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Pidgin: An all-in-one Instant Messenger

May 21, 2009

Annoyed by the fact that you have to run multiple chat programs such as Yahoo! Messenger, GTalk and windows messenger because your friends choose various chat protocols and end up slowing down your computer??

Don’t worry!!! Here’s a solution Use Pidgin!!!

Pidgin is an open-sourced, cross-platform multi-protocol instant messenger (one of the first maybe; along with Trillian). Simply put, it let’s one chat with a Yahoo! Friend, Hotmail Friend and GTalk friend; all at the same time. It was formerly called Gaim.

If you have used Meebo before, then pidgin is sort of a desktop version. (am not quite sure about the supported protocols by both of them.)

Pidgin runs on Windows, Linux, and other UNIX operating systems. Looking for Pidgin for OS X? Try Adium!

Pidgin is compatible with the following chat networks out of the box: AIM, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber/XMPP, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, QQ, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE, MySpaceIM, and Zephyr. It can support many more with plugins.

Pidgin is free and contains no ads. The code is open source and licensed under the GNU General Public License. This means you can get Pidgin’s underlying code and modify it to suit your needs, as long as you publish the changes you make for everyone to benefit from as well.

This is one of the best looking of all freely available multi-protocol IM clients. It also has a number of plugins (several pre-installed). Since it’s open-sourced, several plugins exist on the internet. You can check their website for more on this (

The coolest thing about Pidgin is the fact that you can login into multiple accounts which use the same protocol i.e. you can login into 2 Yahoo! Accounts, which is not possible in Yahoo! Messenger.

Another cool thing is that there are plenty of add-ons, which enables really cool features. One that I use commonly is called “Psychic Mode”, which let’s you to know if a person starts typing a new conversation. It’s kinda cool. Do try out this and plenty of other add-ons available.

There’s a small problem with pidgin: that’s file transfers. I don’t know what the problem could be: it just doesn’t work. Others do offer bug free file transfer i think; but don’t offer a wide choice of protocols and plugins as pidgin does.

Do try it out and tell me what you think about Pidgin.

PS: Am also thinking of writing add-ons for pidgin. So if you got any suggestions, please do drop it here. Thanks.


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  • License:


  • Operating Systems:

Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 98 (Note: Older versions of windows may require older versions of pidgin. I am not sure since I never got the chance to try it out in those OS. You can check out the version matching your OS at the following site: Pidgin Archive), Ubuntu, CentOS/RHEL, Mac OS X, Fedora Core.

  • Additional Requirements:

No additional requirements

  • Limitations:

No limitations

Download Links (from; hosted by

Download Pidgin for Windows (2.5.6)

Download Pidgin for CentOS/RHEL

(To install Pidgin on CentOS 4 or 5, or RHEL 5, save the pidgin.repo file from above in /etc/yum.repos.d/

You can then use “yum install pidgin”, or your favorite package manager, to install Pidgin

To install Pidgin on RHEL 4, add the following line to /etc/sysconfig/rhn/sources:
yum pidgin$ARCH

You will also need to install the GPG signing key manually:
rpm –import

You can then use “up2date -u pidgin” to install Pidgin.)

Download Pidgin for Fedora Core

(To install Pidgin on Fedora Core 4, 5, 6 or 7 save the pidgin.repo file from above in /etc/yum.repos.d/

You can then use “yum install pidgin”, or the Package Manager (pirut) to install Pidgin.

If you use Fedora 8 or later, please wait for the Fedora developers to release updated packages.)

Download Pidgin for Mac OS X

Please note, does not provide support for issues related to installing Fink or the Fink package of Pidgin. Any Fink-specific questions or concerns will need to be directed to the Fink project.

For information on installing Fink, visit the Fink download page.

For a more native Mac OS X experience, you may be interested in using Adium instead, which uses libpurple (the core of Pidgin) for much of its protocol support.

Pidgin for Ubuntu

Ubuntu ships Pidgin but does not update it after a release (except for security issues). For those users who desire new releases of Pidgin, we have packaged Pidgin in a PPA. If you encounter problems with these packages, try building from source and report the bug.

To setup the PPA, copy-and-paste these commands into a terminal:

  1. sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver \     67265eb522bdd6b1c69e66ed7fb8bee0a1f196a8

. /etc/lsb-release

  1. echo deb \     $DISTRIB_CODENAME main | \
    sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pidgin-ppa.list

Once this PPA is setup, Pidgin updates will show up in Update Manager along with the usual Ubuntu updates. The PPA will need to be re-setup only after upgrading Ubuntu.

if the above version of pidgin is obsolete, then please visit the following site for the latest version

  1. As a fellow amritite and a pidgin user [for irc], I like this post!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Pidgin: An all-in-one Instant bMessenger/b « Arvind S Raj#39;s Blog « Windows 7 Live Info

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