2011-06-21

Building pidgin on Kubuntu

Since Ubuntu (and related systems like Kubuntu) stop maintaining their own updates of pidgin shortly after the release of a new distribution, normal updating becomes impossible.  After a few hours of experimentation, I found a way to build pidgin 2.8 from source.

  1. Uninstall the existing pidgin (2.7.3 on Kubuntu 10.10) and pidgin-otr
  2. Get the current sources for pidgin (2.8.0), libotr (3.2.0), and the pidgin-otr plugin
  3. Install the following packets:
    libglib2.0-dev intltool libgtk2.0-dev
    libxml2-dev libidn libidn-dev libidn11-dev
    libperl-dev libgnutls-dev gnutls-dev
    tcl-dev tk-dev libdbus-1-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev
    libgtkspell-dev
  4. Configure pidgin 2.8.0 using the command line
    ./configure --disable-screensaver \
    --disable-gstreamer --disable-vv \
    --disable-meanwhile --disable-avahi \
    --disable-nm

  5. Build pidgin, install it
    (i.e. make; sudo make install)
  6. Build libotr, install it
    (i.e. ./configure; make; sudo make install)
  7. Build the plugin, install it
    (i.e. ./configure; make; sudo make install).
  8. After completely stopping any running pidgin (including the tray icon) and restarting, the OTR should appear in the plugin list.

This method will soon stop to work (pidgin tends to require more recent versions of glib and gtk with each version, and adding them to a system without breaking the existing infrastructure is probably hard). If you need any of the features I disabled above, you are on your own. I tried to find out what "screensaver" requires, but with no result.

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