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man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: Wednesday, February 9, 2022

pidgin (1)


pidgin - Instant Messaging client


pidgin [options]


pidgin(1)                   General Commands Manual                  pidgin(1)


       pidgin - Instant Messaging client

       pidgin [options]

       pidgin is a graphical modular messaging client based on libpurple which
       is capable of connecting to AIM, XMPP, ICQ, IRC,  SILC,  Novell  Group-
       Wise,  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.  Pidgin is not endorsed by or affiliated with America Online,
       ICQ, or Microsoft.

       Pidgin can be extended by plugins written in multiple programming  lan-
       guages and controlled through DBus or purple-remote.

       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  debug-
              ging messages that are displayed in the Debug Window.

       -f, --force-online
              Try to be online even if the network is reported (by Windows, or
              NetworkManager on Linux) to be unavailable.

       -h, --help
              Print a summary of command line options and exit.

       -m, --multiple
              Allow multiple instances of Pidgin to run.

       -n, --nologin
              Don't automatically login when Pidgin starts.  Sets  the  global
              status to Offline.

       -l, --login[=NAME,NAME,...]
              Enable  the comma-separated list of accounts provided, disabling
              all other accounts.  If the user does not specify such a  comma-
              separated  list,  the  first  account  in  accounts.xml  will be

       -v, --version
              Print the current version and exit.

       Pidgin uses a few terms differently from other applications.  For  con-
       venience they are defined here:

       Buddy List
              The  list of other users who the user wants to see status infor-
              mation for and have quick access to for messaging.

       Buddy  A user who has been added to the Buddy List.

              A grouping of more than one buddy who are all the  same  person.
              A  contact may contain buddies from any protocol and may contain
              as many buddies as the user desires.  Contact  arrangements  are
              stored locally only.

       Alias  A  private  "nickname"  that  may be set for Buddies or the user
              himself.  On some protocols, aliases are saved on the server but
              not  visible  to  other  users.  On other protocols, aliases are
              saved only locally.

              A messaging service.  AIM, XMPP,  Zephyr,  etc.  are  protocols.
              Others  may  call  these "service types," "account types," "ser-
              vices," and so on.

       The Buddy List window is Pidgin's main interface  window.   Using  this
       window  a  user can see which of his/her buddies is online, away, idle,
       etc.  The user can also add buddies to  and  remove  buddies  from  the
       buddy list.

       The  Buddy  List  window  contains a list of the user's buddies who are
       online and have allowed the user to be notified of their presence.  The
       icon  to  the  left of each buddy indicates the buddy's current status.
       Double clicking a buddy will open a  new  Conversation  window.   Right
       clicking will pop up a menu:

       Get Info
              Retrieves and displays information about the buddy.  This infor-
              mation 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 per-
              formed when the buddy's state changes.  This will open the Buddy
              Pounce dialog, which will be discussed later.

       View Log
              Pidgin is capable of automatically logging messages.  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 show an editable text
              field where the buddy's name was displayed.  In this  field  one
              can  give  this buddy an alternate, more friendly name to appear
              on the buddy list and in conversations.

              For example, if a buddy's name was  jsmith1281xx  and  his  real
              name  was 'John Q. Smith,' one could create an alias as to iden-
              tify the buddy by his common name.

       The remainder of the menu will consist of protocol  specific  commands.
       These commands vary depending on the protocol.

       Status Selector
              At  the  bottom  of  the  Buddy  List is a status selector which
              allows one to change his/her status.   This  will  be  discussed
              further in the STATUS MESSAGES section below.

       The account editor consists of a list of accounts and information about
       them.  It can be accessed by selecting Manage from the  Accounts  menu.
       Clicking  Delete  will delete the currently selected account.  Clicking
       Add or Modify will invoke a Modify Account window.  Here, the user  can
       add  or  alter  account  information.  When creating a new account, the
       user will submit a username and password.  The user  will  also  choose
       the protocol for the account.

