Applies to openSUSE Leap 15.0

15 Pidgin: Instant Messaging

Pidgin is an instant messaging (IM) client that allows you to connect to multiple accounts simultaneously. Chat live with your contacts, regardless of which IM system they use.

Pidgin supports the following instant messaging protocols: AIM, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, Groupwise, ICQ, IRC, SIMPLE, XMPP, and Zephyr. Microsoft Office Communicator is also supported if you install the additional package pidgin-plugin-sipe.

In the following, learn how to set up Pidgin and how to communicate with your contacts.

15.1 Starting Pidgin

To start Pidgin, open the Activities Overview by pressing Meta and search for pid.

15.2 Configuring Accounts

To use Pidgin, you must already have an account for the messaging service you want to use. For example, to use Pidgin to chat via AIM, you must first have an AIM account.

Procedure 15.1: Adding and Editing Accounts in Pidgin
  1. If you start Pidgin for the first time, a message appears, prompting you to configure an account. Proceed with Add to add a new account.

    If you have already configured an account and want to add a new one or modify existing ones, open this dialog via Accounts › Manage Accounts. Either Add a new account, or Modify or Delete existing ones.

  2. The Add/Modify Account dialog opens. Use the Basic tab to select a protocol and enter or modify your login credentials.

    The availability of other tabs and the data you are required to enter depends on the protocol you have chosen. In most cases, server details such as address and port number need to be entered on the Advanced tab.

    On the Proxy tab you can enter a custom proxy configuration for the chosen protocol. By default the system settings (Use Global Proxy Settings) are preselected. This default should be sufficient for most users.

  3. Continue with Add or Save. Make sure all accounts you want to use are set to Enabled in the resulting Accounts window. If you want to temporarily disable an account, deselect it in the Enabled column.

15.3 Managing Contacts

Use the Contact List to manage your contacts (so-called Buddies). You can add and remove contacts and organize them in groups, so they are easy to find.

Procedure 15.2: Adding Contacts
  1. To add a contact, click Buddies › Add Buddy.

  2. Select the Account for which you want to add a contact.

  3. Enter the contact's user name under Buddy' username. Ask your contact for this name prior to adding the contact—this data is required and usually depends on the protocol.

  4. By default, the contact is shown under the name they have provided with their account. Use (Optional): Alias to display the contact with a custom name. With some protocols you can also send the contact an invite message with (Optional): Invite Message.

  5. If you have sorted your contacts by group, choose an existing group from the drop-down text box or enter a new group name.

  6. Proceed with Add.

In case the groups or the newly added contacts are not displayed in the contact list, check the display preferences by clicking Buddies › Show. Activate Offline Buddies and Empty Groups to make all contacts and groups appear in the Contact List.

To remove a contact from the list, right-click the name of that contact, select Remove and confirm your choice.

15.4 Chatting with Friends

To chat with other participants, you need to be connected to the Internet. After a successful login, you are usually marked as Available in the Contact List, and are visible to others. To change your status, click the drop-down box at the bottom of the Contact List and select another option.

To open a chat session, double-click a contact name in the Contact List. The chat screen opens. Type your message, then press Enter to send.

If you open more than one chat session, the new session appears as a tab in the existing chat window. To see all messages of a session and to be able to write a reply, click the tab of that session. To see multiple session side by side, use the mouse to drag a tab out of the window. A second window will open.

To close a chat session, close the tab or window for it.

Tip
Tip: Finding a Contact

In case you contact list is very long, contacts may be hard to find. Use CtrlF to open a search box at the bottom of the contact list. Type one or more letters to find a contact. Use to move to the next result, or to move to the previous result.

15.5 For More Information

This chapter only explains the basic configuration and usage option of Pidgin. For more information, click Help › Online Help to open the FAQs in a browser.

For updates about new features and for the latest information, refer to the home page of the project at https://pidgin.im/.

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