Each Connection provides Channels, which allow the local application to exchange data with the remote server, for instance to retrieve a list of contacts in a chat room, or to send a message to a contact.

Channels always provide at least two D-Bus interfaces interfaces: org.freedesktop.telepathy.Channel, and another interface according to the type of channel it is (which can be retrieved using the ChannelType property). For instance, a text channel provides the org.freedesktop.telepathy.ChannelType.Text interface.

The channel types currently available in Telepathy are:


This channel provides a list of people on the server, such as the contacts to whose presence information you are subscribed or the contacts to whom you publish your presence information.

See Section 6.3 ― Contact Lists.


This channel sends and receives text messages, such as instant messages.

See Section 6.5 ― Text Channels and then Chapter 8 ― Text Messaging.


This channel is for voice and video calls.


A channel type for transferring files.

File transfers are covered in-depth in Chapter 9 ― Transferring Files.

DBusTube, StreamTube

Tubes are channels that enable contact-to-contact networking. See Chapter 11 ― Tubes.


A channel type for listing named channels (e.g. chatrooms) available on the server.

See Section 6.6 ― Room Lists.


A channel type for searching for contacts on the server.