I spent quite a bit of time last night configuring Pidgin, my new IM client. A large portion of that time was focused on one particular issue: getting a Google Talk account (when using Google Apps for Your Domain) to play nicely with Pidgin. From looking at the search results for “google talk pidgin”, it looks like I’m not the only one with that problem. Since I did eventually get everything set up, I decided to document the process here in the hopes it might help someone else.
The first thing I did was check out Google’s official documentation (http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=49147). I followed the instructions, but when I went to connect I encountered a variety of error messages. “Read error”, “Unable to connect”, “Server closed the connection”, etc. The documentation was clearly missing a step.
Next, I stumbled on some references in the Google Talk help forum to a post on the Ubuntu forums (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=499906). The post talks about changing some advanced configuration settings for the account. After a little bit of trial and error with the settings, I found a combination that works.
How to configure the account
You’ll want to load the “Modify Account” screen (assuming the account is already created). That can be accessed by going to the Accounts menu, selecting the account in question, and choosing “Edit Account” from the list of options.
Once the screen is loaded, click on the Advanced tab. You’ll be presented with a number of different configuration options. The following list contains the settings I updated, along with what I set their values to. Any omitted settings can be left as-is.
- Connection security: Use old-style SSL
- Connect port: 5223 (this was the default, but it’s worth repeating here)
- Connect server: talk.google.com
With those changes in place, Pidgin connected to Google Talk without complaint.
Note: These steps were performed on Pidgin 2.7.5. If you’re using a different version of Pidgin, your steps may be slightly different, your form fields may have different names, etc.