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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pidgin - Invisible Mode in Google Talk

One of the most glaring drawback with Google Talk is probably the lack of proper updates and new releases being integrated into the software. I do not use the chat option inside Google Mail. Therefore, one aspect I find particularly irritating with Google Talk is not to be able to appear as invisible.  As I mentioned in my last post I use Pidgin for IM. Here’s how you can appear invisible in Google Talk using Pidgin.

  • Go to Tools-> Plugins. Scroll down the list of available plugins. Install the plugin called XMPP Console.
  • Now go to Tools->XMPP Console->XMPP Console.
  • Type the following in the console and send the message.

<presence type="unavailable">

  • Now you will appear as invisible to all your friends. Remember you need to resend the message every time you relogin to Google Talk, i.e., this is a per-session notification.
  • In case you need to appear available to specific friends, you can sent them custom notifications about your availability using the above plugin. Open XMPP Console as above and click on <presence/>. In the following pop-up dialog box, fill in the necessary details and send.

Seems troublesome, eh? Then why bother with all this crap. Add the Google Talk invisible plugin to Pidgin. Go to http://fahhem.com/pidgin/ and follow the instructions.

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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Configuring Pidgin for Google Talk and MSN Accounts

I have many accounts which I frequently use for chatting purposes, Google Talk, Yahoo and MSN to be exact. To refrain from using separate messengers for each of them, I recently installed Pidgin as an integrated medium supporting all the above three (and many more Chat Protocols). My desktop is behind an organization proxy and I myself also have a firewall installed. So I faced a few issues during the configuration. In this post, I would like to present the steps which I followed for configuring Pidgin.

Google Talk: The following are the settings which worked for me.

  • Protocol: XMPP
  • Domain: gmail.com
  • Resource: ……….Anything…….
  • Require SSL/TLS: Unchecked
  • Force old (port 5223) SSL: Checked
  • Connect port: 443
  • Connect server: Use any nslookup service and provide the ip for talk.google.com. I used http://www.kloth.net/services/nslookup.php. The ip I got is
  • File transfer proxies: proxy.jabber.com
  • Proxy type: Depends on your proxy settings.

The below picture shows the Settings for the Advanced Tab.


MSN: The following are the settings which worked for me.


Yahoo: I have not been able to get Pidgin connect to Yahoo as of now. Alas!

I hope this simple steps will help people who are facing issues configuring Pidgin behind a proxy.