Linux users know that if they want to use a serious IM client, the only choice is Pidgin. It has dozens of features and as a result has become the go-to app for most, even today. One of the strongest features of Pidgin is that it supports plugins. With the plugin aspect of Pidgin IM, users can quickly add (or remove) features they like and improve the overall program experience in their own way. If you’re new to using Pidgin on Linux and interested in plugins, you may not know where to start. That’s why in this article, we’re going to go over the best Pidgin chat plugins that Linux users should check out.
1. Pidgin Theme Editor
Let’s be honest, the default look of Pidgin IM — especially on Linux, looks very dated and could use an updated look. Luckily, thanks to the Theme Control plugin, this is possible.
With this addition to Pidgin, you’ll be able to easily customize the font, text theme, text colors and a lot of other aspects to Pidgin on Linux. To get this plugin, right-click the Pidgin IM icon in your system tray, select “Plugins”, look for “Pidgin Theme Editor” in the list and click the box to enable it.
Once enabled, go back to the Pidgin menu, right click on it and select the option “Pidgin Theme Editor” to open the editor tool.
2. Session Save
Pidgin is a very stable app, and it doesn’t crash much. However, when it does crash, you’ll find out that everything you had open beforehand is gone.
If you find it annoying having to re-open various IRC connections and individual buddy chat windows, consider installing the Session Save plugin for Pidgin. With Session Save enabled, any time you exit Pidgin (in whatever way), chat windows will be restored as if it never closed.
It’s an older plugin but still works quite well on the Linux platform. Learn about how to install it for Linux at the official website here.
3. Send Screenshot
One use for instant messaging with friends is offering tech support. If you’ve converted a friend or two over to Linux, you’ve nominated yourself to be responsible for all of their technical questions. Often times you’re going to need to send (or receive) screenshots of the Linux desktop so that you can be of more help.
Even on Linux, with wonderful screenshot tools, things could be easier. That’s where the Send Screenshot plugin comes in. It’s an older Pidgin add-on that makes it easy to take and send a screenshot without leaving the IM window.
4. Rocket Chat
Rocket Chat is one of the best open source replacements for the Slack generation. It’s completely self-hosted and works a lot like it too. With this Pidgin plugin, users can easily access Rocket Chat friends directly in their buddy list, interact in channels, and etc.
While it might not make much sense to add Rocket Chat to pidgin, as it has a stellar Linux application with great support, it’s still an excellent choice for Rocket Chat users who don’t want to deal with multiple chat applications and want to use Pidgin to keep everything in place.
The Rocket Chat plugin for Pidgin is in alpha stages, so there may be bugs at times. To learn more about it, head over to the official page.
5. Purple Hangouts
Despite Google’s work on many other messaging apps, Hangouts still remains their most used message app. On Linux, anyone can access the protocol by installing Hangouts for Chrome, though not everyone on Linux is a fan of Google Chrome, as it is not open source.
Purple Hangouts takes the entire proprietary Hangouts protocol and makes it useable in Pidgin. Users will be able to interact with Hangout friends, send/receive images and other features users are used to, plus a few extras provided by Pidgin.
Google Hangouts is used by more than just Google fans. Often times, it’s put to use in place of Slack. If you seriously dislike installing Chrome but need to have access to this messaging service, this plugin may be of interest to you.
6. Psychic Mode
The Psychic Mode plugin for Pidgin allows any user the unique ability to predict messages a friend is about to send before anything is sent.
While we can’t say this plugin is useful for every user of Pidgin, but if your buddy has typing notifications turned off, it’s a nice little addition that ensures you don’t miss any new messages. Psychic Mode comes built into Pidgin, though it is turned off. To enable this plugin, right-click on the Pidgin icon in the system tray, select Plugins, and look for “Psychic Mode” in the list.