If you are anything like me chances are you have several IM networks you need to juggle: AIM , GTalk, Facebook Messages, etc. if that is the case HipChat is yet another program you need to contend with. To keep the number of IM programs on my computer to a minimum I started using third party chat clients such as Pidgin or Trillian to connect to all these networks from a single program. Fortunately for me (and you) HipChat plays pretty well with these programs. Since pidgin is the one I use I’ll walk through setting it up with Pidgin but HipChat can also be made to work with iChat, Adium, Trillian and others.

Pidgin

With Pidgin the first step is to:

Select Manage Accounts from from the Accounts menu (or press Ctrl + A)

Next you’ll want to Click the Add button

Change Protocol to XMPP

Find your HipChat username and then enter it (this will be a string of numbers)

Type chat.hipchat.com for the Domain

Enter something for Resource (just tells people how you are connecting)

Type in your password

You may also want to set the Local Alias to your name otherwise you’ll show up as the string of numbers that is your username in your chat sessions

Once you have everything entered press Add and Pidgin will sign you into Hipchat.

Some of the advanced features of HipChat aren’t always available in third party chat programs, but basic chat or joining rooms seems to work well in my experience. For more info on how to do this with another program be sure to check out HipChats help page.

Update: If you are using pidgin and you can set it to automatically join a hipchat room when it starts up. To do so:

  • Click on the Buddies menu and select Add Chat…
  • Change the Account drop down menu to your Hipchat account
  • Find the room ID and enter it for Room: (You can also click the Room list button in pidgin to find the ID)
  • Change handle from a string of numbers to your Hipchat name (ex: James Curran)
  • Enter your Hipchat password
  • Set the Alias to the name of the room
  • Make sure you check the Autojoin box
  • Optionally you can set the group the chat room will appear in and whether or not you’ll remain in the room if you close the window
  • Press the Add button to join the chat room

Trillian

The instructions for setting up HipChat via the Trillian client were a little different in the latest Trillian (5.1 Build 21) for Windows 7.

Instead of going to “Identities & Connections,” go to “Manage Accounts” and instead of clicking on “add a new connection,” choose “add a new account.”

Instead of entering your HipChat “username,” enter your “Jabber ID.”

To join rooms, look at the top of the buddy window, where the icons for each of your accounts are. Clicking on the icon for “Jabber/XMPP” will show the “browse for conferences” option.

At the top of the “Conferences” dialogue box, put “conf.hipchat.com” in the dropdown field and the rooms available to you should appear. Double-click on the one you want to join, and be sure to enter your HipChat username in the “Nickname” field, even if it’s pre-populated with your Trillian username.

 

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James Curran

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