Integrating Skype into Pidgin


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After a long time obsessing over Google Talk, I am now slowly turning my attention to Pidgin. I was inspired to take a closer look at Pidgin after an excellent tutorial on Lifehacker and so now I am experimenting with my Google Talk contacts on the Pidgin platform to see how it goes.

But I was disheartened to see that out of all the IM networks that Pidgin supports, the one it didn’t support by default was Skype. So in the interests of trying to be more organized in my life, I went hunting to see if there was any kind of a plug-in based on the Skype API which allowed Pidgin to support Skype contacts.

And there is! The Skype API Plugin allows you to add your Skype contacts to your Pidgin application. But there are some drawbacks :

  • You can’t make phone calls through Pidgin. So this would only be suitable for Skype accounts which you use for instant messaging only.
  • For the moment, you need to also have the official Skype application on (which kind of defeats the purpose of integrating it into Pidgin in the first place). But the developer promises to fix this in future releases.
  • The plug-in imports EVERYTHING from your Skype list, including regular phone number contacts. This one actually forced me to uninstall the plug-in in the end as I have about 150 regular phone number contacts in my Skype app which were then imported into Pidgin. So this plug-in would be best for people who don’t use Skype for regular phone calls.

But if you only use Skype for instant messaging and you want to merge your contacts with your Pidgin contacts, then this is an excellent plug-in to install (it even shows the Skype contact’s icon). There’s even a Linux version.

Granted, it’s a pain in the rear to also need to have the Skype app open but I am hoping that in the future, new releases will take care of these minor irritants. In the meantime, you can hide the Skype app icon from the Windows system tray and pretend it’s not there.

If you’re a Skype and Pidgin fan, this is one plug-in to keep an eye on.





38 Responses to Integrating Skype into Pidgin

  1. Thanks for the write-up about the plugin. :)

    You mention that you didn’t really want the regular phone number contacts being imported into your buddy list. This is an option that you can change from within the account settings. By default this option is on so that you can still call (and pretty soon text message) your commonly used phone numbers.

    Also, it’s possible to place and receive Skype calls through Pidgin; right clicking on a contact will give you the “Call…” option, and incomming calls will ask if you want to accept or reject. You can also call someone through the account’s menu for calling someone off-list.

    Again, thanks for the write-up and I hope you’ll think about re-installing the plugin ;)

  2. Thanks for the write-up about the plugin. :)

    You mention that you didn't really want the regular phone number contacts being imported into your buddy list. This is an option that you can change from within the account settings. By default this option is on so that you can still call (and pretty soon text message) your commonly used phone numbers.

    Also, it's possible to place and receive Skype calls through Pidgin; right clicking on a contact will give you the "Call…" option, and incomming calls will ask if you want to accept or reject. You can also call someone through the account's menu for calling someone off-list.

    Again, thanks for the write-up and I hope you'll think about re-installing the plugin ;)

  3. He is the developer and he’s my proud brother! Hehehe!

    If you don’t mind me stepping in Eion (also correct me if I’m wrong), the reason why the API needs Skype running is because of the excessive amounts of security Skype uses to connect.
    Eion’s currently trying to find a way to fix that issue, and trust me, he’s devoting his time to this.

    ~Tim

  4. Pingback: Integrate Skype IM into Pidgin [Featured Early Adopter Download] | delicous

  5. He is the developer and he's my proud brother! Hehehe!

    If you don't mind me stepping in Eion (also correct me if I'm wrong), the reason why the API needs Skype running is because of the excessive amounts of security Skype uses to connect.

    Eion's currently trying to find a way to fix that issue, and trust me, he's devoting his time to this.

    ~Tim

  6. Pingback: little bites of fusion » Blog Archive » Integrate Skype IM into Pidgin [Featured Early Adopter Download]

  7. … you can’t be serious…

    What is the *point* of having this if you have to run skype as well?

    Save a thread, kill an app…

    • @kitty, if you’re interested in testing a no-skype-needed version of the plugin for Pidgin, feel free to get in touch

      • I am also interested in testing the no-skype-needed version of the plugin for Pidgin.
        Please send me a mail with details.
        Thank you!

      • I am very much interested in getting the plugin of pidgin which doesn’t need any skype running in back. Please provide me the details of that. Thanks a lot.

    • One of the reasons: tabbed windows. I chat with several people on skype simultaneously, and it clutters up my screen. Podgin have tabbed chat windows which skype doesn’t. Good reason enough? ;)

  8. … you can't be serious…

    What is the *point* of having this if you have to run skype as well?

    Save a thread, kill an app…

    • @kitty, if you're interested in testing a no-skype-needed version of the plugin for Pidgin, feel free to get in touch

      • I am also interested in testing the no-skype-needed version of the plugin for Pidgin.

        Please send me a mail with details.

        Thank you!

      • I am very much interested in getting the plugin of pidgin which doesn't need any skype running in back. Please provide me the details of that. Thanks a lot.

    • One of the reasons: tabbed windows. I chat with several people on skype simultaneously, and it clutters up my screen. Podgin have tabbed chat windows which skype doesn't. Good reason enough? ;)

  9. I am interested in testing the no-skype-needed version of the plugin for Pidgin. please give me a mail with details. Thank’s

  10. I am interested in testing the no-skype-needed version of the plugin for Pidgin. please give me a mail with details. Thank's

  11. Undoubtedly I am interested in the NSN (Non-Skype-Needed) version of this plu-in.

  12. Undoubtedly I am interested in the NSN (Non-Skype-Needed) version of this plu-in.

  13. Can you please share the Non-Skype-Needed Pidgin version.
    I feel that tabbed chatting is a blessing in disguise ;)
    Please share!

  14. Can you please share the Non-Skype-Needed Pidgin version.

    I feel that tabbed chatting is a blessing in disguise ;)

    Please share!

  15. Looks like when Skype made a news article about this plugin (see 3rd comment) they were doing it only to make themselves look good, when I suspect the reason why we don’t have a non-skype-needed version of this plugin is because Skype is too closed. I hear they’re going open source now, but who knows. I will believe it when I see it.

  16. Looks like when Skype made a news article about this plugin (see 3rd comment) they were doing it only to make themselves look good, when I suspect the reason why we don't have a non-skype-needed version of this plugin is because Skype is too closed. I hear they're going open source now, but who knows. I will believe it when I see it.