       If  Remember Password is chosen, the password will be saved in Pidgin's
       ~/.purple/accounts.xml configuration file.

       If Enabled is checked in the accounts dialog, this account will  follow
       the  status  currently  selected  in the status selector.  If it is not
       checked, the account will always be offline.

       Each protocol has its own specific options that can  be  found  in  the
       modify screen.

       All options take effect immediately.

       Show system tray icon
              Specifies when to show a Pidgin icon in the notification area of
              the user's panel (commonly referred to as the System Tray).

       Hide new IM conversations
              Specifies when to hide new IM  messages.   Messages  will  queue
              under  the specified condition until shown.  Clicking the Pidgin
              icon in the notification area or system tray  will  display  the
              queued  messages.  An icon also appears in the buddy list's menu
              bar; this icon may also be used to display queued messages.

       Show IMs and chats in tabbed windows
              When checked, this option will cause IM  and  chat  sessions  to
              appear  in  windows  with multiple tabs.  One tab will represent
              one conversation or chat.  Where tabs are placed  will  be  dic-
              tated by the preferences below.

       Show close buttons on tabs
              When  checked, this option will cause a clickable "U+2715 MULTI-
              PLICATION X" unicode character to appear at the  right  edge  of
              each tab.  Clicking this will cause the tab to be closed.

              Specifies  where to place tabs in the window.  Some tab orienta-
              tions may allow some users to fit more tabs into a single window

       New conversations
              Specifies  under  which conditions tabs are placed into existing
              windows or into new windows.  For a single window,  select  Last
              created window here.

       Enable buddy icon animation
              If  a  buddy's  icon  happens  to  be animated, this option will
              enable the animation, otherwise only the  first  frame  will  be

       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.

       Default Formatting
              Allows  specifying the default formatting to apply to all outgo-
              ing messages (only applicable to protocols that support  format-
              ting in messages).

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.   The  Add  and Remove buttons may be used to install or unin-
       stall smiley themes.  Themes may also  be  installed  by  dragging  and
       dropping them onto the list of themes.

       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

       Sounds when conversation has focus
              When checked, sounds will play for events in the active  conver-
              sation  if  the  window is focused.  When unchecked, sounds will
              not play for the active conversation when the window is focused.

       Enable Sounds
              Determines when to play sounds.

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

       STUN server
              This allows specifying a server which uses the STUN protocol  to
              determine  a host's public IP address.  This can be particularly
              useful for some protocols.

       Autodetect IP address
              When checked, causes Pidign to attempt to determine  the  public
              IP  address  of the host on which Pidgin is running and disables
              the Public IP text field listed below.

       Public IP
              If Autodetect IP address is disabled, this field allows manually
              specifying the public IP address for the host on which Pidgin is
              running.  This is mainly useful for users with multiple  network
              interfaces or behind NATs.

       Manually specify range of ports to listen on
              Specify  a  range  ports  to listen on, overriding any defaults.
              This is sometimes useful for file transfers and Direct IM.

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

              Allows the user to select Pidgin's default web  browser.   Fire-
              fox,  Galeon,  Konqueror,  Mozilla,  Netscape and Opera are sup-
              ported 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 link in
              Allows the user to specify whether to use an existing window,  a
              new  tab,  a new window, or to let the browser to decide what to
              do when calling the browser to open a link.  Which  options  are
              available will depend on which browser is selected.

       Log format
              Specifies  how to log.  Pidgin supports HTML and plain text, but
              plugins can provide other logging methods.

       Log all instant messages
              When enabled, all IM conversations  are  logged.   This  can  be
              overridden  on a per-conversation basis in the conversation win-

       Log all chats
              When enabled, all chat conversations are logged.   This  can  be
              overridden  on a per-conversation basis in the conversation win-

       Log all status changes to system log
              When enabled, status changes are logged.

Status / Idle
       Report idle time
              Determines under which conditions to report idle time.  Based on
              keyboard  and  mouse  use  uses  keyboard  and mouse activity to
              determine idle time.  From last sent message uses  the  time  at
              which  the user last sent a message in Pidgin to determine idle.
              Never disables idle reporting.

