Battle of the XMPP Servers: ejabberd vs. Openfire

Battle of the XMPP Servers: ejabberd vs. Openfire


When it comes to implementing a robust and scalable XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) server, developers often find themselves choosing between ejabberd and Openfire. Both of these servers have their strengths and weaknesses, making the decision an important one depending on specific project requirements. In this blog post, we will explore the features and capabilities of ejabberd and Openfire, and present a detailed comparison to help you make an informed choice.


Ejabberd is an open-source, highly scalable, and modular XMPP server written in Erlang/OTP. It has earned a reputation for its exceptional performance and stability, making it a popular choice for large-scale messaging applications. Here are some key features of ejabberd:

  1. Performance and Scalability: ejabberd is designed to handle a massive number of concurrent connections efficiently. Its architecture leverages Erlang’s lightweight processes to distribute the load across multiple CPU cores, ensuring excellent scalability.
  2. Modularity: One of ejabberd’s greatest strengths lies in its modularity. It provides a wide range of modules, both core and community-contributed, that enable developers to extend and customize the server to meet their specific requirements.
  3. Clustering: ejabberd supports clustering, allowing you to distribute the load across multiple servers, ensuring high availability and fault tolerance.
  4. Extensive Protocol Support: Apart from XMPP, ejabberd supports various protocols like MQTT, SIP, and WebSocket, making it a versatile choice for real-time communication applications.

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Openfire, formerly known as Wildfire, is an open-source XMPP server written in Java and built on top of the Ignite Realtime Community. It is known for its user-friendly interface and ease of setup. Let’s explore some of Openfire’s key features:

  1. User-Friendly Web Interface: Openfire provides a web-based administration console that simplifies the process of configuring and managing the server.
  2. Plugin Support: Similar to ejabberd, Openfire supports plugins that enhance its functionality. While the plugin library is not as extensive as ejabberd’s, it still offers useful extensions.
  3. Easy Integration: Being Java-based, Openfire can be easily integrated with existing Java-based applications, simplifying the development process for Java developers.
  4. Active Community: Openfire boasts a vibrant community that actively maintains and contributes to the project, providing ongoing support and updates.

Comparison Table

Features ejabberd Openfire
Performance Highly scalable, efficient Good performance
Modularity Extensive module support Plugin-based extensions
Clustering Supports clustering Limited clustering support
Protocol Support XMPP, MQTT, SIP, WebSocket XMPP only
Ease of Setup Requires some configuration Easy setup with web interface
Language Erlang/OTP Java
Community Support Active community Vibrant community

In conclusion, both ejabberd and Openfire are capable XMPP servers with their unique strengths. If you require a highly scalable and customizable solution with extensive protocol support, ejabberd may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a user-friendly interface and easy integration with Java-based applications, Openfire could be the more suitable option.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on your specific project requirements, existing technology stack, and the level of support needed. Both servers have proven their worth in various applications, and either can be an excellent choice for enabling real-time communication and messaging in your projects.

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