My favorite application for instant messaging - pidgin (previously gaim) seems to be taking up too much of resources on a desktop with decent hardware that I wouldn't want to upgrade or throw away anytime soon. On my machine, since instant messenger is something that stays on all the time, I'd prefer an IM client that occupies less of the available resources and above all, is light weighted and less complicated for use. On Ravi's lead, I installed empathy today and tried it out. At first glance, it looked impressive. Adding to what pidgin does, this one supports voice as well. Some screen shots: Installing it on Debian Lenny is easy. The package is in the repository (but you don't get the latest there).