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



Install the pidgin package. Notable variants are:

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

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


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.



Install the purple-facebook package. (or purple-facebook-gitAUR)

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


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, 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).

Sametime protocol

Install the libpurple-meanwhileAUR package. The 'Sametime' protocol will be available when creating an account.

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

Install the pidgin-sipe package.

Skype plugin

Install the purple-skypeweb or skype4pidgin-gitAUR package.


Pidgin uses Libpurple 2 which stores passwords unencrypted (in plaintext) in $HOME/.purple/account.xml, see [1]. You can store them in a keyring by using a plugin like:


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


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 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 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-gpg-gitAUR. It can be enabled the same way as the previously mentioned ones.

Other packages

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

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.

Description=Suspend Pidgin

ExecStart=-/usr/bin/purple-remote setstatus?status=offline
ExecStop=-/usr/bin/purple-remote setstatus?status=available


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

# 00pidgin: set offline/online status

case "$1" in
        DISPLAY=:0 su -c 'purple-remote setstatus?status=offline' ''%myuser''
        DISPLAY=:0 su -c 'purple-remote setstatus?status=available' ''%myuser''
    *) exit $NA

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.

History import Kopete to Pidgin

  • Install xalan-c and create ~/bin/ with this code:



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

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

    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
  • Make ~/bin/ executable:
chmod +x ~/bin/
  • Create ~/bin/history_import_kopete2pidgin.xslt with this code:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="">
    <xsl:output method="text" indent="no" />

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

    <xsl:template match="msg">
        <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:text>: </xsl:text>
        <xsl:value-of select="."/>
  • Create ~/bin/history_import_kopete2pidgin_filename.xslt with this code:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="">
    <xsl:output method="text" indent="no" />

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


Save ~/.purple to backup all message logs, accounts and other application data.


Version Match for Sametime

There was an issue if you would connect to the Sametime via Pidgin, it prompt "Version Match". A potential solution on the client side is to fake the version in accounts.xml. Insert/change the lines:

<setting name='fake_client_id' type='bool'>1</setting>
<setting name='client_minor' type='int'>8511</setting>

in the <settings> section of Sametime account in accounts.xml which is located in $HOME/.purple/ folder.

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".

ICQ Buddy Information encoding fix

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).

See also