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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. The nice thing about pidgin is that you can use many networks at the same time.


# pacman -S pidgin

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


Aspell will be pulled down 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

For the English dictionary. Use pacman -Ss aspell for a list of 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

If the sound doesn't work with the automatic settings: configure ALSA, then use 'Command' as play method with the following command:

aplay %s

Fix the 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.


Of course you wan't to use pidgin to also be your IRC-client and help/ ask questions on the Arch IRC here's how to setup irc for pidgin.

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

#Protocol: IRC 
 Username: <your username>

And close to window

Now go to Buddies -> New instant message ( or hit ctrl + m) fill '' in the textbox and <username> -> then hit ok Now type:

# /join #archlinux (or just any channel you like)

Now you are in the archlinux irc channel and we are going to register your nick, type:

#/msg nickserv register <password> <email-addres>

You will now get a mail in your inbox, run the command that's in the mail and you are registerd for any help type:

#/msg nickserv help
 /msg nickserv help <command>

The final step will add your channel to your buddies go to Buddies -> Add chat -> fill the correct channel in the textbox named channel (#archlinux).


Pidgin has support Xfire, to get this support install this pacakge from AUR:


Now just add a new account and select xfire as protocol and fill in your username + password


Pidgin has some privacy rules, so you the whole world can't talk to you but only your buddies or people selected from a list. Just go to:

#Tools -> Privacy

Other Packages

Arch (Community Repo) has other Pidgin-related packages. These are listed here (incomplete - have a search in AUR):

  • pidgin-libnotify - Libnotify support, for theme-consistent notifications
  • pidgin-facebookchat - To use facebook chat
  • pidgin-guifications - Toaster-style popup notifications
  • microblog-purple - Libpurple plug-in supporting microblog services like Twitter

External links