Pidgin

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From the project home page: "Pidgin is an easy to use and free chat client used by millions. Connect to AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and more chat networks all at once."

Installation

Install the pidgin package. Notable variants are:

  • Pidgin Light — Light Pidgin version without GStreamer, Tcl/Tk, XScreenSaver, video/voice support.
http://pidgin.im/ || pidgin-lightAUR

You may also want to install additional plugins from the purple-plugin-pack.

Spellcheck

The aspell package will be installed as a dependency, but to prevent all of your text from showing up as incorrect you will need to install an aspell dictionary. See the aspell article.

Note: The switch spell plugin is included in the purple-plugin-pack. It allows you to switch between multiple languages.

Sound fix

To have event sounds working, install the gstreamer0.10-good package. Alternatively, in the "Sounds" preferences tab, the method can be set to 'command' and one of the following sound commands used.

After configuring ALSA:

$ aplay %s

If using OSS:

$ ossplay %s

And for PulseAudio:

$ paplay %s

Browser error

If clicking a link within Pidgin creates an error message about trying to use 'sensible-browser' to open a link, try editing ~/.purple/prefs.xml. Find the line referencing 'sensible-browser' and change it to this:

<pref name='command' type='path' value='firefox'/>

This example assumes you use Firefox.


As an alternative if the method above does not work you can set the desired browser in the pidgin preferences in the section "Browser".

QIP encoding bug

There is another bug in character encoding when communicating between Pidgin and QIP, which especially affects Czech language, but there are also other languages affected. There are two possible solutions. The better one is to upgrade from QIP to QIP 2012 or QIP Infium, second solution is to install and enable plugin from pidgin-qip-decoderAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror] package currently available from AUR.

ICQ

You can change encoding for ICQ account if encoding in Buddy Information is not correct:

Account > your ICQ account > Edit account > Advanced tab

Select Encoding: CP1251 (for Cyrillic).

IRC

This is a small tutorial for connecting to Freenode. It should work for other IRC networks as long as you substitute the port numbers and other specific settings.

Go to Accounts > Manage Accounts > Add. Fill/select the following options:

Protocol: IRC
Username: your username

Now go to Buddies > New instant message (or hit Ctrl+m), fill 'freenode.net' in the textbox and username@irc.freenode.net, then click 'Ok'. Type:

/join #archlinux

The channel is irrelevant.

In order to register your nick, type:

/msg nickserv register password email-addres

Follow the instructions from the registration mail. For further help type:

/msg nickserv help
/msg nickserv help command

This final step will add your channel to 'Buddies': go to Buddies > Add chat, fill the correct channel in the textbox named channel (#archlinux).

Xfire

Simply install pidgin-gfire and then add a new account, selecting xfire as protocol.

Web QQ

Simply install pidgin-lwqq and then add a new account, selecting webQQ as the protocol. QQ is a proprietary chat protocol/IM service mainly used in Asia, particularly China.

Facebook XMPP

Facebook XMPP is not working since April 30th, 2015. See [1]

An alternative is to use a ThirdPartyPlugin that uses Facebook IM, see [2]

You can get the plugin from either purple-facebookAUR or purple-facebook-gitAUR

Then add a new account, select Facebook as the protocol, enter your Facebook username and password and login.

Security

Pidgin uses Libpurple 2 which stores passwords unencrypted (in plaintext) in $HOME/.purple/account.xml, see [3]. You can store them in a keyring by using a plugin like:

Privacy

Pidgin has some privacy rules set by default. Namely, the whole world cannot send you messages; only your contacts or people selected from a list. Adjust this, and other settings through:

Tools > Privacy

Pidgin-OTR

This is a plugin that brings Off-The-Record (OTR) messaging to Pidgin. OTR is a cryptographic protocol that will encrypt your instant messages.

First you need to install pidgin-otr from the official repositories. Once this has been done, OTR has been added to Pidgin.

