Pidgin with Google Hangouts

I’m old-fashioned and like a desktop client for online messaging so I use Pidgin on my Ubuntu machines. To install Pidgin:

sudo apt-get install pidgin

Then open the Pidgin client. Add an account and select XMPP protocol. Your username is the bit before the ‘@’ in your email address. Domain is the bit after the ‘@’. If you’re using a personal Gmail account this will be; if you’re using a Google Apps email address (for example if your company use Gmail to handle it’s mail) it will be whatever’s after the @ in your email address. Resource can be left blank.

If you use two-factor authentication to sign in to your Google account (and you really should!) you will need an app-specific password to log in to Pidgin; don’t use your normal Gmail password. If this is you, go to App passwords and create a new password to Pidgin. Use this to log in. If you don’t use two-factor authentication use your normal password.

Before you save go to Advanced tab. You need to select ‘Connection security: Require encryption’ and Connect port: 5222. If this doesn’t work you can try ‘Connection security: use old-style SSL’ and Connect port: 5223. Both seem to work but I assume the old-style SSL is less secure. Finally, in Connect server enter Press Save and connect.

Thanks to @mpekas for the tip about port configurations.


12 thoughts on “Pidgin with Google Hangouts

  1. mpekas says:

    For me, 5223 works with ‘Use old-style SSL’, while 5222 works with ‘Require encryption’

    If you get a ‘Not Authorised’, go to: -> ‘Sign-in & Security’ -> ‘Connected Apps & sites’ -> Allow less secure apps: ON

  2. djd says:

    For the Pidgin 2.10.12, I used the default Google Talk settings and only entered my username and an app specific password that I generated from the link in the article.

  3. This is fantastic, thank you! You’ve saved me so much trouble, and I appreciate it. One question, please: my wife has a work email address via Gmail and a personal one as well. I can only see her work address; the other one won’t show up and won’t save as a Buddy. Any ideas? Thank you again!

  4. On Pidgin 2.10.12 (libpurple 2.10.9) on Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS,

    without 2 factor authentication, allowing less secure apps on the Advanced tab, Require encryption, 5222 is working (today!)

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