Gtalk. MSN support is currently broken due to change Microsoft has done to their server, see this blog post for more detail
Which video codec do I need?
- For calls between empathy and empathy, all you need is theora, which is installed by default on all distributions.
- For calls between empathy and gtalk, you need h264 encoder. On ubuntu you can get it by installing gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse and gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg.
To know if a codec is installed, you can use that command:
- $ gst-inspect-0.10 | grep 264
Make sure you have encoder and decoder in the list. For h264 you'll have x264enc encoder for example. Similar command can be used for other codecs.
Does Empathy support audio and video chat with Google Talk?
Yes, you can have a audio or video chat on the Gtalk protocol with someone using Gmail's video chat feature, Empathy or Pidgin.
Note that if your contact is using Google Video, be sure he has the latest version of the plugin which can be downloaded from this page.
Can I do a video chat with a contact using Microsoft Windows?
You can audio and video chat with a Windows user using Gmail's video chat feature.
You need to have the proper codecs installed. Since some encoders and decoders used are not 100% free, your distro might not ship them by default. Make sure you have gstreamer0.10-plugins-base, gstreamer0.10-plugins-good and gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad installed. Some work is currently being done to give the user more feedback about missing codecs and general video errors.
Furthermore, a bug has been found in gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg which could prevent the video stream in calls to be decoded correctly (see https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=590172). If you have this problem, you can try to uninstall gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg.
I am using Fedora 11 and Empathy crashes when I try to make a call.
You need the following updated packages:
Audio may still break because of PulseAudio bugs. Lennart will hopefully fix it soon...
How can I connect to my SIP account?
See main article: Protocols
My Ekiga account doesn't work.
This is a problem in the ekiga.net server. Unfortunately this can't be fixed in Telepathy because it will break the compatibility with other SIP servers.
How can I test if audio/video is working?
Collabora is hosting an echo service: email@example.com. This is a jabber contact you can add to your roster. When you call it, anything you say will be echoed to you.
What cameras work?
- Any UVC (Universal Video Class) compliant USB camera.
I cannot compile empathy master, I get an error in xml2po
Don't compile with -j2, gnome-doc-utils is broken with more than one core
Is there a Windows port?
The Empathy team is not currently working on porting Empathy to Windows but would be happy to review and merge patches improving portability. See also the status of Telepathy on Windows.
Is this compatible with Google Latitude, Yahoo Fire Eagle or Brightkite?
No. None of these location publishing services is based on an instant messaging protocol. Even the Google Latitude Google Talk bridge is merely updating your status in a way that is not compatible with what Empathy currently support (namely XEP 0080).
Which protocols support location publishing?
Only XMPP (jabber) geolocation publishing (using XEP 0080) is supported so far. Your XMPP server needs to support PEP. Most modern servers do with the very unfortunate exception of Google Talk servers. Even if your server doesn't support PEP, you will be able to receive your contact's location but you won't be able to publish yours.
There is a list of servers supporting PEP.
How can I see what is my published location?
Unfortunately, there is not yet a place in Empathy where you can see what it's publishing as your location. You will have to ask one of your contact, or start Empathy in debug mode.
Why is Empathy not publishing my location?
Once you checked the Publish location checkbox, there is a short delay before the information is made available to your contacts. The information sent to your contacts is based on what Geoclue thinks is your current address and position. If Geoclue can't find where you are, your location is cleared and it appears to your contacts as if you are not publishing your location.
Tools to help debugging Geoclue need to be written.
How can I connect to IRC in Empathy?
You need to install an additional backend. See main article: Protocols
Then you can connect to the IRC server by creating an account, and join a channel by using the Room > Join room dialog.
How can I join a channel protected by a password in Empathy?
You need empathy 2.30 or above.
Is there a way to configure Empathy to identify with NickServ?
Yes, just set nickname and password in the account settings dialog.
Does Empathy have /-command functionality (/msg, /join, etc.)?
/me works. And some commands have been added in Empathy 2.29.2, such as /say /nick /join /j /msg /query and /help.
We're not likely to support ad-hoc IRC commands (as if via "/quote" on most IRC clients), at least not at the moment, because Telepathy doesn't have a nice interface for it. (Our view is: telepathy-idle should not parse commands out of regular IMs you try to send. They're not actually part of the IRC protocol at all; see longer version below.)
A longer rationale: it's a common misconception that /me, /join, /msg etc. are part of the IRC network protocol. They're not: they're a common user-interface convention. The Telepathy way to do actions like those is to develop a documented API for each action; if UIs want to implement slash-commands, they can call the appropriate API for each slash-command (for instance, you'd implement /join by doing the same API calls that the Room->Join menu currently uses).
By policy, we don't parse ad-hoc actions out of normal IMs in the protocol backends. If you call a method called SendMessage() (which is how Empathy sends IMs), it should send a message, and nothing more.
Empathy supports /me, which turns into a Telepathy message of type ACTION. telepathy-idle, the IRC backend, turns those messages into a CTCP ACTION, which is what any other IRC client would do when you type /me; other clients do other things with those messages.
Please also see the troubleshooting hints on individual protocols.
I can't connect to my AIM/ICQ account anymore
There is/was a bug in libpurple causing this fixed by the following patch: http://developer.pidgin.im/viewmtn/revision/diff/267f28808ab6eeda6b5d68f6433f2b3fcf230d4f/with/0e3079d15adeb12c1e57ceaf5bf037f9b71c8abd/libpurple/protocols/oscar/clientlogin.c
Debian and Ubuntu have this patch applied to their libpurple packages.
I can't connect to my Google Talk account
Your router is probably blocking DNS SRV requests. If possible you should try to fix it. If you can't, the easiest work around is to set "talk.google.com" in the "Server" field of the advanced section of the account.
How to connect when not using NetworkManager?
Available in debug mode, and should be submitted with bug reports.
WebKit provides a very nice tool to inspect the HTML generated by Adium themes. To enable it, run:
gsettings set org.gnome.Empathy.conversation enable-webkit-developer-tools true
Then right click in a chat window and choose "Inspect element".