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With MSN (or Windows Live Messenger) being recently laid to rest and Skype not offering a protocol for us all to connect through, it’s safe to say that all-purpose messengers like Pidgin are slowly falling out of favor. Nevertheless, it’s still my all-time favorite and – although it’s ancient – I am still a firm believer in AIM as a messenger. I still use it and many of my friends still use it. Text-based IMing is all I really care for and AIM gets the job done, especially when connected through Pidgin.
Pidgin fortunately supports XMPP, and XMPP is a lot more powerful than you think. Using XMPP, you’re able to connect through a number of options that you’ve probably never considered were available through Pidgin. In this post, I’d like to show you how to connect to Facebook Chat and your League of Legends account through Pidgin.
Facebook Chat on Pidgin
Many years ago, Mark did an article venting a few frustrations with a Pidgin plugin that enabled Facebook Chat through Pidgin. It was a bit quirky and unreliable, but thankfully we’ll no longer have to turn to that. Newer versions of Pidgin actually show support for Facebook Chat as a “protocol,” although it’s the exact same setup as working with XMPP. It’s a placebo of sorts. On older versions of Pidgin (namely those that are available as portable, third-party builds), Facebook Chat isn’t offered. Let me show you how to get Facebook Chat working with Pidgin.
First off, let’s make sure you have a Facebook username. You’ll need to set one up and know yours to continue configuring your Facebook Chat account through Pidgin. If you’re unclear about Facebook usernames, check out some information on them here.
Once you’ve got your username, you want to go to the Manage Accounts option under the Accounts menu in Pidgin. From here, click to add a new account. On that screen, you should see a list of protocols.
As aforementioned, you may see an option for both Facebook and XMPP. Clicking between the two will show that they offer the exact same fields, only that the Facebook option populates the domain for you. Let’s select XMPP, just for the sake of having this guide work smoothly for those running older versions of Pidgin.
The information shown above is what you’ll want to enter in the shown fields.
- Username: Your Facebook username
- Domain: chat.facebook.com
- Password: Your Facebook password
I strongly recommend ticking the checkbox to remember your password, also.
You’ll want to make sure that you’re using port 5222, and (if you’re client shows the option) make sure to not require SSL/TLS. Afterwards, you’re all done! Add the account and it should connect successfully.
There is a chance you may receive a window asking for an SSL verification, depending on the version of Pidgin you’re running. If you receive this window, you can safely accept it.
As shown above, you’ll also receive a courtesy IM from Facebook Chat letting you know that you’re now shown as online.
League of Legends on Pidgin
I’ve covered League of Legends pretty often here at MUO, and it’s deserving of the attention. Did you know you can actually access your League of Legends friends and chat with them through Pidgin?
Like in my last example with Facebook Chat, you’ll need to go through and add a new account, selecting XMPP as the protocol.
The information you’ll need to enter is as follows:
- Username: Your League of Legends username
- Domain: pvp.net
- Password: AIR_password (if your password is “1234“, you’d enter “AIR_1234“)
On the Advanced tab, you have more configuring to do.
You’ll need to use port 5223 and it is very important that you have your security type set to old-style SSL. As for the server you’re connecting to, on which server is your account located?
- North America: chat.na1.lol.riotgames.com
- Europe West: chat.eu.lol.riotgames.com
- Europe Nordic/East: chat.eun1.lol.riotgames.com
Adding this account should fill up your buddylist with categories corresponding to what you have set up on your League of Legends friends list. If you are invited to a game while connected through Pidgin, you will get an IM that informs you.
Pidgin and other multi-protocol messengers aren’t completely useless yet. I’m actually still able to connect to my Windows Live Messenger account through Pidgin, as I do believe it has officially converted my account to a Skype account. Does that mean we’ll be able to use Windows Live’s protocol to access our Skype buddylists through Pidgin? It’d be a great tweak and I’m definitely going to be looking into more of that.
Being able to connect to services like Facebook Chat and League of Legends are reason enough to give Pidgin a shot if you don’t have it installed already. Let me know what you guys think of this advice in the comments and feel free to share any other neat XMPP connection tips!