- Building and Installing purple-facebook
- Facebook Account Setup
Recently Facebook dropped the XMPP/Jabber protocol login, which could be used with Pidgin Instant Messenger, for communicating via Facebook Chat. Facebook now uses its own protocol as of version 2.0 of the Facebook API. This might be disappointing as Pidgin can now no longer be setup for use to communicate via Facebook Chat by default. There is however, thanks to James Geboski, a plugin available that allows libpurple (part of Pidgin) to connect to the new Facebook protocol. It is called purple-facebook and it works quite well.
Before the plugin can be built, some development libraries that it links to must be installed. purple-facebook requires GLib, JSON-GLib, libpurple, and zlib (libz). Most Unix-like systems (Linux, BSD, etc.) will have these available in their software repositories usually accessible via a package manager. Some system maintainers package the development files separate from the actual libraries. The development files need to be installed along with the libraries. On Debian based systems, for example, these packages are usually suffixed with “-dev“.
You can download the latest source code for each dependency from the following locations if you are planning on manually compiling them:
The purple-facebook project provides a pre-built plugin (DLL) for download and installation on Win32 systems (64-bit builds currently not available as of writing this). There are some other dependencies required to run the plugin correctly. The only file that you should need to download that does not come with Pidgin is JSON-GLib. The purple-facebook GitHub project provides a pre-built DLL for Win32. Download the DLL and place it in either a directory located on your system’s PATH or in Pidgin’s installation directory (usually C:\Program Files\Pidgin or C:\Program Files (x86)\Pidgin for 64-bit systems).
Then download the latest pre-built purple-facebook plugin, called libfacebook.dll, from the GitHub releases page (NOTE: Pre-built DLL not always up to date with latest release). Place the DLL in Pidgin’s plugin directory. C:\Program Files\Pidgin\plugins on 32-bit systems, and C:\Program Files (x86)\Pidgin\plugins on 64-bit systems.
Instructions can also be found on the GitHub wiki page.
Building the plugin on Microsoft Windows should be similar to the instructions for Unix if you are using a Unix-like environment, such as MinGW or Cygwin, in combination with a compiler such as GCC or Clang. If pre-built library dependencies are not available they will have to be downloaded from the host websites and compiled from source manually.
Microsoft Visual Studio:
(instructions for Microsoft Visual Studio not available)
Package repository list & contents for multiple systems can be viewed in the OpenSuse repsitories downloads.
Linux (Debian-based): Installing .deb via APT repository:
An APT repository is now maintained for installing purple-facebook directly from a Debian/Ubuntu/Linux Mint package manager.
Add the following to your jgeboski’s GitHub page:file, substituting “[dist]_[version]” with desired distribution name & version (e.g. xUbuntu_16.04, Debian_8.0). A list of available repository sources, & more instructions, can be found on
deb http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/jgeboski/[dist]_[version] ./
Execute the following to add the public key:
# wget -O - https://jgeboski.github.io/obs.key | apt-key add -
If you are not in a root shell, use sudo apt-key add –.
(NOTE: On my system, after invoking the previous command, it showed the output of wget, but then just a blinking cursor. The prompt for my sudo password had been muted. So I entered my password & hit “Enter” & it completed successfully.)
Then update the repository cache & install purple-facebook package:
# apt update # apt install purple-facebook
# apt-get update # apt-get install purple-facebook
Linux (Fedora-based): Installing .rpm via DNF repository:
(I have not tested this)
For newer Fedora systems, use the following command to add the purple-facebook repository to your system, substituting “[version]” with your Fedora version (at time of writing only repositories for Fedora 22 & 23 are available):
# dnf config-manager --add-repo http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/jgeboski/Fedora_[version]/
Users with systems older than version 22 will probably need to install DNF via the yum package manager (I believe that DNF can read yum repositories, but I’m not sure about vice versa):
# yum install dnf
Repositories for Fedora systems older than version 22 are not available. So you will have to try one of the newer repositories & see if it is compatible with your system.
Linux (openSUSE-based): Installing .rpm via YaST repostory:
I don’t have any experience installing packages on openSUSE systems. But instructions for adding repositories can be found on the openSUSE wiki which might help in installing purple-facebook (at time of writing, repositories for 13.1, 13.2, Leap 42.1, & Tumbleweed are available).
Compiling Source Code:
Get the latest source code from the GitHub project’s releases page. It can be downloaded as a tarball or zip archive. Extract the contents of the archive, open a command line/terminal and change to the directory of the extracted source code. If you downloaded the latest unstable version you will need to run the command ./autogen.sh from the source’s top-level directory to create a configure script and Makefile. If you downloaded a release version the configure script should already be available in the to-level directory. Run the command ./configure to generate the Makefile. If all dependencies are installed correctly there should be no errors. Now run make to build the plugin files. If the plugin builds correctly you can execute make install which will install the files libfacebook.so and libfacebook.la to the directory /usr/lib/purple-2, or wherever the libpurple plugin directory is located on your system.
(instructions for Apple Xcode not available)
Once the plugin is installed restart Pidgin. Go to Accounts ➜ Manage Accounts (or press Ctrl-A on the keyboard). Click Add….
Under “Protocol” put “Facebook” (not “Facebook (XMPP)“). Under “Username” put your Facebook username, email address, or phone number used by your account. Under “Password” put your Facebook password and check “Remember password” if you want it to automatically log in whenever Pidgin starts. “Local alias” is optional. Then click Add.
If you previously set up Facebook chat using XMPP, under the “Manage Accounts” window you can highlight the account and click Modify. Under “Protocol” change “XMPP” (or “Facebook (XMPP)“) to “Facebook“. Remove the “@chat.facebook.com/” from your username if it exists. Then click Save. You should now be able to communicate with your Facebook friends via Pidgin.