Pidgin – multi-protocol instant messaging client

Pidgin is an open source graphical Instant Messenger (IM) program that lets you sign on to many chat services including Google Talk, IRC, and other IM networks. It used to be known as Gaim but changed its name to avoid confusion with AOL’s instant messenger (AIM).

Pidgin integrates well with popular desktop environments such as GNOME and KDE. This allows you to work with Pidgin without requiring the buddy list window to be open at all times.

There are a large number of plugins available, adding functionality to the software. Examples include Album (archives buddy icons), Plonkers (announces your ignore list to a chat room), Talk Filters, and XMMS Remote.

There is also a console based version of Pidgin supporting the same IM networks available. This software is known as Finch.

Pidgin supports the following IM services:

  • Bonjour.
  • Gadu-Gadu.
  • Google Talk.
  • Groupwise.
  • ICQ.
  • IRC.
  • SILC.
  • Sametime.
  • XMPP.
  • Zephyr.

Features include:

  • Multiple account access support.
  • On-action automated scripts for contact status changes (known as Buddy Pounces).
  • Tabbed message windows for conversation management.
  • Grouping multiple buddies into a single “contact”.
  • Conversation and chat logging.
  • Notification pop-ups.
  • Built-in NSS support, offering client-to-server message encryption for protocols that support it.
  • File transfers.
  • Away messages.
  • Buddy icons.
  • Custom smilies.
  • Plugins “Off-the-Record Messaging” and Pidgin encryption, offering end-to-end message encryption.
  • Contact aliasing.
  • Spell checking.
  • Notification area integration.
  • Internationalization support – Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belarusian Latin, Bengali, Bokmal Norwegian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Catalan, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Dzongkha, Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, Flemish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hong Kong Chinese, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Khmer, Korean, Kurdish, Lao, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian Nynorsk, Occitan, Oriya, Pashto, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Valencian-Catalan, Vietnamese, and Xhosa.
  • Cross-platform support – runs under Linux, other UNIX operating systems, and Windows.

Support: Planet Pidgin, Using Pidgin, FAQ
Developer: Sean Egan (lead developer), and 18+ other developers
License: GNU GPL v2


Pidgin is written in C. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Return to Graphical IRC Clients | Return to Instant Messaging | Return to Graphical XMPP Clients

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