              Determines when to send an auto-reply on protocols which support
              it (currently only AIM).

       Change status when idle
              When  enabled,  this  uses  the Minutes before becoming idle and
              Change status to preferences described below to  set  status  on

       Minutes before becoming idle
              Specifies  how  many  minutes  of inactivity are required before
              considering the user to be idle.

       Change status to
              Specifies which "primitive" or "saved" status to use  when  set-
              ting status on idle.

       Use status from last exit at startup
              If  this is checked, Pidgin will remember what status was active
              when the user closed Pidgin and restore  it  at  the  next  run.
              When  disabled,  Pidgin  will  always set the status selected in
              Status to apply at startup at startup.

       Status to apply at startup
              When Use status from last exit  at  startup  is  disabled,  this
              specifies which "primitive" or "saved" status to use at startup.

       When  starting  a new conversation, the user is presented with the Con-
       versation 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 options, represented by icons.  Some or all buttons may not
       be  active  if  the  protocol does not support the specific formatting.
       From left to right:

       Font   This menu provides font control options for the current  conver-
              sation.  Size, style, and face may be configured here.

       Insert This  menu  provides  the  ability  to insert images, horizontal
              rules, and links where the protocol supports each of these  fea-

       Smile! Allows  the  insertion of graphical smileys via the mouse.  This
              button shows the user a dialog with the  available  smileys  for
              the current conversation.

       For  protocols  that allow it, Chats can be entered through the Buddies

       Additional features 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 sen-
              tence describing the nature of the chat--an explanation  of  the
              chat room's name.

       Private Message (IM)
              Send  a message to a specific person in the chat.  Messages sent
              this way will not appear in the chat window, but instead open  a
              new IM conversation.

       Most  protocols allow for status messages.  By using status messages, a
       user can leave an informative message for others to  see.   Status  and
       status messages are configured via the status selector at the bottom of
       the Buddy List window.  By default the menu shown here is divided  into
       sections for "primitive" status types, such as Available, Away, etc.; a
       few "popular" statuses (including  "transient"  statuses)   which  have
       been  recently  used, and a section which shows New Status... and Saved
       Statuses... options for more advanced status manipulation.

       Primitive Statuses
              A primitive status is a basic status supported by the  protocol.
              Examples of primitive statuses would be Available, Away, Invisi-
              ble, etc.  A primitive status can be used to create a  Transient
              Status  or  a  Saved Status, both explained below.  Essentially,
              primitive statuses are building blocks of more complicated  sta-

       Transient Statuses
              When  one of the statuses from the topmost section of the status
              selector's menu is selected, this creates a transient, or tempo-
              rary,  status.   The  status will show in the "popular statuses"
              section in the menu until it has not  been  used  for  a  suffi-
              ciently  long  time.   A transient status may also be created by
              selecting New Status... from the status  selector's  menu,  then
              clicking Use once the user has entered the message.

       Saved Statuses
              Saved  statuses  are  permanent--once  created,  they will exist
              until deleted.  Saved statuses are useful for statuses and  sta-
              tus  messages  that  will  be used on a regular basis.  They are
              also useful for creating complex statuses in which some accounts
              should always have a different status from others.  For example,
              one might wish to create a status called "Sleeping" that has all
              accounts set to "Away", then create another status called "Work-
              ing" that has three accounts set to "Away" and  another  account
              set to "Available."

       New Status Window
              When  the  user  selects  New Status... from the status selector
              menu, Pidgin presents the user with a dialog asking for  status-
              related information.  That information is discussed below:

              Title  -  The  name of the status that will appear in the status
              selctor's menu.  If the user clicks the Save or Save & Use  but-
              ton,  this  name  will also be shown in the Saved Status Window.
              The title should be a short description of the status.

              Status - The type of status being created,  such  as  Available,
              Away, etc.

