pidgin(1) User Commands pidgin(1)
pidgin - Instant Messaging client
pidgin [--config=directory] [--debug] [--login=name] [--nologin] [-gnome-std-options]
pidgin is a graphical modular messaging client based on libpurple. It supports multiple
protocols including AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, XMPP, ICQ, IRC, GroupWise and GTalk all at once. It
has many common features found in other clients, as well as many unique features.
The following options are supported:
-c, --config=directory Use directory as the directory for config files instead of
-d, --debug Print debug messages to stdout. These are the same debug
messages that are displayed in the Debug window.
-l, --login[=name,name,...] Log in with the comma-separated list of accounts provided,
in addition to any accounts that are configured to be
logged in automatically. If no argument is provided, your
first account will be signed in.
-n, --nologin Do not automatically login when pidgin starts. Sets the
global status to Offline.
gnome-std-options Standard options available for use with most GNOME appli-
cations. See gnome-std-options(5).
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:
Retrieves and displays information about the buddy. This information is also known as
Opens a new Conversation window to the selected buddy.
Sends a file to the selected buddy (only available on protocols that support file
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.
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.
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
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 displays 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
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.
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 but-
tons 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 se-
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 informa-
Dim idle buddies: If enabled, idle buddies will be displayed in grey text instead of
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
Show IMs and chat 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
windwos for IMs and Chats).
Show timestamp on messages: Toggles the timestamp behavior for conversations.
Per-conversation behavior can be changed by pressing F2 in the Conversation win-
Highlight misspelled words: Toggles highlighting of misspelled words as you type.
Ignore colors/font faces/font sizes: Tells pidgin to disregard buddies'
color/font/isze information in displaying IMs or Chats.
Default Formatting: Allows specifying the default formatting to apply to all out-
going messages (only applicable to protocols that support formatting in messages).
Allows the user to determine which keyboard shortcuts are available.
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 of the file name).
Lets the user choose when and what sounds are to be played.
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.
Manually specify range of ports to listen on: Specify specific ports to listen on,
overriding any defaults.
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
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.
Lets the user add/edit/remove available Away Messages.
Allows the user to enable add-on plugins for pidgin. Several of these come with pid-
gin, 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 prefer-
ences will appear as a submenu to Plugins, with the submenu title determined by the
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.
Italics Turns on/off italics.
Underline Turns on/off underline.
Decrease font size Decreases the size of the message text.
Increase font size Increases 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 exe-
Warn This issues a warning to the other person in the conversa-
tion (not available in all protocols).
Block This adds the other person to your deny list (not avail-
able 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 is 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:
Whisper 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
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
New Away Message provides space for one to enter an away message and a title for that mes-
sage. 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
pidgin allows for dynamic loading of plugins to add extra functionality to pidgin. Plug-
ins 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
Example 1: Launching pidgin
The following exit values are returned:
0 Application exited successfully
>0 Application exited with failure
The following files are used by this application:
/usr/bin/pidgin Executable for pidgin
/usr/lib/pidgin Location of pidgin plugins.
~/.purple/prefs.xml pidgin configuration file.
~/.purple/accounts.xml Information about your accounts.
~/.purple/status.xml Stores your away messages.
~/.purple/pounces.xml Stores your buddy pounces.
~/.purple/blist.xml The buddy list.
~/.purple/plugins/ User's local plugins.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
|Availability |SUNWgnome-im-client |
|Interface stability |Volatile |
otr_parse(1), attributes(5), gnome-std-options(5)
pidgin Manual, http://pidgin.im/
This man page was originally written by Dennis Ristuccia (email@example.com). Updated
and largely rewritten by Sean Egan (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ben Tegarden (tegar-
email@example.com). Updated by Stephen Browne, Rick Ju, and Brian Cameron, Sun
Microsystems Inc, 2003, 2006, 2007.
SunOS 5.11 12 Nov 2007 pidgin(1)