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Pidgin (software) facts for kids

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Developer(s) Sean Egan et al.
Initial release 1999
Stable release
2.12.0 / March 9, 2017; 5 years ago (2017-03-09)
Written in C, C#, Perl, Python, Tcl
Platform Cross-platform
Available in Multiple languages
Type Instant messaging client
License GNU General Public License

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.

The number of Pidgin users is thought to be more than 3 million in 2007. 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.

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. 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.

  • #pidgin on freenode

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