              Message  -  The  content of the status message.  This is what is
              visible to other users.  Some protocols will allow formatting in
              some  status messages; where formatting is not supported it will
              be stripped to the bare text entered.

              Use a different status for some accounts - This allows the  cre-
              ation of complex statuses in which some accounts' status differs
              from that of other accounts.  To use this, the user  will  click
              the  expander  to  the  left of the text, then select individual
              accounts which will have a different status and/or  status  mes-
              sage.   When  the  user  selects an account, Pidgin will present
              another status dialog asking for a status and a message just for
              the selected account.

       Saved Status Window
              When  the  user selects Saved Statuses... from the status selec-
              tor's menu, Pidgin presents a dialog that lists all  saved  sta-
              tuses.   "Transient"  statuses,  discussed  above, are NOT shown
              here.  This window provides the ability to manage saved statuses
              by  allowing  the  creation, modification, and deletion of saved
              statuses.  The Use, Modify, and Delete buttons here allow opera-
              tion  on the status selected from the list; the dd button allows
              creation of a new saved status, and the Close button closes  the

       A Buddy Pounce is an automated trigger that occurs when a buddy returns
       to a normal state from an away state.  The Buddy Pounce dialog box  can
       be  activated by selecting the Buddy Pounce option from the Tools menu.
       From this dialog, new pounces can be created with the  Add  button  and
       existing  pounces  can be removed with the Delete button.  A pounce can
       be set to occur on any combination of the events listed, and any combi-
       nation  of  actions  can  result.  If Pounce only when my status is not
       Available is checked, the pounce will occur only if the user is set  to
       a  non-available  status, such as invisible, do not disturb, away, etc.
       If Recurring is checked, the pounce will remain until  removed  by  the
       Delete button.

       Pidgin  2.5.0  introduced support for custom smilies on those protocols
       for which interested contributors have developed support.   The  custom
       smiley manager can be accessed by selecting Smiley from the Tools menu.
       From here, custom smilies may be added, edited, or deleted by  clicking
       the Add, Edit, or Delete buttons, respectively.

       During a conversation with another user, that user's custom smileys may
       be added to the user's own custom smiley list directly from the conver-
       sation window by right-clicking the new custom smiley and selecting Add
       Custom Smiley...

       Pidgin allows for dynamic loading of plugins to add extra functionality
       to Pidgin.  See plugins/HOWTO or http://developer.pidgin.im/wiki/CHowTo
       for information on writing plugins.

       The plugins dialog can be accessed by selecting Plugins from the  Tools
       menu.  Each plugin available appears in this dialog with its name, ver-
       sion, and a short summary of its functionality. Plugins can be  enabled
       with the checkbox beside the name and short description.  More informa-
       tion on the currently selected plugin  is  available  by  clicking  the
       expander  beside  the  text Plugin Details.  If the selected plugin has
       preferences or configuration options, the Configure Plugin button  will
       present the plugin's preferences dialog.

       Pidgin allows for plugins to be written in the perl scripting language.
       See Perl Scripting HOWTO in the Pidgin documentation for more  informa-
       tion about perl scripting.

       Pidgin  allows for plugins to be written in the Tcl scripting language.
       See plugins/tcl/TCL-HOWTO for more information about Tcl scripting.

       Pidgin allows for interaction via D-Bus.  Currently very  little  docu-
       mentation about this interaction exists.

         /usr/bin/pidgin: Pidgin's location.
         ~/.purple/blist.xml: the buddy list.
         ~/.purple/accounts.xml: information about the user's accounts.
         ~/.purple/pounces.xml: stores the user's buddy pounces.
         ~/.purple/prefs.xml: Pidgin's configuration file.
         ~/.purple/status.xml: stores the user's away messages.
         ~/.purple/logs/PROTOCOL/ACCOUNT/BUDDYNAME/DATE.{html,txt}:  conversa-
       tion logs.

