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Pidgin Portable Support

Many of the most common issues that arise when using Pidgin Portable are addressed here. Please read through the various topics to see if any of them address your question. You can also post a message on the Pidgin Portable Support Forum.

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Pidgin Portable-Specific Issues

General Pidgin Issues

Installing Pidgin Portable

To install Pidgin Portable, just download the portable package at the top of the Pidgin Portable page and then double-click it. Select the location you wish to install to and click OK. A PidginPortable directory will be created there and all the necessary files installed. That's all there is to it..

Using Pidgin Portable

To start up Pidgin Portable, just double-click PortablePidgin.exe file where you installed Pidgin Portable on your portable drive. Then, use it just like you would a local copy of Pidgin. There are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Stay Safe - When using portable apps, it's always a good idea to practice Safe Portable App-ing.
  • Removing Your Drive - When you're done, exit Pidgin and then wait for the activity light on your removable drive to stop flashing. Then select the 'Safely remove [device]' option from the icon in the system tray. If you remove the drive while it is writing, you may lose data.

Upgrading Pidgin Portable

To upgrade to a newer version of Pidgin Portable, just install a new version over your current installation. All your settings will be preserved.

Copying Your Local Pidgin Settings to Pidgin Portable

If you're using a local copy of Pidgin, you may wish to just copy your local settings right into Pidgin Portable. Your local Pidgin settings are usually installed in C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\.Purple\ Just copy that .Purple directory to the PidginPortable\Data\settings directory and you're all set.

Setting Pidgin Portable to Use a Specific Language

By default, Pidgin Portable will operate in the language of the operating system it's running on. If you'd like, you can set it to use a specific language regardless of operating system settings. After running Pidgin Portable at least once (and generating your default settings), head to PidginPortable\Data\settings directory and open up PidginPortableSettings.ini. In there, set PidginLANG equal to the language you wish to use... de for German, for instance. It's blank by default, which means it will use the operating system default).

Running From CD (Pidgin Portable Live)

Pidgin Portable supports running from CD right out of the box. Just install it locally and run it at least once, configuring it to your liking. Then burn the whole PidginPortable directory to CD. That's all there is to it.

Installing Encryption Plugins

Easy to use packages of Pidgin-Encryption and Pidgin-OTR are available from the Pidgin Portable homepage. Just download and run them while Pidgin is closed.

Known Issues

There are no known issues with the current release.


I made some modifications to the default version of Pidgin to make it more USB key friendly (decreasing total install size and backing up configurations). These changes are listed here so you'll know what they are, and so you can recreate the process, if so desired.

  • Friendly Launcher - Pidgin Portable Launcher is included by default. This sets certain environment variables (PATH, HOME, GTK_BASEPATH) to enable Pidgin to run from the portable device.
  • EXEs and DLLs Compressed - All EXEs and DLLs were recompressed using UPX. This gets our installed size down to one that is a bit more manageable. Additionally, it will speed up use when you're running over USB 1.1. The options used were: --best --compress-icons=0 --nrv2e --crp-ms=999999 -k
  • Language Files Removed - The language files were removed from the English-US version to save space.
  • GTK+ Added - The GTK+ files have been added directly to the Pidgin directory to allow Pidgin to work portably whether or not GTK+ is installed on the host PC.

Version History

  • 2.1.0 - August 13, 2007
    • Updated to Pidgin 2.1.0
    • Improved Installer
    • Automatic import of Gaim Portable settings
    • OTR and Encryption support
    • Support for legacy GTK for Windows 9x
  • 2.0 Beta 5 -
  • 2.0 Beta 3.1 - September 7, 2006
    • Updated to Gaim 2.0 Beta 3
    • Added Live CD support
    • New split App/Data directory structure
    • Fix to resolve conflict when Gnumeric is installed locally
    • Added language selection option
  • 2.0 Beta 2 - January 27, 2006
    • Test release using Gaim 2.0 Beta 2 based on Gaim Portable 1.5
  • 1.5 - January 27, 2006
    • Fix for some users experiencing issues with partially uninstalled GTK
    • Smiley themes fixed
    • Smaller English-only edition as well as a multilingual edition supporting all languages that Gaim supports
  • 1.5 Beta 2 - December 13, 2005
    • Improved directory structure
    • Support for shared GTK directory
    • Off The Record encryption plugin included
    • Default smileys set
    • Splash screen for instant feedback on slow devices
  • 1.5 Beta - November 10, 2005
    • First public release based on Gaim 1.5 and Gaim Portable Launcher