Can I Run Pidgin on Mac OS X?

Q. Can I install and run Pidgin instant messaging client under Mac OS X operating system?

A. Short answer – yes, if you can compile and install X server / GTK+ on Mac OS X.


Long answer – Pidgin (Gaim) is a multi-platform instant messaging client. The software has limited support for many commonly used instant messaging protocols. You need to compile and install an X server, GTK+ and its dependencies yourself. You will not get native aqua interface including installer. I strongly suggest Adium, which is a free instant messaging application for Mac OS X that can connect to AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, and more.

Fig.01: adiumx in action under Mac OS X (click to enlarge)

Fig.01: adiumx in action under Mac OS X (click to enlarge)

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4 comments… add one
  • Richard Leik Feb 17, 2009 @ 21:42

    Thanks, been looking for a MSN for Mac alternative. Seems like Adium is just what I need.

  • Albert Zeyer Feb 19, 2009 @ 4:28


    It is now also possible to run Pidgin nativly under MacOSX without any dependencies on X11 or similar.

    I am working on that right now. A current DMG can be found here:

    For further updates, look here:

  • pch_kid Aug 5, 2009 @ 4:39

    bad thing about adium is that it wont work with the camara , does the pidgin work with the camara installed in mi mac?

  • unknown Oct 18, 2009 @ 1:58

    The pidgin-macosx project provides a dmg with a native port of pidgin for macos.
    Adium is good, but one of my requirements is to be able to share my chatlogs between my linux and mac machines. I wiuld rather have a common chatlog format, hence a common client for mac and linux.
    Pidgin does have plugins that can import and read adium logs, not sure about adium though. But its much easier to go to your logs directory on a shell and read it.
    I could also just run finch on a screen session on my linux machine and connect to that from the mac. But then, i will miss the popup notifications.

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