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Purple and Pidgin

libpurple is a library intended to be used by programmers seeking to write an IM client that connects to many IM networks. It comes with support for Bonjour, IRC, and XMPP, among others and there are many more networks supported via third party plugins.

Pidgin is a graphical IM client written in C, which uses the GTK toolkit.

These programs are not endorsed by, nor affiliated with, any proprietary instant messaging company in any way.


See AUTHORS and COPYRIGHT for the list of contributors.


Pidgin uses Meson as its build system. There is a long list of dependencies that is not currently documented here due to differences in package names across operating systems. We plan to fix this soon, if you have any suggestions on how to handle this, please let us know.

You can quickly build Pidgin with the following commands:

meson setup build
cd build

There are quite a few options for the build that you can view by running meson configure in your build directory. You can specify the options when running meson like the following:

meson setup -Ddebug=true build

If you have already run meson setup you can use meson configure:

cd build
meson configure -Ddebug=true


Previously while developing in our code base you would need to install everything to be able to run or test anything. With meson this is no longer the case. You can compile via the steps above, and then run directly from the build directory with the following command to run Pidgin 3:

cd build
meson devenv pidgin3

Obviously you're still free to install into your system directly, but then you'll most likely end up having orphaned files laying around that our build system doesn't know how to remove once they're removed from our code base. This is one of the primary reasons we recommend building and running from a devenv. Another benefit is that the devenv uses a configuration directory inside of the build directory rather than in your home directory.

If you come across a bug, please report it at:


libpurple and Pidgin ship with a number of plugins, but you can find additional third party plugins at


You can find more information about Pidgin development in the development section of our website.


Pidgin is supported by DigitalOcean who graciously sponsors all of our infrastructure.

DigitalOcean referral link

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