The Chaostreff Bern runs a public XMPP/Jabber server. After having been in testing for serveral months, it now goes live. All details on how to register new accounts and configure client software can be found on our website.
In combination with the XMPP server, we also run a MUC (Multi User Chat) service. This publicly available service allows anyone to participate in chats and even to create and administer their own chatrooms. Notably we are also running the Chaostreff Bern chat on there. More information on how to use the MUC service is available in our services overview.
XMPP is a distributed messaging protocol. This means that anyone can run their own XMPP server under their own domain and still chat with users of other XMPP services hosted under other domains. In this matter, XMPP is rather similar to Email in fact. When compared to centralized services, this provides a number of advantages. It is much easier for a user to change provider if they don't like their current provider anymore or if their provider stops the service. The possibility of running their very own server gives user ultimate control over their data. And distributed services are harder to to surveil and intercept.
There are numerous implementations of both XMPP-clients and servers available. Using the XMPP protocol allows them to all work with one another. Running your own XMPP server is rather simple. It should be, because the advantages of distributed services only apply, if people do run their own instances. Unfortunately many XMPP users chose one of few very large providers.
We want to animate people to run their own XMPP servers. We are open to questions and happy to help with concrete problems. For all those who can't run their own servers, we want to provide this service.
Because of delays in the public release of letsencrypt, the certificates of the conference and proxy server are still self signed. We will swap them out in the coming weeks. Most users should not be affected in any notable way by this.
The STUN server is still untested and probably not working. If you are familiar with STUN and would like to heelp us with it, please contact us.
As with our website, the machine running our XMPP server is provided by Cirrax. Cirrax is a Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud provider here in Bern. They have a focus on privacy, security and open source software.