Pidgin is a multi-protocol instant messaging client that allows you to connect to several IM networks at one time. Most Linux users will be familiar with Pidgin, as it is the default IM client in most distribution.
Other than its basic functionality, Pidgin also has a plugin system that allows its users to activate plugins to extend its functionality. Today we’re taking a look at 10 of the best plugins to power up your Pidgin.
1) Facebook Chat
The default installation of Pidgin does not support Facebook chat at the moment, but with this Facebookchat plugin, you can now see who has logged in to Facebook, chat with them, and even update your Facebook status, all within your Pidgin.
2) Send/Receive Tweets
Rather than using two clients – one for IM, another for Twitter, now you can integrate them all into one. The pidgin-microblog plugin allows you to connect to Twitter and send/receive tweets on your desktop. There is still some bugs in the plugin that caused Pidgin to crash when you try to reconnect, but when it is working fine, it is an excellent tool.
The latest version 0.1.2 is said to fix the Pidgin crashing bug. It worked fine for Windows version of Pidgin, but for Linux version, it don’t work completely (on my Ubuntu machine). Windows users should get the 0.1.2 version while Linux users please stick to version 0.1.1.
3) Set Twitter/Identi.ca update as Pidgin status
This is actually two different plugins that do the same job. The first plugin grabs your Twitter update and set it as your Pidgin status while the second grabs your Identi.ca update. This is useful if you are using Twitter/Identi.ca more often than Pidgin.
4) Skype on Pidgin
No, you don’t get to make phone call. What this plugin does is to import your Skype contact to your Pidgin so that you can manage all your network in one place. You can chat with your Skype contact (via instant messaging) and update your Skype status inside your Pidgin. A point to note, you still need your Skype to be running to be able to use it.
5) Pidgin Plugin Pack
Pidgin plugin pack is a package that contains more than 50 plugins for Pidgin. While some of them are totally useless (like tossing a dice), most of them are actually very useful. This plugin pack is highly recommended to all Pidgin users who want to power up their Pidgin usage.
Pidgin Plugins Pack (Ubuntu users can install guification via Synaptic Package Manager)
Guification is an extension of the Pidgin plugin pack that needs to be installed separately. It is an event notifier that pop up an unobstructive bubble when certain preset events occur (such as when your buddy log in, or leaves the conversation).
Guification (Ubuntu users can install guification via Synaptic Package Manager)
7) Send SMS
gSMS is a libpurple Pidgin plugin that sends sms to your mobile, containing list of users that sent IM to you while you were away. It makes use of Google Calendar SMS service to keep you notified. You will need a Google account in order for this plugin to work.
Music lover can now update Pidgin status with the music track currently playing in their favorite music player such as Amarok, Rhythmbox, Audacious, XMMS, MPC/MPD, Exaile, Banshee, Quod Libet, iTunes, and WinAmp.
MusicTracker (Ubuntu users can install guification via Synaptic Package Manager)
9) Theme control
This is the feature that almost every users ask for. With this plugin, you can now theme up your Pidgin and customize it to your liking. You don’t need to be an expert to design your own theme. This plugin provides an easy way to customize the color theme to your liking.
10) Checking Gmail and Yahoo Mail
This is not a plugin, but a trick that you can use in Pidgin. Even if you don’t use Google Talk or Yahoo messenger, you can still set up an account on Pidgin and get it to notify you when new mail arrives in your inbox. This will assure that my task bar is not cluttered with all the mail checking icons.