Pidgin (software)

graphical multi-protocol instant messaging client

Pidgin (also known as Gaim) is a instant messaging client that can work on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. The software can use most instant messaging protocols, which will let the user log into different instant messaging services from one program.

Developer(s)Sean Egan et al.
Initial release1999
Stable release
2.12.0 / March 9, 2017; 7 years ago (2017-03-09)
Written inC, C#, Perl, Python, Tcl
Available inMultiple languages
TypeInstant messaging client
LicenseGNU General Public License

The number of Pidgin users is thought to be more than 3 million in 2007.[1] Released under the terms of the GNU General Public License, Pidgin is free software.

Supported protocols



Gaim 2.0.0 beta 6 running under GNOME 2.16.0

The program was made in or before 1999 by Mark Spencer, an Auburn University sophomore. It was made to give the features of AOL Instant Messenger for Linux.

Naming dispute


The original name was GAIM, which stood for GTK+ AOL Instant Messenger. After pressure from AOL, the program was renamed to gaim.

However, on April 6 2007, the project development team announced the results of their talks with AOL. This included some name changes: gaim became Pidgin, libgaim became libpurple, and gaim-text became finch.[2]

Due to the legal problems, version 2.0 of the software was stuck in beta stages. Following the talks, it was said that the first official release of Pidgin 2.0.0 was hoped to happen during the two weeks from April 8, 2007.[3] However, Pidgin 2.0 did not release on time, but on April 22, 2007.

Pidgin 2.0.0 was released on May 3, 2007. This was the first version to be called Pidgin. It also contained a completely new graphics design.[4]


  1. Luke Schierer discusses Pidgin, Open source and life Archived 2008-02-08 at the Wayback Machine. Interview by PC World Australia, 10 October 2007
  2. " gaim-i18n". Archived from the original on 2007-04-10. Retrieved 2008-08-19. "Pidgin" for gaim itself, "libpurple" for libgaim, …and "finch" for gaim-text.
  3. "News — Pidgin". Retrieved 2007-04-11. Now that the settlement is signed, we hope to have the final Pidgin 2.0.0 release late this week or early next.
  4. "Identity vs. Account Orientation". Archived from the original on 2007-05-04. Retrieved 2008-08-19.

Other websites