  1. To enable OTR, start Pidgin and go to Tools > Plugins or press Ctrl+u. Scroll down to the entry entitled "Off-The-Record Messaging". If the checkbox beside it is not checked, check it.
  2. Next, click on the plugin entry and select "Configure plugin" at the bottom. Select which account you wish to generate a key for, then click "Generate". You will have now generated a private key. If you are not sure what the other options do, leave them, the default options will work fine.
  3. The next step is to contact a buddy who also has OTR installed. In the chat window, a new icon should appear to the top right of your text input box. Click on it, and select "Start private conversation". This will start an 'Unverified' session. Unverified sessions are encrypted, but not verified - that is, you have started a private conversation with someone using your buddy's account who has OTR, but who might not be your buddy. The steps for verification of a buddy are beyond the scope of this section; however, they might be added in the future.

Pidgin-Encryption

pidgin-encryption transparently encrypts your instant messages with RSA encryption. Easy-to-use, but very secure.

You can enable it the same way as Pidgin-OTR.

Now you can open conversation window and new icon should appear beside menu. Press it to enable or disable encryption. Also if you want to make encryption enabled by default right-click on a buddy's name (in your buddy list), and select Turn Auto-Encrypt On. Now, whenever a new conversation window for that buddy is opened, encryption will start out as enabled.

Pidgin-GPG

Pidgin-GPG transparently encrypt conversations using GPG, and taking advantage of all the features of a pre-existing WoT.

The plugin is available on AUR as pidgin-gpgAUR. It can be enabled the same way as the previously mentioned ones.

Sametime protocol

Sametime support is available by installing two packages from AUR:

Previously it was required to rebuild Pidgin to remove the --disable-meanwhile flag from compilation, this is no longer needed. Once these two packages are installed the 'Sametime' protocol will be available when creating an account.

SIP/Simple protocol for Live Communications Server 2003/2005/2007

The pidgin-sipe plugin is available in official repositories.

Other packages

Arch has other Pidgin-related packages. Here are the most popular (for a thorough list, search the AUR):

Skype plugin

Install the purple-skypeweb or skype4pidgin-gitAUR package.

Auto logout on suspend

If you suspend your computer pidgin seems to stay connected for about 15 minutes. To prevent message loss, it is needed to set your status offline before suspending or hibernating. The status message won't be changed.

Therefore create a new systemd unit pidgin-suspend in /etc/systemd/system Take the following snippet and replace myuser with your user.

[Unit]
Description=Suspend Pidgin
Before=sleep.target
StopWhenUnneeded=yes

[Service]
Type=oneshot
User=myuser
RemainAfterExit=yes
Environment=DISPLAY=:0
ExecStart=-/usr/bin/purple-remote setstatus?status=offline
ExecStop=-/usr/bin/purple-remote setstatus?status=available

[Install]
WantedBy=sleep.target

If you are using pm-utils, you could create a 00pidgin file in /etc/pm/sleep.d/ instead.

#!/bin/sh
#
# 00pidgin: set offline/online status

case "$1" in
    hibernate|suspend)
        DISPLAY=:0 su -c 'purple-remote setstatus?status=offline' ''%myuser''
    ;;
    thaw|resume)
        DISPLAY=:0 su -c 'purple-remote setstatus?status=available' ''%myuser''
    ;;
    *) exit $NA
    ;;
esac

Minimize to tray

To make use of the Xfce system tray go to preferences and enable the system tray in the section "Interface". You can now close the main window and run pidgin minimized. You will also be able to see message notifications in the tray.

Troubleshooting

Installing Pidgin after a Carrier installation

If you previously installed carrierAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror] (aka FunPidgin), follow these steps before installing Pidgin:

  • Quit Carrier
  • Delete your ~/.purple directory.
Warning: This will remove all your user settings for any programs that use libpurple, i.e. Pidgin, Carrier, etc.
rm -r ~/.purple
  • Uninstall carrier and libpurple.
  • Install pidgin and libpurple.

