Pidgin Stability Revisited

I’ve had continuous stability issues with Pidgin since i switched from Trillian almost two months ago. Of course I had stability issues with Trillian too, which is part of why I switched out of it. Over the last few weeks I’ve tried enabling and disabling various account types in hopes that I could isolate some of the problems. FWIW, and hoping to help others, here are some notes on what I’ve found.

First off, as for configuration, I’m running the current 2.4.3 release of Pidgin on Vista Business on a Lenovo X60s laptop. I have the following Plugins enabled:

  • Message Timestamp Formats 2.4.3
  • Off-the-Record Messaging 3.2.0
  • Offline Message Emulation 2.4.3
  • Release Notification 2.4.3
  • Windows Pidgin Options 2.4.3

When I turn on all my IM accounts, I have 9 accounts active:

  • 2 AOL AIM
  • 2 Yahoo! IM
  • 2 GTalk XMPP
  • 1 ICQ
  • 1 Facebook
  • 1 Skype

My working assumption a priori was that it was some buggy implementation of one of the IM mediums. I ran with only AIM and Y!M enabled for a while and it made Pidgin a ton more stable. Crashes were reduced to a couple per day. Adding in XMPP didn’t seem to make anything worse. The problems seem to be the Facebook and Skype implementations. When I turn either or both of those on, Pidgin crashes a lot (a few times per hour!).

I have not tested the Plugins carefully. For all I know, they’re the underlying culprit. If anybody has any info on that possibility, I’m all ears!

Finally, I think that the numerous power cycling (sleeps and hibernates) that my laptop goes through in a given day might piss off Pidgin. I find that it will sometimes crash just as I come out of sleep. Or maybe it doesn’t like the network connection coming and going so much?

Net-net, I’m still a happy Pidgin user. The good news is that it boots up fast, so it’s not all that painful to have to deal with it a couple times a day if I have to. Hopefully it’ll get more stable over time!


  1. Shawn

    UPDATE: It looks like it might be OTR. I turned OTR off about 24 hours ago and things have been MUCH more stable now – even with the Skype and Facebook connections running. And it’s 11 accounts – I forgot my two MSN/LIVE jobbies.

    DAN: XP or Vista?

  2. Dan

    I’m not even running half the plug-ins you are, so take it FWIW, but constant sleep / awaken / hibernate with my setup (again IBM/Lenovo) is not disturbing or upsetting pidgin at all.

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