Rutgers Instant Message with Pidgin

About Pidgin

Pidgin is an open-source Instant Messaging software program recommended for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Unix-based computers. It can be used with the Rutgers IM service as well as other networks such as AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Rutgers IM and other Jabber networks at the same time.

Pidgin supports many features of the various networks, such as file transfer with other Pidgin users, away messages, typing notification, group chat, and MSN window closing notification. It also provides many unique features such as Buddy Pounces, which enable certain actions like sending a message, playing a sound, or running a program when a specific buddy goes away, comes online, or returns from being idle. Pidgin also offers plugins, consisting of text replacement, a buddy ticker, extended message notification, iconify on away, spell checking, tabbed conversations, and more.

The Rutgers Office of Information Technology supports Pidgin only for University users.

Using Internet chat services at Rutgers is subject to the terms of the Rutgers Acceptable Use Policy for Computing and Information Technology Resources. Chat service features such as file transfers over the Internet also contribute to bandwidth use. Students who connect to the Rutgers Network from the residence halls would benefit from monitoring their usage with the Network Usage Tool. Files transferred through Pidgin to or from systems outside of the domain count toward the Internet Usage limits.


Installing and Configuring Pidgin for Rutgers IM

Note: Using Jabber with Pidgin on the Rutgers Network requires an existing NetID account on the Rutgers Central Server Systems. Rutgers University students, faculty and staff can create a NetID and an associated e-mail account by clicking here.

Make sure you download the current version of Pidgin from their download page to the computer desktop, and double-click the icon to begin installation. When the Setup Wizard finishes, click the Finish button to run the program and start configuring Pidgin for the Rutgers IM service. The Add Accounts and Login dialog boxes will all automatically open.

Note: If you already have Pidgin installed, you can add accounts by selecting Manage from the Accounts menu.



1. Click on the Add button and from the pull-down menu to choose a Protocol, select Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP):


2.The Add Account dialog box should open.

Screen name: Enter the Rutgers NetID in all lower-case letters
Domain: Enter in all lower-case letters
Resource: This field is optional and can be set to the user's preference.
Password: The Office of Information Technology strongly recommends that for security reasons passwords not get entered or saved and the Remember password box remains unchecked, so that someone unauthorized to use your computer cannot access your personal account.
Local Alias: Optional; enter a name that would appear with your NetID in Jabber messages.


3. Click on the Advance Tab

  • Connection security: "Require encryption" should be selected in this field.
  • Connect Server: Enter

4. Click Add to close the box. The new account will be listed in the Accounts box.


5. Close the Accounts box. Pidgin is ready to use with Jabber on the Rutgers Network.


Using Pidgin and Jabber on the Rutgers Network

Using the Pidgin Toolbar



1. Start Pidgin by double-clicking the icon on the desktop, and log into the Jabber chat service:


2. After entering your password, the Buddy List should then display, which includes a toolbar from which features such as Buddies, Accounts and Tools options can be chosen and set.


Adding Buddies

Adding buddies with Jabber requires using the Rutgers NetID with the format although aliases or nicknames can be set later.


1. On the menu bar of the Buddy List select Buddies then Add Buddy:


2. The Add Buddy dialog will display. In that enter the following:

  • Choose the Account in which the buddy is located. For example, a Jabber user would be selected by that account. The same would go for AOL, Yahoo! etc.
  • The Screen Name for the buddy as
  • An Alias such as a first name or nickname if desired
  • Choose a Group in which the buddy is to be placed. Buddies can be sorted by custom-named groups if you wish.
  • Click Add to complete the addition of your buddy

Unlike other IM services, adding buddies in Jabber requires obtaining authorization from someone to be added to a buddy list. For example, you may want to add a friend and so invite her by entering the NetID as, or a friend will enter your NetID to send you an invitation. In either case, the prospective buddy will need to approve or deny the authorization. Prior to receiving authorization, your new buddy will appear as:


3. Once your buddy authorizes you, they will most likely add you to their list. Once this happens, you will need to authorize them. Click Authorize to allow yourself to be added to the other person's buddy list.



4. In order to chat with a buddy, double click on their NetID or alias to open a chat window.


5. To remove a buddy, right-click the NetID or alias and select "remove" from the buddy menu.



Note: Buddies can be moved between groups in the Buddy Roster by clicking the NetID or alias with the mouse and using drag-and=-


Creating a Chat Room

Group chats allow any number of people to participate in a single conversation.


1. Select the Buddies menu, then Add a Chat:


2. Select the Account as Jabber from the menu choices. The Server, Handle and Group will automatically be filled in by Pidgin with, your NetID, and Jabber respectively. Enter a Room name and an Alias by which you wish the room labeled in your buddy list. If a password is required for a room the password should be entered in the Password field. Please note that room names cannot include spaces.


3. Click Add and a new entry should appear in the Buddy List window:



4. Double-clicking on the room will open the chat room in a new window. If this is the first time the chat room is being created you will be prompted to accept the defaults for the room or to set up the room with specific preferences. Choosing Accept Defaults will directly open the room and you may proceed to invite buddies and start chatting, while selecting Configure Room allows specific setting for the room.

For more information about room configuration, click here.


5. People can be invited into a room by selecting the Conversation menu and clicking Invite A quick and easy way to gather people into a chat room is to click on a name in the buddy list, which will invite that person to the room. A popup invitation will then appear on the invitees' screens. Accepting an invitation will bring you immediately into the room, unless a password is required; in that case a dialog box asking for the password should appear.


6. To exit a chat room choose Close from the Conversation menu:


Tabbed Chatting


By default, tabbed chatting is enabled in Pidgin. If you'd like to disable it, the option to Show IMs and chats in tabbed windows can be found by going to the Tools menu, selecting Preferences, and going to the Interface tab:


Logging Chats

By default, chat and chat room logging are disabled on the server . Personal chats and chat room discussions can be logged locally on a computer by manually enabling this option by going to the Tools menu, selecting Preferences, and going to the Logging tab:


Adding Groups

Groups are a convenient and efficient way to organize buddies, such as by 'work,' 'personal' or another category.


1. From the Buddies menu, choose Add Group and that dialog box will open with a prompt for a new Group name. Enter the desired name of the group.


2. Click Add and the new group will appear as an empty group in the Buddy List window. In order to see empty groups, make sure the option is checked off in the Show > section of the Buddies menu.