From ParabolaWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
This article or section is out of date.
Please help improve the wiki by updating the article and correcting mistakes.

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.

1 Installation

# pacman -S pidgin

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

2 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.

3 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

4 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='iceweasel'/>

This example assumes you use Iceweasel.


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 '' in the textbox and <username> -> then click 'Ok'. Type:

/join #parabola (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 (#parabola).

6 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., etc)
Domain: (make sure you haven't typed any extra space)
Resource: Pidgin (leave this empty if you get " 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: (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

7 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

7.1 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.

7.2 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.

8 Troubleshooting

  • 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)

8.1 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

9 External links