The easiest way IMHO is to front confluence with apache or nginx or similar, then you rewrite requests for profile pics either to gravatar or to some internal system. You will most likely need to rewrite first to your own servlet, then convert user IDs to md5's of email addresses, then you send a redirect for the gravatar image.
That's what I've done, works great, other people may have other ideas.
I may blog about it soon if of any interest. Of course, there are other ways, eg synching gravatar images to confluence pics. (But my way works across all the tools).
It's necessary to modify the vm templates to make it default.gif?userId=blah. In later versions of confluence you also need to modify a soy template, rebuild and upload a plugin. I've done it and it's doable but it's a lot more hassle than when I first did it. Atlassian really need to blob on and add gravatar support to all their products.
Hmm, wonder how George's plugin plays with mine (https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/com.cutlass.confluence.plugin.rest.cas). If George's works with mine and becomes configurable and I port mine to JIRA we could have the same avatar in JIRA, Confluence and Fisheye/Crucible.
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