Purple, Pidgin and Finch

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.

Finch is a text-based IM client written in C, which uses libgnt.

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
ninja install

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


Currently Pidgin can not be run from a build directory, which means you must install it first. Once you've done that, you only need to run pidgin3 or finch3. If it fails to launch you may need to run ldconfig as root.

To get started, simply add a new account.

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


libpurple, Pidgin, and Finch 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.

Recent Changes