MAN Solaris - pidgin (1)



Pidgin v2.1.1 - Instant Messaging client


Buddy List
Account Editor
Buddy List
Away / Idle
Buddy Chats
Away Messages
Buddy Pounce
See Also


pidgin [options]




pidgin is a graphical modular messaging client based on libpurple which is capable of connecting to AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, XMPP, ICQ, IRC, SILC, Novell GroupWise, Lotus Sametime, Zephyr, Gadu-Gadu, and QQ all at once. It has many common features found in other clients, as well as many unique features. Finch is not endorsed by or affiliated with America Online, ICQ, Microsoft, or Yahoo.


The following options are provided by Pidgin using the standard GNU command line syntax:
-c, --config=DIR
  Use DIR as the directory for config files instead of ~/.purple.
-d, --debug
  Print debugging messages to stdout. These are the same debugging messages that are displayed in the Debug Window.
-h, --help Print a summary of command line options and exit.
-n, --nologin
  Don’t automatically login when Pidgin starts. Sets the global status to Offline.
-l, --login[=NAME,NAME,...]
  Sign in the comma-separated list of accounts provided, in addition to the accounts that would be logged in anyway. If you do not specify such a comma-separated list, your first account will be signed in.
-v, --version
  Print the current version and exit.


The Buddy List window is Pidgin’s main interface window. Using this window you can see which of your buddies is online, away, idle, etc. You can also add and remove buddies from your buddy list.

The Buddy List window contains a list of your buddies who are online and have allowed you to be notified of their presence. The icon to the left of each buddy indicates the buddy’s current state and the protocol they are using. Double clicking a buddy will open a new Conversation window. Right clicking will pop up a menu: Buddy List window contains a list of your buddies who are online -->
Get Info
  Retrieves and displays information about the buddy. This information is also known as a Profile.
IM Opens a new Conversation window to the selected buddy.
Send File
  Sends a file to the selected buddy (only available on protocols that support file transfer).
Add Buddy Pounce
  A Buddy Pounce is a configurable automated action to be performed when the buddy’s state changes. This will open the Buddy Pounce dialog to be discussed later.
View Log
  Pidgin is capable of automatically log its activities. These logs are either plain text files (with a .txt extension) or html files (with a .html extension) located under the ~/.purple/logs directory. This menu command will display Pidgin’s log viewer with logs loaded for that buddy or chat.
Alias Create an alias for this buddy. This will open up a new dialog in which one can give this buddy an alternate name to appear on the buddy list and in conversations.

For example, if a buddy’s name screen name was jsmith1281xx and his real name was ’John Q. Smith,’ one could create an alias as to identify the buddy by his common name.

The remainder of the menu will consist of protocol specific commands. These commands vary depending on the protocol.
At the bottom of the Buddy List are several buttons (if enabled in Preferences):
IM Opens a new Conversation window to to the selected buddy, or brings up the New Message dialog box if no buddy is selected.
Info Retrieves and display information about the selected buddy, or brings up the Get User Info dialog box if no buddy is selected.
Chat Brings up the Join Chat dialog box, prompting the user to select which username to use and what chat group to join.
Away Brings up a menu of all available Away Messages. If an item is selected, all online accounts will use this item as their away message.


The account editor consists of a list of accounts and information about them. Clicking Delete will delete the currently selected account. Clicking Add or Modify will invoke a Modify Account window. Here, you can add or alter account information. When creating a new account, you will submit your screen name and password. You will also choose your protocol.

If Remember Password is chosen, the password will be saved in Pidgin’s configuration file.

If Auto-Login is chosen, this account will automatically login upon starting Pidgin.

Each protocol has it’s own specific options that can be found in the modify screen.


All options take effect immediately.


Display remote nicknames if no alias is set: Toggles whether server nickname data should be used if no local alias exists.

Buddy List

Sorting: Toggles the order in which buddies are shown in your Buddy List between none, alphabetical, by status and by log size.

Show buttons as: Toggles between picture-only, text-only, picture and text or no buttons view of the buttons on the Buddy List.

Raise window on events: Tells Pidgin to bring the Buddy List window to the top when buddies sign in or out.

Show numbers in groups: The number of buddies from each group currently logged in will be shown along with the total number of buddies in the group.

Show buddy icons: Toggles the display of buddies’ custom icons.

Show warning levels: Each buddy’s warning level will be displayed next to the screen name. As a buddy’s warning level increases, outgoing messages are more and more severely rate-limited.

Show idle times: The amount of time each buddy has been idle will be displayed next to the screen name (if the buddy has opted to have their client report this information).

Dim idle buddies: If enabled, idle buddies will be displayed in grey text instead of black text.

Automatically expand contacts: If enabled, contacts will automatically expand to show the associated buddies when the mouse is held over the contact for a short period.


Show buttons as...: The selected item will determine whether picture-only, text-only, combined picture/text, or no buttons will be used for Conversation windows.

Show formatting toolbar: Display the formatting toolbar between the upper and lower text boxes in conversations.

