How to get Pidgin(Gaim) to work with Google Talk

Pidgin, earlier known as Gaim, is a multiple protocol Instant Messenger client which can be used to chat using AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo and many other IM services.
Most people who visit the Pidgin site see the ‘Pidgin can work with:‘ list containing AIM, ICQ, IRC, MSN, Yahoo etc. But they don’t see Google Talk (GTalk) in the list and decide that Pidgin cannot be used with Google Talk. Also, you don’t see GTalk as an option when you try to add an account after installing Pidgin. But the fact is that you can use Pidgin with Google Talk.

Actually, Pidgin supports something called XMPP. XMPP stands for Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol. XMPP is the core protocol of the Jabber Instant Messaging and Presence technology. You can read more about XMPP here. Incidentally, Google Talk also uses the Jabber/XMPP protocol and so it is quite easy to make Pidgin to work with GTalk. Here is how to do it.

Let’s skip the obvious steps and start from the Add Account window of Pidgin where the real action happens.

  • From the drop-down box choose XMPP as the Protocol.
  • For the Screen name enter your Google Id (Gmail Id). eg. suresh.
  • For Server enter gmail.com
  • You can leave the Resource with the default ‘Home’.
  • Of course, in the Password field you need to enter your Google ID password.
  • Local alias is any name with which you would want to refer to this Account.
  • Click Save.

That’s all to it. Now you can start chatting with your GTalk buddies using Pidgin while keeping in touch with users of other IMs also.

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