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Pidgin is the most popular multiprotocol IM client for Linux. It supports a number of networks from Yahoo IM to Google Talk to MSN and IRC. However, microblogging is creating all the buzz these days. Twitter is stealing the show. While you can use Gwibber for tweeting from the Linux desktop, you might want to stick with a single software for IM as well as Twitter. Today, I’ll be showing you how to hack Pidgin in order to support Twitter, right on your desktop.

First, we need to install the microblog-purple plugin. While you can simply download, install and start using the plugin, you need to do some additional work to ensure that any updates to the plugin are delivered to you automatically.

Open System > Administration > Software Sources. Navigate to the Third Party Software Tab and add the following to your software sources:

  • deb jaunty main
  • deb-src jaunty main

Next, we need to import the key for the software source that we added. To do so, open up a Terminal and type the following:


sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver 0cf459b8df37ed8b

Once this is done you can install the plugin using the following command:

sudo apt-get install pidgin-microblog

Now just add a new account to Pidgin, choose Twitter from the protocol drop down menu, provide your username and password and you are all set to start tweeting from within Pidgin!

Note that this plugin supports Twitter and Identica. While the instructions above is the preferred method to install any third party software in Ubuntu, if you run into any problems you can simply download the deb package (or a binary package for you preferred distribution) and install it like any other software.

Windows users can also download the exe version of the plugin and install it alongside Pidgin.

How do you tweet from your Linux desktop? Do you use Gwibber? Adobe AIR based applications? Or would you prefer to stay with one software and manage everything from within Pidgin? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. adept665
    June 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Thanks! I love pidgin.

  2. Guy Cross
    June 12, 2009 at 9:48 am

    wouldn't it be 100% times easier to use twitterfox?

  3. Varlo Grant
    June 12, 2009 at 8:08 am

    I tried it but it failed to make sense to me so I went back to Gwibber.

    I have Pidgin set to pop up when I get something. Because I have friends and family I talk to through Jabber, I want to keep track of that. Twitter I check on occasion when I need to step back.

  4. bormuff
    June 12, 2009 at 5:19 am

    I currently use twirssi which seems to meet my needs ok.

  5. Vadim
    June 11, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    I don't at all. Heresy!

    • Varun Kashyap
      June 11, 2009 at 9:01 pm

      You should try it!