If you’re building for Windows you’ll want to have a look at the building on Windows page instead.

Pidgin’s default build has a lot of dependencies. This document will hopefully help you find and install them all.

Packaged Dependencies

These dependencies are ones that should be found in your distribution’s package manager.

I have the source; how do I build this thing?

Assuming you have all of the necessary libraries and their headers installed (see the next few questions), you compile libpurple, Pidgin and Finch just like most applications:

$ tar xjvf pidgin-2.x.y.tar.bz2
$ cd pidgin-2.x.y
$ ./configure && make && sudo make install

This will install libpurple, Pidgin and Finch to /usr/local. If you want to install it elsewhere, pass --prefix=/some/other/prefix to ./configure. (You really don’t want to install it to /usr.) See ./configure --help for other options you can change at compile-time.

If you got the source tree from our Mercurial database (which you probably shouldn’t have), you’ll need to run ./autogen.sh instead of ./configure the first time around. If you get an error like the following, you may need a newer version of automake.

running /usr/bin/automake -a -c --gnu... failed.
Makefile.am:79: directory should not contain `/'
pidgin/pixmaps/Makefile.am:4: directory should not contain `/'

If you are trying to compile on Windows, you need the answer to a different question.

Why can’t I compile Pidgin?

You’re probably missing some dependencies. The configure script will tell you when you are missing required dependencies. Remember that if you’re using an RPM-based (RedHat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, SUSE, Mandriva, etc.) or Debian-based system (Debian, Ubuntu, etc.) that having just a library’s package installed is not sufficient–you must also have the -devel (RPM systems) or -dev (Debian-based systems) package for each library installed. If configure is succeeding, but make fails, this is harder to diagnose and you will probably want to drop by the IRC channel or XMPP conference listed on the Contact page to get help.

How do I install the dependencies on Debian or Ubuntu?

You need to install the development headers; these are the -dev packages. A simple apt-get build-dep pidgin will find and install all of the required header packages for you.

If apt-get build-dep fails with a message like

E: You must put some 'source' URIs in your sources.list

then you need to add deb-src lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list corresponding to each of the deb lines already there. If editing configuration files scares you, Ubuntu has a “Software Sources” control panel in System -> Administration which has some magic checkboxes to do this for you.

How do I install the dependencies on Fedora (or similar)?

RPM-based distribution users may find yum-builddep pidgin useful if a source RPM is available and the distribution uses the yum tools.

Note that on current Fedora, you would use dnf builddep pidgin, which is in the dnf-plugins-core package. If you’re still using yum, the yum-builddep command is in the yum-utils package, which is not necessarily installed by default.

How do I apply the patch “something.diff”?

Type patch -p1 < something.diff from the top level of the source directory (pidgin/, not pidgin/pidgin/ or pidgin/finch/).

Is there a way to compile without some protocols?

There are actually two ways:

  • Run ./configure with the --with-static-prpls option with the --disable-plugins option. This will let you choose which protocols to include by specifying them as a comma-separated list, such as the following (but note that you won’t be able to use any other protocols or plugins): ./configure --disable-plugins --with-static-prpls=irc,bonjour
  • Use the --with-dynamic-prpls option to ./configure by specifying a comma-separated list, like so: ./configure --with-dynamic-prpls=irc,xmpp

Can I compile just Finch, not Pidgin?

Sure. Pass --disable-gtkui to ./configure.

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