Version 15 (modified by lschiere, 12 years ago) (diff)

add in a couple more questions

Installing Pidgin

Windows Specific

How do I build Pidgin for Windows?

The Windows build instructions are here.

Is there a way to install Spellchecking support (Aspell) manually?

Yes, if the installer isn't able to successfully download and install Aspell, you can do so manually. You can download both the Aspell core and a dictionary from the win32 Aspell website.


Are the packages signed? If so, by who, and how can I get the key?

Yes, all packages are signed. The signature for the tarball and bzip2 archive are provided by separate downloads. The RPMs we provide are signed by either Ethan Blanton, Mark Doliner, or Stu Tomlinson. Usually the Mandrake RPMs are signed by Mark Doliner, the Fedora Core RPMs are signed by Stu Tomlinson, and the Red Hat 8 and 9 RPMs are signed by Ethan Blanton. The keys can be obtained from any key server. is popular.

Can I run Pidgin on MacOSX?

Yes you can, but we do not provide a package for it. The reason being that in order to use Pidgin on MacOSX, you need to install an X server and GTK+, which we are not prepared to support. You can either compile Pidgin (and its dependencies) yourself, or you can use the fink installer available from If you would like a native aqua interface or a user-friendly installer, we suggest trying Adium, available at

Why are there no packages for my system?



How do I apply the patch "something.diff"?

Type patch -p0 < something.diff from the top level of the source directory (pidgin/, not pidign/pidgin/ or pidgin/finch/). If that does not work, try patch -p1 < something.diff.

Why do you always say not to use MTN?

That's a long story. For starters, MTN is frequently unusable because of changes in the code. Bugs are introduced during the development process and are hopefully fixed before a release is made. It is often the case that Pidgin MTN exhibits bad behavior due to features and bugfixes which are in a transitory state or which are not yet well understood. These bad behaviors range from the harmless (maybe a graphical glitch in a dialog box) to the irritating (a particular protocol may not work), to the downright damaging (recently a bug in MTN destroyed the user's buddy lists). While behaviors like this are acceptable to some users (particularly developers, who are used to such things), they tend to cause many Pidgin MTN users to contact Pidgin developers and report the same (usually egregious) bug over and over - using time which could be better spent fixing the bugs.

A second major point involves public resources - an MTN checkout is not a cheap operation. As many Sourceforge users are aware, at various points in the recent past Sourceforge CVS has been less than pleasant to work with. This is, of course, because Sourceforge hosts dozens and dozens of useful and active projects which use[ed] CVS as a primary method of source code collaboration. Unfortunately, when too many users are poking around in that CVS just for the sake of poking around, it prevents other users who are trying to do work to improve those very same projects from accomplishing their tasks. Naturally, this could easily become true of our MTN offering as well. It is better for the community if an enterprising individual wishing to fix a particular bug [s]he has seen can get to the code and create a patch, even if this means that some users have to wait a few weeks for the next release to see what new features it might hold.

The third point is not a problem which has yet come up, but it is in the back of the mind of the developers who bring you Pidgin. As a third-party IM client, Pidgin is not a priority (and indeed may be an irritant) for the IM service providers. We do our best to keep Pidgin playing nice and being friendly on the IM networks it uses; however, at times there are bugs in the protocol support. If a few dozen people are using this buggy client, the IM providers are not likely to go out of their way to do anything about it. However, if hundreds of people are pointing an ill-behaved client at an IM server, the server administrators may be forced to take action. (This is particularly likely if the buggy behavior is damaging in some way.) Pidgin releases represent code which the Pidgin developers feel is relatively well-behaved and stable. This includes not only the interface seen by Pidgin users, but the traffic seen by IM service providers. Pidgin MTN bears no such guarantees.

In short, there are a lot of good reasons to not use Pidgin MTN if one does not wish to develop Pidgin, Pidgin plugins, or a codebase which interacts with Pidgin in some intimate way. There are, however, only a few reasons to use Pidgin MTN outside of the above. Please weigh these things carefully and decide whether you wish to use Pidgin MTN for a good reason which furthers the community, or for selfish reasons which are not entirely important.

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