It may not be the default chat client in Ubuntu any longer, but Pidgin is still an awesome application.

Below are 5 tweaks and plugin’s i install off-the-bat when i’m faced with a fresh version of Pidgin.

Pidgin Facebook Chat
Chat to Facebook contacts from within Pidgin and see available contacts sat amongst the rest of your pidgin contacts.

Tip: Enable Protocol Icons to see who’s on what service.

Open a terminal session and type

  • sudo apt-get install pidgin-facebookchat

Or download the latest .deb from the official project page @

MusicTracker for Pidgin

MusicTracker is a “now playing” plug-in for Pidgin. It supports a palatable herd of music players, from Banshee to LastFm and provides a wide range of customization options (such as format, when to show, etc.)


Open a terminal

  • sudo apt-get install pidgin-musictracker

Configure via the plug-ins menu.

Auto-resize Buddy List
Auto-resize does what its name implies: it automatically adjust the height of pidgin to fit the number of contacts in the buddy list. Particularly useful if you only choose to show currently on-line contacts.

Deb available @

Avatars To The Left
Display contacts avatars on the left of the screen with this tweaked theme.

Find the hack @
Create a folder called ‘themes’ in ~/.purple/ and then select the theme via Pidgin’s preferences menu.

More Smilies

You can install a gazillion extra smiley themes with one command in Ubuntu: –

  • sudo apt-get install pidgin-themes

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