Creating Your Profile.

Here is an example of a profile with avatar image in the Gajim client.

A profile, also called a vCard, is like a virtual business card that tells the world about you.

Your profile will be visible to anyone that finds you in any public chatrooms you enter, so be wise about the information you include on it. To avoid harrassment or spam, refrain from entering popular public chatrooms with a vCard that includes your contact details such as your XMPP ID, email address or telephone number.

I recommend using one account for communicating with people you know, and a second account for entering popular public chat rooms.

Profiles are created in the client, but they are stored on the server. Once you create your profile, it will be present on all of your devices. You must be connected to the server in order to set your profile.

Editing an Avatar Image

Adding an avatar image is the most interesting part of creating a vCard. Your avatar image will be converted to png format and stored on the server as a very long string of text using Base64-encoding. With that in mind, I prefer to edit and save my avatar images in png format because the results will be most similar to the original. The following image formats will work in Gajim:

  • png
  • jpg
  • gif (not animated)
  • webp

Your image does not need to be perfectly square, but it will appear best if it more or less square to begin with.

This is an avatar image for an account called Here it is shown as it appears in an image editor. This image has a transparent background. This image is about 500 pixels wide and 500 pixels tall which works well.

Editing Your Profile with Gajim

Here, we look at setting up a profile in the software client Gajim.

Once image is edited and ready to present to the world, launch the "Accounts" dialog in Gajim from the menu.

Click profile to open the profile dialog. Click "Set Avatar" to add your image.

Choose your image file from the file system.

Gajim shows you exactly what your avatar will look like. The Gajim client uses the nickname you list here as your default nick in the chatrooms you enter.

Click OK to send your profile with the avatar image to the server. This may take a minute.

People who have added you as a contact will see your avatar image in their contacts list.

Editing Your Profile with Pidgin

Pidgin is another XMPP client. It sets a profile avatar picture separate from the text details of the profile. If you save an avatar from the Gajim client, then edit and save the profile again in Pidgin, the Avatar image will be deleted.

Here you can see how to set the profile in Pidgin.

With the Pidgin client connected, choose "Set User Info" from the menu.

Here you can edit the XMPP vCard. If you saved your avatar image from another client, and you click "Save" here in Pidgin, it will delete the image.

Here is how to set the avatar image in Pidgin.

With the Pidgin client connected, choose "Edit Account" as shown here.

The modify account dialog appears. Check the box "Use this buddy icon" then click the image button.

From the file system, choose the file you want for your avatar image.

Click "Save" and you are done!

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Last modified May 30, 2020