Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Pidgin 2.6.1 was released yesterday but it won't be updated in the Ubuntu repositories and not even in it's PPA. But Ubuntu users can download it from GetDeb (or add the GetDeb repository).

If you use another Linux distribution, you can download Pidgin 2.6.1 source files from HERE. There are also .rpm files available at the same location.

Windows users - just head over to Pidgin download page.

Version 2.6.0 includes major changes and improvements (2.6.1. fixes just 3 bugs and was released in the same day as 2.6.0):

Voice and Video support - Thanks to Mike Ruprecht and his Summer of Code project from 2008, libpurple now has a voice and video framework that can be used to add these features to Pidgin protocol plugins. Currently Pidgin supports these features only on XMPP, but Mike is working on other protocols. The biggest setback this far is that these features are not supported on Windows - but the Pidgin devs are working on it! One note though: it appears that the package from GetDeb does not provide voice/video support because Jaunty does not have the required library versions, so you probably must wait until Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala.

Theme support - Another Summer of Code project from 2008, this time by Justin Rodriguez, adds theming support to libpurple and Pidgin. This currently isn't very well documented at all, but themes are now supported for the buddy list, sounds, and status icons.

For Yahoo! protocol:

-P2P file transfers
-Addition of MSN buddies to Yahoo accounts by adding them as 'msn/buddy@…' is now supported.

And another addition - very small but I really like it - Support saving animated custom smileys as animated images or animated custom smileys.

For full release details of versions 2.6.0 and 2.6.1, go here.

In case you don't know, Pidgin is an easy to use and free chat client (instant messenger) used by millions. Connect to AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and more chat networks all at once.

Update: I changed version 2.6.0 in this post to 2.6.1 as both versions came out yesterday.