Posted by: paragon | January 24, 2008

Mulitiple IM Chat Client – Pidgin (Free – Open Source)

Pidgin is a multi-protocol Instant Messaging client that allows you to use all of your IM accounts at once.

Pidgin can work with:

  • AIM
  • Bonjour
  • Gadu-Gadu
  • Google Talk
  • Groupwise
  • ICQ
  • IRC
  • MSN
  • MySpaceIM
  • QQ
  • SILC
  • Sametime
  • XMPP
  • Yahoo!
  • Zephyr

Pidgin is free software. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. This means you are free to use it and to modify it, but if you distribute your modifications you must distribute the modified source code as well.

Pidgin is an instant messaging program for Windows, Linux, BSD, and other Unixes. You can talk to your friends using AIM, ICQ, Jabber/XMPP, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, QQ, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE, MySpaceIM, and Zephyr.

Pidgin can log in to multiple accounts on multiple IM networks simultaneously. This means that you can be chatting with friends on AIM, talking to a friend on Yahoo Messenger, and sitting in an IRC channel all at the same time.

Pidgin supports many features of the various networks, such as file transfer, away messages, and typing notification. It also goes beyond that and provides many unique features. A few popular features are Buddy Pounces, which give the ability to notify you, send a message, play a sound, or run a program when a specific buddy goes away, signs online, or returns from idle; and plugins, consisting of text replacement, a buddy ticker, extended message notification, iconify on away, spell checking, tabbed conversations, and more.

Pidgin runs on a number of platforms, including Windows, Linux, and other UNIX operating systems. Looking for Pidgin for OS X? Try Adium!

Pidgin integrates well with GNOME 2 and KDE 3.1’s system tray, as well as Windows’ own system tray. This allows you to work with Pidgin without requiring the buddy list window to be open at all times.

Pidgin is under constant development, and releases are usually frequent. The latest news regarding Pidgin can be found on the news page.

What is Finch?

Finch is the text-based version of Pidgin. It supports the same IM networks, but you can run it in a console window. You can use it on Linux, BSD, and other Unixes.

What is libpurple?

libpurple is the programming library that powers Pidgin and Finch. It’s responsible for connecting to all the IM networks, and for managing your accounts and preferences. It’s written in C and makes heavy use of Glib.

Is all of this free?

We believe in freedom of communication. To support our aspirations of “IM Freedom,” we release Pidgin, Finch, and libpurple as free software under the GNU General Public License (GPL). We believe that giving others the freedom to modify, share, and augment our code contributes to the goal of bringing freedom of communication to the Internet. The GPL allows us to ensure that any modifications to our code remain free, so that everyone may enjoy their benefits.

How can I help?

We always welcome feedback and contributions. You don’t need to be a developer to help out, but if you are, you can help us by fixing bugs in our code or building new functionality into it. Our development site includes numerous resources for getting started with libpurple, Pidgin, and Finch development.

If you are a regular user, we encourage you to let us know about any problems you encounter and to provide us with suggestions for improvement. You can do so via our support system, IRC channel, XMPP conference, or development mailing list. We also encourage users to help one another solve problems and discover new features using any of these media.

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  1. I use pidgin on one of my computers. Its pretty nice, it acts weird sometimes though. From a functionality persective, Pidgin is quite good, it has a ton of different chat protocols, but I think I prefer to use trillian. It runs smoothely and theres so many skins for it and its extremely customizable. If you havnt tried it, check it out. It only does AIM, ICQ, and IRC, but for me thats enough, I dont really use the others regularly.

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