Show aliases in tabs/titles: Displays buddy alias instead of screen name in window tabs and titles.

Show buddy icons: For protocols that support it, buddy icons allow buddies to send small pictures to be displayed during the course of a conversation. Turning this option off hides those pictures.

Enable buddy icon animation: If these pictures happen to be animated, this option will enable the animation, otherwise only the first frame will be displayed.

Notify buddies that you are typing to them: Some protocols allow clients to tell their buddies when they are typing. This option enables this feature for protocols that supports it.

Raise IM windows on events: If enabled, IM Conversation windows will be brought to the top when new messages are received.

Raise Chat windows on events: If enabled, chat Conversation windows will be brought to the top when new messages are received.

Use multi-colored screen names in chats: Color code the screen names of users in chat rooms.

Tab Options
  Show IMs and chats in tabbed windows: Tabbed chatting allows one to have multiple conversations without multiple windows.

Show close buttons on tabs: Adds a close button to each tab.

Tab Placement...: Specifies where tabs are shown in the conversation window.

New conversation placement...: Determines where new conversations will be placed (Last created window / New window / windows grouped by group or account / separate windows for IMs and Chats).

Message Text
  Show timestamp on messages: Toggles the timestamp behavior for conversations. Per-conversation behavior can be changed by pressing F2 in the Conversation window.

Highlight misspelled words: Toggles highlighting of misspelled words as you type.

Ignore colors/font faces/font sizes: Tells Pidgin to disregard buddies’ color/font/size information in displaying IMs or Chats.

Default Formatting: Allows specifying the default formatting to apply to all outgoing messages (only applicable to protocols that support formatting in messages).

  Allows the user to determine which keyboard shortcuts are available.

Smiley Themes
  Allows the user to choose between different smiley themes. The "none" theme will disable graphical emoticons - they will be displayed as text instead.


Sounds while away: Determines whether sounds are played when an away message is up.

Sound Method lets the user choose between different playback methods. The user can also manually enter a command to be executed when a sound is to be played (%s expands to the full path to the file name).

Sound Events
  Lets the user choose when and what sounds are to be played.


IP Address
  Autodetect IP Address: Pidgin will attempt to automatically determine your IP address for use in file transfers and Direct IMs.

Public IP: What IP address to use for file transfer and Direct IMs. This is mainly useful for users with multiple network interfaces or behind NAT.

Ports Manually specify range of ports to listen on: Specify specific ports to listen on, overriding any defaults.

Proxy Server
  The configuration section to enable Pidgin to operate through a proxy server. Pidgin currently supports SOCKS 4/5 and HTTP proxies.


Allows the user to select Pidgin’s default web browser. Firefox, Galeon, Konqueror, Mozilla, Netscape and Opera are supported natively. The user can also manually enter a command to be executed when a link is clicked (%s expands to the URL). For example, xterm -e lynx "%s" will open the link with lynx. Open new window by default makes the browser use a new window instead of using the current window (or spawning a new tab).


Message Logs lets the user choose whether Conversations and/or Buddy Chats will be logged as well as whether logs will be in HTML or plain text format. System Logs describes the types of events to be logged.

Away / Idle

Queue new messages when away: Messages received since going Away will not be shown until away status is removed.

Send auto-response: If someone messages you while away, your auto-response will be sent.

Only send auto-response when idle: If someone messages you while away, your auto-response will only be sent if Pidgin decides that the connection is idle.

Idle time reporting: If None is selected, account idle time will not be reported. Pidgin usage infers your idle time from your usage of Pidgin. X usage infers your idle time from X (this option may not be universally available).

Auto-away: Determines if and under what conditions Pidgin will automatically turn on the Away status.

Away Messages
  Lets the user add/edit/remove available Away Messages.


Allows the user to enable add-on plugins for Pidgin. Several of these come with Pidgin, while others must be downloaded separately. The Description field gives the plugin author’s description of the plugin, while the Details field gives the plugin’s authorship, URL, and file name/location information.

Some plugins can be configured. If you load such a plugin, its configuration preferences will appear as a submenu to Plugins, with the submenu title determined by the plugin’s name.


Protocols provide protocol specific preferences here.


When starting a new conversation, the user is presented with the Conversation window. The conversation appears in the upper text box and the user types his/her message in the lower text box. Between the two is a row of settings, represented by icons. Some or all buttons may not be active if the protocol does not support the specific formatting. From left to right:
Bold Turns on/off bold.
  Turns on/off italics.
  Turns on/off underline.
Decrease font size
  Increases the size of the message text.
Increase font size
  Decreases the size of the message text.
Select a foreground color
  Changes the foreground color of the message text.
Select a background color
  Changes the background color of the message text.
Add image
  Inserts an in-line image in the message.
Add hyperlink
  Adds a clickable link to the message.
Add smiley
  Adds an emoticon (smiley) to your message.