         /usr/lib/pidgin/: Pidgin's plugins directory.
         /usr/lib/purple-2/: libpurple's plugins directory.
         ~/.purple: users' local settings
         ~/.purple/plugins/: users' local plugins

       The bug  tracker  can  be  reached  by  visiting  http://developer.pid-

       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

       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 http://developer.pidgin.im/simpleticket

       You are also encouraged to drop by at #pidgin  on  irc.freenode.net  to
       discuss development.

       See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       |Availability   | communication/im/pidgin |
       |Stability      | Uncommitted             |


       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 MER-
       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.,
       51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA  02111-1301  USA

       Pidgin's active developers are:
         Daniel 'datallah' Atallah (developer)
         Paul 'darkrain42' Aurich (developer)
         John 'rekkanoryo' Bailey (developer and bugmaster)
         Ethan 'Paco-Paco' Blanton (developer)
         Thomas Butter (developer)
         Ka-Hing Cheung (developer)
         Sadrul Habib Chowdhury (developer)
         Mark 'KingAnt' Doliner (developer) <thekingant@users.sourceforge.net>
         Sean Egan (developer) <seanegan@gmail.com>
         Casey Harkins (developer)
         Ivan Komarov
         Gary 'grim' Kramlich (developer)
         Richard 'rlaager' Laager (developer) <rlaager@pidgin.im>
         Sulabh 'sulabh_m' Mahajan (developer)
         Richard 'wabz' Nelson (developer)
         Christopher 'siege' O'Brien (developer)
         Bartosz Oler (developer)
         Etan 'deryni' Reisner (developer)
         Tim 'marv' Ringenbach (developer) <marv_sf@users.sf.net>
         Michael 'Maiku' Ruprecht (developer, voice and video)
         Elliott 'QuLogic' Sales de Andrade (developer)
         Luke 'LSchiere' Schierer (support)
         Megan 'Cae' Schneider (support/QA)
         Evan Schoenberg (developer)
         Kevin 'SimGuy' Stange (developer and webmaster)
         Will 'resiak' Thompson (developer)
         Stu 'nosnilmot' Tomlinson (developer)
         Nathan 'faceprint' Walp (developer)

       Our crazy patch writers include:
         Marcus 'malu' Lundblad
         Dennis 'EvilDennisR' Ristuccia
         Peter 'fmoo' Ruibal
         Gabriel 'Nix' Schulhof
         Jorge 'Masca' Villaseor

       Our artists are:
         Hylke Bons <h.bons@student.rug.nl>

       Our retired developers are:
         Herman Bloggs (win32 port) <herman@bluedigits.com>
         Jim Duchek <jim@linuxpimps.com> (maintainer)
         Rob Flynn <gaim@robflynn.com> (maintainer)
         Adam Fritzler (libfaim maintainer)
         Christian     'ChipX86'     Hammond     (developer    &    webmaster)
         Syd Logan (hacker and designated driver [lazy bum])
         Jim Seymour (XMPP developer)
         Mark Spencer (original author) <markster@marko.net>
         Eric Warmenhoven (former lead developer) <eric@warmenhoven.org>

       Our retired crazy patch writers include:
         Felipe 'shx' Contreras
         Decklin Foster
         Peter 'Bleeter' Lawler
         Robert 'Robot101' McQueen
         Benjamin Miller

       This manpage was originally written by  Dennis  Ristuccia  <dennis@den-
       nisr.net>.   It  has  been  updated  and largely rewritten by Sean Egan
       <seanegan@gmail.com>, Ben Tegarden <tegarden@uclink.berkeley.edu>,  and
       John Bailey <rekkanoryo@pidgin.im>.

       Source  code  for open source software components in Oracle Solaris can
       be found at https://www.oracle.com/downloads/opensource/solaris-source-

       This     software     was    built    from    source    available    at
       https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.   The  original   community
       source   was  downloaded  from   https://downloads.sourceforge.net/pid-

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at https://www.pidgin.im.

Pidgin v2.13.0                                                       pidgin(1)