Pidgin

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Pidgin (formerly Gaim) is an instant messaging client for Linux that can connect to many different IM networks, such as Live Messenger, Yahoo, IRC, AIM, etc. One of Pidgin's key features is that you can use many networks at the same time.

Installation

# pacman -S pidgin

You may also want to install additional plugins from the purple-plugin-pack package in [extra].

Spellcheck

Aspell 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:

# pacman -S aspell-en

This installs the English dictionary. Use pacman -Ss aspell to list available languages.

Note: The switch spell-plugin is included in the purple-plugin-pack (see above). 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

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.

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 Infimum, second solution is to install and enable plugin from pidgin-qip-decoderAUR package currently available from AUR.

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 (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

Install one of the two packages from the AUR:

Now add a new account and select xfire as protocol.

Facebook XMPP

Since Facebook Chat supports XMPP, you can use Pidgin without extra plugins. See this article for more information: Facebook Chat Now Available Everywhere

Note: In order to utilise facebook chat through XMPP and pidgin, you will require a facebook "username", this is located in facebook -> account settings -> username [below real name]

1. Go to "Accounts" and select "Manage Accounts."

2. On the Basic tab, enter the following info:

Protocol: XMPP
Username: Your facebookID (without e-mail domain, e.g. @yahoo.com, etc)
Domain: chat.facebook.com (make sure you haven't typed any extra space)
Resource: Pidgin (leave this empty if you get "username@chat.facebook.com/Pidgin Not Authorized" error message)
Password: Your Password
Local alias: Your Name

3. Click the Advanced tab, then enter the following info:

Connect port: 5222
Connect server: chat.facebook.com (make sure you haven't typed any extra space)
(Uncheck the box labeled "Require SSL/TLS")
Note: Newer versions of Pidgin do not have a "Require SSL/TLS" box. Instead, select "Use encryption if available" from the Connection Security dropdown in Advanced

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 [extra], like so:

# pacman -S pidgin-otr

Once this has been done, OTR has been added to Pidgin.

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.

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.

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.

# pacman -S pidgin-encryption

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

Now you can open conversation window and new icon sould 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.

Sametime protocol

Sametime support is not available in the default version of Arch Linux's Pidgin package. This section will demonstrate how to enable this feature via AUR and the 'Meanwhile' plugin. This section assumes that you are familiar with using the AUR and that you are performing the following commands in ~/builds directory.

First install meanwhile from the AUR.

Now you have to rebuild your installed version of Pidgin with Sametime support: the procedure is different depending on whether you have Pidgin from [extra] or from a package in AUR.

[extra] package

Make sure you have installed the Arch Build System and downloaded the ABS tree.

Now copy the pidgin directory of ABS to ~/builds:

$ cp -r /var/abs/extra/pidgin ~/builds

Go to ~/builds/pidgin and edit the PKGBUILD file. Go to the build() section and make sure you remove the --disable-meanwhile line from the configure options.

Make the package:

$ makepkg -s

Install first the libpurple package as root:

# pacman -U libpurple-version-arch.pkg.tar.gz

After that install the pidgin package as root:

# pacman -U pidgin-version-arch.pkg.tar.gz

Pidgin now has the 'Sametime' protocol as an option when creating accounts.

AUR package

Download and extract your Pidgin package from AUR (this example will use pidgin-gnome, change to preference):

$ cd ~/builds && wget http://aur.archlinux.org/packages/pidgin-gnome/pidgin-gnome.tar.gz && tar xfvz pidgin-gnome.tar.gz

Change into the extracted directory:

$ cd pidgin-gnome

In order to have 'Sametime' support you must remove the following from PKGBUILD

--disable-meanwhile 

Build the package:

$ makepkg -s

Install the package as root:

# pacman -U pidgin-gnome-2.5.8-1-i686.pkg.tar.gz

Pidgin now has the 'Sametime' protocol as an option when creating accounts.

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

The pidgin-sipe plugin is available from AUR.

Other packages

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

  • pidgin-libnotify [community] - Libnotify support, for theme-consistent notifications
  • guifications [community] - Toaster-style popup notifications
  • microblog-purple [community] - Libpurple plug-in supporting microblog services like Twitter
  • pidgin-lightAUR - All supported protocols same as default; but without gstreamer, tcl, tk or xscreensaver support. No video/voice.

Skype plugin

Install skype4pidginAUR from the AUR.

Troubleshooting

  • If facebook XMPP verification does not work for you, there a package in the aur pidgin-facebookchat which does not require a unique user name (you may login with an email address)
  • The facebookchat plugin will prompt for varification (enter these two words...), if that fails, hit cancel and log onto facebook with pidgin open, this will configre the plugin's security setting)

Installing Pidgin After a Carrier Installation

  • If you previously installed Carrier (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
  • Remove Carrier and libpurple
pacman -R carrier libpurple
  • Install Pidgin and libpurple
pacman -S pidgin libpurple

External links