Add Skype to Pidgin

This article was modified on 2012-11-12 14:56:45

From all chat software, Pidgin is my favorite. Free, open-source and supports a long list of chat networks (the entire list is featured on Pidgin homepage). However, you probably noticed that Skype is missing from that list. For me, Skype was the only network that was missing from Pidgin protocol list. Fortunately, there is a solution and I tried to cover all the steps as the information found on other websites was poor.

Prerequisites: Pidgin, Skype and a plug-in that makes everything possible. This plug-in works for all popular operating systems: Windows, Linux and Mac. The method described here is for Microsoft Windows users.
Plug-in: It was made by Eion Robb (Thank you!) and you can Download Skype API Plugin for Pidgin/libpurple/Adium from his homepage  or from Google Code. The Windows section look like this:
Skype plugin screenshot from
You probably noticed that you have two alternatives. First - download and copy the plug-in named "libskype.dll" directly to "Program Files"-"Pidgin"-"plug-ins". Second - Eion Robb was kind enough to create an installer that will do the job automatically. I tested both of them and they work - the following image is just a reminder.
libskype.dll and skype4pidgin-installer.exe - the same plugin needed to integrate Skype in Pidgin client
If you copied the plug-in, you may skip this part. If you used the installer, you will see the following images.
Welcome to skype4pidgin plugin installer - setup wizard window

License Agreement

skype4pidgin installer plugin was installed successfully
Once you have the plug-in installed or copied, make sure that you log in to your Skype account. That's the only "disadvantage". The explanation can be found in the README file - "it does require Skype to be running as it uses the Skype API to communicate with a running copy of Skype".
Skype login interface
If Skype runs on your computer, make sure that you also open Pidgin. From main interface go to "Accounts" tab and choose "Manage Accounts".
Select Accounts - Manage Accounts from Pidgin interface
The "Accounts" window will open. From here, choose "Add" to add your Skype account to Pidgin.
Accounts window
In the "Add Account" window, select the protocol and you should see and choose "Skype".
Add account window - select Skype from protocol list in Pidgin
Once again, in this window make sure the protocol selected is "Skype" and type your username right-under. After that, choose "Add".
NOTE: As you noticed, there is no password required. That’s because you need to run Skype before you attempt to use it from Pidgin. First time, it might confuse you but you will get used to it.
Add Skype account username in Pidgin
This is a confirmation window, if you need to make any changes, select the username and choose "Edit" otherwise click on "Add".
Pidgin accounts - yahoo and skype added
When you added your username, return to Skype interface. You should see the following warning message: "Another application (pidgin.exe) is attempting to access but we are unable to respond. Please try to restart the application."
Attempt access warning window in Skype
If you click on that message, it will change in to this: "pidgin.exe wants to use Skype". Obviously you have to choose "Allow Access". You may get this message from Skype and you always have to allow it.
pidgin.exe wants to use Skype - choose - Allow or Deny access
There is another confirmation window from Skype and I advise you to read the following message: "Another program is trying to put Skype in Silent mode". It's important as it will change several things.
Important: While this application is running you won't see any notifications of calls, IMs or other Skype events, although you will still hear your ringtone when someone calls you. To return to normal, click on the Skype icon in the System Tray at the bottom of your screen and choose Open Skype. Click OK to accept or Cancel to deny this request.
Confirm silent mode warning window
If everything went well, you should be able to see your Skype account in Pidgin interface. That's how it looks on my computer - I highlighted that area.
Skype account runs in Pidgin
This solution is not perfect as it requires to run Skype together with Pidgin but Eion Robb plug-in is definitely useful. Therefore, if you feel the same, please consider a donation (it's right on his homepage).

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