Introduction to Pidgin

Pidgin is an instant messaging client that can connect with a wide range of networks including AIM, ICQ, GroupWise, MSN, Jabber, IRC, Napster, Gadu-Gadu, SILC, Zephyr and Yahoo!.

Package Information

Pidgin Dependencies


GLib-2.12.12, libxml2-2.6.31, and XML::Parser-2.34

Optional for SSL Support

GnuTLS-1.6.3 or NSS-3.11.7

SSL support is required for MSN Messenger and Google Talk. GnuTLS is the preferred method. Note that one of Firefox-, Thunderbird-, SeaMonkey-1.1.9, or Mozilla can be used instead of NSS.

Optional GUI Tools

GTK+-2.10.13 (required to build the GUI interface), Gtkspell (for spell-check support and only used if Gtk+ is installed), XScreenSaver-5.03 (to check for idleness and only used if Gtk+ is installed), startup-notification-0.9 (only used if Gtk+ is installed), and X Window System (used for session management support)


intltool-0.35.5, GConf-, D-Bus GLib Bindings-0.74 (requires Python-2.5.2 also), SILC Client, SILC Toolkit, zephyr, GStreamer-0.10.13 (required for audio support), Evolution Data Server-1.10.3 (required for Evolution integration), SQLite (required for the Contact Availability Prediction plugin), Cyrus SASL-2.1.22 (required for Jabber support), MIT Kerberos V5-1.6 (required for Kerberos support in the Zephyr module), Avahi (required for the Bonjour plugin), Meanwhile (required for Sametime protocol support), NetworkManager (download and requires that D-Bus is installed), check (only used during the test suite), and Gadu-Gadu external libraries (cannot find a URL)

Optional for Programming Language Support

Mono (experimental), Tcl-8.4.18, and Tk-8.4.18

User Notes:

Installation of Pidgin

Compile Pidgin by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --with-gconf-schema-file-dir=/etc/gnome/2.18.3/gconf/schemas \
            --disable-gtkui &&

If you have Doxygen-1.5.2 installed (Graphviz-2.12 can be used also) and you wish to create the API documentation, issue: make docs

To test the results, issue: make check. Note that the end result of the suite indicates an error. This error is only due to some locale translation issues and not the actual tests. The actual result of the tests are displayed about half way through the tests and should indicate that they passed.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/pidgin-2.1.0 &&
install -v -m644    README* doc/*.txt doc/gtkrc-2.0 \

If you created the API documentation, install it using the following commands as the root user:

install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/pidgin-2.1.0/api &&
install -v -m644    doc/html/* \

Command Explanations

--with-gconf-schema-file-dir=/etc/gnome/2.18.3/gconf/schemas: This parameter is used so that the GConf schema files are installed into the existing database. If GConf is not installed, the parameter does not affect the build or installation of the package.

--disable-gtkui: This parameter is used if GTK+ is not installed. The build will only produce the finch program, which is a text-based (Ncurses) only version. Remove this parameter if you have GTK+ installed to build the GUI pidgin program.

Configuring Pidgin

Config Files

~/.purple/* and ~/.gtkrc-02

Configuration Information

Most configuration can be accomplished by using the various preference settings inside the programs. Additionally, you can create a ~/.gtkrc-02 file which can store settings that affect the Pidgin application. Note that an example gtkrc-02 file was installed during the package installation and can be used as a starting point or reference.


Installed Programs: finch, pidgin, purple-client-example, purple-remote, purple-send, purple-send-async, and purple-url-handler
Installed Library:,, and along with numerous plugin and support modules located in various subdirectories of /usr/lib.
Installed Directories: /usr/include/{finch,gnt,libpurple,pidgin}, /usr/lib/{finch,gnt,pidgin,purple-2}, /usr/share/doc/pidgin-2.1.0, /usr/share/pixmaps/pidgin, and /usr/share/sounds/pidgin

Short Descriptions


is a text-based (Ncurses) instant messaging client.


is an instant messaging client based on the Gtk+ GUI toolkit.


is a command-line interface for controlling an already running instance of pidgin

Last updated on 2007-08-16 17:34:29 -0500