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Pidgin OpenSteamWorks is a plugin that allows you to chat with your Steam friends from Pidgin.

Why use it? Well, if you're both a Steam and Pidgin user, you may find it more convenient to chat with your Steam friends from Pidgin, without having to open Steam, especially since the Steam Linux client is very resource hungry.

The plugin has initially used Open Steamworks, an open implementation of Valve's Steamworks API but that required Steam to run in the background so with version 1.0, the plugin has switched to the Steam mobile API so it's no longer needs Steam to work.

The Steam plugin for Pidgin plugin is available for Linux and Mac OSX and there's also an older version available for Windows (however, the old Windows version requires Steam to run in the background).

How to install and use Pidgin OpenSteamWorks plugin

Ubuntu 13.04, 12.10 and 12.04 users can install the Pidgin OpenSteamWorks plugin by using a PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lasall/pidgin-opensteamworks
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pidgin-opensteamworks
That's it for Ubuntu users.

Note: I've tested it on Ubuntu 13.04 64bit only.

For other Linux distributions, download the .so file (libsteam-*.so for 32bit or libsteam64-*.so for 64bit) and copy it under one of the folders below:
  • ~/.purple/plugins (if that folder doesn't exist, create it) for your user or 
  • /usr/lib/pidgin/ to install it system-wide

You'll also have to download the plugin icons (icons.zip), extract them and copy the two folders (16 and 48) to /usr/share/pixmaps/pidgin/protocols/ . And finally, you'll also need to install the json-glib library (the package name varies depending on the Linux distribution you're using).

Once installed, restart Pidgin, from its menu select Accounts > Manage Accounts, then click Add and under Protocol select "Steam" and add your username and password, etc.:

pidgin steam

Once you click "Add", you should receive an email from Steam Support with a code you need to enter in Pidgin to authorize it to connect with Steam:

pidgin steam

Enter the correct code, click OK and that's it. You should now be able to chat with your Steam friends from Pidgin.