Beneath the lower text box is a row of buttons that execute commands:

Warn This issues a warning to the other person in the conversation (not available in all protocols).
Block This adds the other person to your deny list (not available in all protocols).
Send File
  Send a file to this user. This option is only available on protocols where Pidgin supports file transfer.
Add This adds this user to your buddy list. This option is not available if the user is already on your list.
Remove This removes this user from your buddy list. This option is not available if the user is not on your list.
Info This gets information (a profile) about the other person in the conversation (not available in all protocols).
Send This sends what’s currently in the lower text box


For protocols that allow it, Buddy Chats can be entered through the File menu or the Chat button at the bottom of the Buddy List’s Online tab.

Additional commands available in chat, depending on the protocol are:
  The text will appear in the chat conversation, but it will only be visible to the sender and the receiver.
Invite Invite other people to join the chat room.
Ignore Ignore anything said by the chosen person
Set Topic
  Set the topic of the chat room. This is usually a brief sentence describing the nature of the chat--an explanation of the chat room’s name.


Most protocols allow for away messages. When a user is Away, he can leave an informative message for others to see. The Away submenu of the Tools menu is used to add and remove away messages.

New Away Message provides space for one to enter an away message and a title for that message. If Save or Save & Use are chosen, this message will be saved. It can later be referred to by the title given to it.

Remove Away Message is a submenu containing the titles of saved away messages. Clicking on one of these titles will remove the away message associated with it.

The rest of the away menu provides the user with a way to assign different away messages to different connections. Choosing Set All Away will set away all the connections capable of the away state.


A Buddy Pounce is an automated trigger that occurs when a buddy returns to a normal state from an away state. The New Buddy Pounce dialog box can be activated by selecting the Buddy Pounce submenu from the Tools menu. A pounce can be set to occur on any combination of the events listed, and any combination of actions can result. If Save this pounce after activation is checked, the trigger will remain until it is removed from the Remove Buddy Pounce menu.


Pidgin allows for dynamic loading of plugins to add extra functionality to Pidgin. Plugins can be enabled and configured from the Preferences window. See plugins/HOWTO for more information on writing plugins.


Pidgin allows for perl scripting. See Perl Scripting HOWTO in the Pidgin documentation for more information about perl scripting.


Pidgin allows for Tcl scripting. See plugins/tcl/TCL-HOWTO for more information about Tcl scripting.


/usr/bin/pidgin: Pidgin’s location.
/usr/lib/pidgin/: Pidgin’s plugins directory.
~/.purple/prefs.xml: Pidgin’s configuration file.
~/.purple/accounts.xml: information about your accounts.
~/.purple/status.xml: stores your away messages.
~/.purple/pounces.xml: stores your buddy pounces.
~/.purple/logs/PROTOCOL/ACCOUNT/SCREENNAME/DATE.{html,txt}: conversation logs.
~/.purple/blist.xml: the buddy list.
~/.purple/plugins/: users local plugins


The bug tracker can be reached by visiting:


If you fix a bug in Pidgin (or otherwise enhance it), please submit a patch (using mtn diff > my.diff against the latest version from the Monotone repository) at

Before sending a bug report, please verify that you have the latest version of Pidgin. Many bugs (major and minor) are fixed at each release, and if yours is out of date, the problem may already have been solved.




This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA


Pidgin’s active developers are:

Sean Egan (lead developer) <[email protected]>
Daniel ’datallah’ Atallah (developer)
Ethan ’Paco-Paco’ Blanton (developer)
Thomas Butter (developer)
Ka-Hing Cheung (developer)
Sadrul Habib Chowdhury (developer)
Mark ’KingAnt’ Doliner (developer) <[email protected]>
Christian ’ChipX86’ Hammond (developer & webmaster) <[email protected]>
Gary ’grim’ Kramlich (developer)
Richard ’rlaager’ Laager (developer) <[email protected]>
Richard ’wabz’ Nelson (developer)
Christopher ’siege’ O’Brien (developer)
Bartosz Oler (developer)
Etan ’deryni’ Reisner (developer)
Tim ’marv’ Ringenbach (developer) <[email protected]>
Luke ’LSchiere’ Schierer (support)
Megan ’Cae’ Schneider (support/QA)
Evan Schoenberg (developer)
Stu ’nosnilmot’ Tomlinson (developer)
Nathan ’faceprint’ Walp (developer)

Our crazy patch writers include:

John ’rekkanoryo’ Bailey
Felipe ’shx’ Contreras
Decklin Foster
Casey Harkins
Peter ’Bleeter’ Lawler
Robert ’Robot101’ McQueen
Benjamin Miller
Kevin ’SimGuy’ Stange

The retired developers of gaim are:

Herman Bloggs (win32 port) <[email protected]>
Jim Duchek <[email protected]> (maintainer)
Rob Flynn <[email protected]> (maintainer)
Adam Fritzler (libfaim maintainer)
Syd Logan (hacker and designated driver [lazy bum])
Jim Seymour (Jabber developer)
Mark Spencer (original author) <[email protected]>
Eric Warmenhoven (former lead developer) <[email protected]>

This manpage was originally written by Dennis Ristuccia <[email protected]>. It has been updated and largely rewritten by Sean Egan <[email protected]> and Ben Tegarden <[email protected]>.

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