Thursday, August 25, 2011

pidgin hijinx

Links: pidgin   iptux
Note: iptux and giver are two other LAN messengers briefly considered here. Giver has a Novell mono dependency, which is to say "Microsoft mono dependency", and it was abandoned in 2009, around the time MSoft acquired Novell. Go figure. I didn't bother with that one. Iptux looks pretty good. Current development. No WAN connection. Behaves itself by not attempting to jump outside the LAN. No server. Presence detection. Fast.

I installed Pidgin several years ago for simple local messaging on the home LAN using a basic Bonjour protocol. It's worked great for simple text messages. This week I wanted to move files around the LAN in some easy way without mounting via NFS. Just need the occasional ad-hoc file transfer between systems. I attempted to use Pidgin and found that my installation, which was v2.5, would open a file, but then stalled without transferring any of the file.I checked for MTU limitations, ran those down to 1400, but still could not do it. Attempts were made on two Linksys routers, a cheapo e1000 and an older befsr41 dug-out from the storage shed. Neither router could transfer. I only want this for a LAN, not going out over the Net, so it was annoying. I hate NFS mounts because they're persistent, must be configured, require mounting points, and a lot of other garbage. Fuse is similarly out. So, back to the drawing board with Pidgin and Bonjour.

ethernet/nic checks

Initial checks with ethtool and mii-tool showed all was fine and I was easily able to rapidly copy files between the two computers using scp as long as the sshd daemon was turned-on on both computers. Still, no file transfer with Pidgin.

version checks

The most recent, as I write, is version 2.10. Of greater interest to me is which dependencies will provide which sort of support, since I want to be sure and build-in file transferring. Libpurple is included in the build. For installation, I just made sure the old version 2.5 was removed and then did configure, make , make install. All went well and I had file transfer.

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