I don't like the Empathy chat client, and I want to use Pidgin instead, but I want to maintain the functionality Empathy has in the messaging menu.
How can I do this in the cleanest way possible?
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The IM system in Ubuntu is called Telepathy. Empathy is a GUI for some aspects of it. But Telepathy is really different from Pidgin. It is designed to be accessed by different applications at the same time, for instance. IE, a contact application would simply make a request for a phone call, and then you'd get a GUI to end the phone call, etc. The contact application would not have to worry about the kind of protocol used, etc. That's Telepathys job.
So you could use Pidgin instead of Empathy, but Pidgin cannot replace it because it's a completely different thing. You'd want to get a plugin to integrate it with the message indicator. I don't know if such a plugin exists, but you could always program it yourself. Both Pidgin and Indicators have good APIs and documentation.
Pidgin could potentially be used as a GUI for Telepathy though.
You only need two steps
sudo apt-get install pidgin
sudo apt-get purge empathy
sudo apt-get install "package name"
"package name" can be one of:
pidgin-audacious pidgin-facebookchat pidgin-nateon pidgin-awayonlock pidgin-festival pidgin-nateon-dbg pidgin-blinklight pidgin-guifications pidgin-openpgp pidgin-blue pidgin-hotkeys pidgin-otr pidgin-bot-sentry pidgin-lastfm pidgin-plugin-pack pidgin-data pidgin-libnotify pidgin-privacy-please pidgin-dbg pidgin-librvp pidgin-sipe pidgin-dev pidgin-microblog pidgin-skype pidgin-encryption pidgin-mpris pidgin-skype-dbg pidgin-extprefs pidgin-musictracker pidgin-themes
Note: after installing pidgin you need to add your account since pidgin and empathy don't share any user data or information about the accounts
Apparently this guy switched Evolution completely with Thunderbird, and then says he completely switched Empathy and Pidgin by simply:
sudo apt-get install pidgin
Though I'm not really sure how that would get Pidgin integrated like Empathy is by default.. From reading the comments, though, it seems other people have had success, so I won't judge.
(See this web article: replacing empathy with pidgin on Ubuntu)
I had this somewhere on Internet and it worked like a charm for me :
sudo apt-get install pidgin ( if not installed)
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/gnome3 sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-extensions-pidgin sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool ( if u have not installed already)
Open advance setting in Gnome-shell and just make sure that the pidgin-integration-extension in shell extension is in on position. If it is in on then every thing going to be fine as it is not supported on some Gnome-shell , if it is not in on position or if is somewhat like disabled or if you are not able to toggle it to on/off position then I think integration will not be possible (not sure), try to update your system and try again.
If the pidgin-integration-extension is running fine i.e. it is on position then press alt + f2 then type r and press enter or just log out and log in to restart shell.
Remove empathy :
sudo apt-get purge empathy ( not necessary )
note: to avoid getting both the standard Pidgin notifications and the new ones, in Pidgin select Tools > Plugins and un-check the box next to "Libnotify Popups".