24 Aug

Pidgin 2.6.1, the woes of video support and the loss of encryption


So i got Pidgin 2.6.1 at the literal order of my good friend Anteuz. It’s not in th official repo’s yet, so you can either add a repo where it can be found (link here), or download the source and compile on your own.

I opted for the repository, because it just felt like the easiest way?

Anyway. 2.6.0 brings video and audio support for gmail users (the XMPP protocol), which is very cool. Windows user have had this for ages, using either the gmail flash client, or then the gtalk client. Other IM clients of course have supported video and audio for ages. I remember using MSN messenger (yeah, the folly of youth..) to do voice chats back when it was a novel and cool idea. You got chicks that way. Okay, i am lying.

So 2.6.1 is the latest version that you can download, i guess 2.6.2 is the latest “testing” version or source version. Anyway. Installation went fine, and it got some of the necessary Gstreamer plugins to enable video and audio. No problems, Help -> About shows that Audio and Video is enabled.

But then, when i tried to initiate a video conversation with Anteuz, it failed. The File menu has the new Media entry, which has the options for audio, video and audio and video. All fine so far, except the options are greyed out. Not my side apparently. Turns out the windows 2.6.1 does not have audio and video support, which sucks major ass. So no testing of that nifty feature, since my dear friend is a rooted windows user (no pun intended?). But he’s a gamer, so i understand.

So what does it take? Well, you both need to be using gmail (xmpp protocol), have 2.6.1 or later installed with video support either precompiled or compiled in. And running linux. Wohoo. Not many of my friends on that fucking list eh.

So another thing we found is that pidgin-encryption 3.0 stopped working. It would’t get the other party’s key when it tried the exchange. The error was something in the order of “cannot find buddy!”, when we looked at the debug window. I’m not a developer so the massive debug output didn’t say too much, but the end result was that key exchange wasn’t happening, ergo no encryption. Blah. Now the NSA can read all of my dirty blabberings.

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