History import Kopete to Pidgin

  • Install xalan-c and create ~/bin/history_import_kopete2pidgin.sh with this code:
#!/bin/sh

KOPETE_DIR=~/.kde4/share/apps/kopete/logs
PIDGIN_DIR=~/.purple/logs
CURRENT_DIR=~/bin

cd

if [ ! -d $KOPETE_DIR ];then
    echo "Kopete log directory not found"
    exit 1;
fi

if [ ! -d $PIDGIN_DIR ];then
    echo "Pidgin log directory not found"
    exit 2;
fi

for KOPETE_PROTODIR in $(ls $KOPETE_DIR); do
    PIDGIN_PROTODIR=$(echo $KOPETE_PROTODIR | sed 's/Protocol//' | tr [:upper:] [:lower:])
    for accnum in $(ls $KOPETE_DIR/$KOPETE_PROTODIR); do
        echo "Account number: $accnum"
        for num in $(ls $KOPETE_DIR/$KOPETE_PROTODIR/$accnum); do
            FILENAME=$(Xalan $KOPETE_DIR/$KOPETE_PROTODIR/$accnum/$num $CURRENT_DIR/history_import_kopete2pidgin_filename.xslt)
            if [ $? = 0 ]; then
                echo "$KOPETE_DIR/$KOPETE_PROTODIR/$accnum/$num"
                echo " -> $PIDGIN_DIR/$PIDGIN_PROTODIR/$FILENAME"
                mkdir -p $(dirname $PIDGIN_DIR/$PIDGIN_PROTODIR/$FILENAME)
                Xalan -o $PIDGIN_DIR/$PIDGIN_PROTODIR/$FILENAME $KOPETE_DIR/$KOPETE_PROTODIR/$accnum/$num $CURRENT_DIR/history_import_kopete2pidgin.xslt
            fi
        done
    done
done
  • Make ~/bin/history_import_kopete2pidgin.sh executable:
chmod +x ~/bin/history_import_kopete2pidgin.sh
  • Create ~/bin/history_import_kopete2pidgin.xslt with this code:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform">
    <xsl:output method="text" indent="no" />

    <xsl:template match="kopete-history">
        <xsl:apply-templates select="msg"/>
    </xsl:template>

    <xsl:template match="msg">
        <xsl:text>(</xsl:text>
        <xsl:value-of select="translate(substring-after(@time,' '),':',',')"/>
        <xsl:text>) </xsl:text>
        <xsl:value-of select="@nick"/>
        <xsl:if test="not(@nick) or @nick = ">
            <xsl:value-of select="@from"/>
        </xsl:if>
        <xsl:text>: </xsl:text>
        <xsl:value-of select="."/>
		<xsl:text>
</xsl:text>
    </xsl:template>
</xsl:stylesheet>
</nowiki>
  • Create ~/bin/history_import_kopete2pidgin_filename.xslt with this code:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform">
    <xsl:output method="text" indent="no" />

    <xsl:template match="kopete-history">
        <xsl:value-of select="head/contact[@type = 'myself']/@contactId"/>
        <xsl:text>/</xsl:text>
        <xsl:value-of select="head/contact[not(@type)]/@contactId"/>
        <xsl:text>/</xsl:text>
        <xsl:value-of select="head/date/@year"/>
        <xsl:text>-</xsl:text>
        <xsl:if test="head/date/@month &lt; 10">0</xsl:if>
        <xsl:value-of select="head/date/@month"/>
        <xsl:text>-</xsl:text>
        <xsl:if test="string-length(substring-before(msg[1]/@time,' ')) &lt; 2">0</xsl:if>
        <xsl:value-of select="translate(msg[1]/@time,' :','.')"/>
        <xsl:text>+0200EET.txt</xsl:text>
    </xsl:template>
</xsl:stylesheet>
  • Execute the command in the shell:
~/bin/history_import_kopete2pidgin.sh

See also