On Windows and Macintosh, Jabber is the instant messaging (IM) system that allows MIT users to communicate with one another and Jabber users elsewhere on the internet.

On Athena, there are two primary messaging services: Zephyr and Jabber.

Available To 
Students, Faculty, Staff

Benefits and key features

The MIT Jabber service:

  • Offers both individual and group text messaging options.
  • Supports creation and joining of chat rooms for group communication.
  • Includes support for other instant messaging systems such as AIM (AOL) and YIM (Yahoo).
  • Learn more.

Zephyr is built into Athena, and has a larger student user community than Jabber. Zephyr is used internally at MIT but Jabber can be used to communicate both with other MIT users and with other chat services that use the Jabber protocol (such as Google Talk/Gmail Chat).


To use Jabber on Windows or Mac, install one of the following IM clients:

Getting started

Mac or Windows: Configure either Pidgin or Adium with the following settings:

  • Server (domain): mit.edu
  • Connect Server: jabber.mit.edu
  • Port Number: 5222
  • Username: your MIT Kerberos ID
  • Security: Use TLS Encryption, if possible

Athena: Get started using Jabber or Zephyr.

Jabber Landing Page in the Knowledge Base