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Thread: How to SMS messages to a phone through Pidgin

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Denver, CO
    Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    How to SMS messages to a phone through Pidgin

    Package Requirements

    1. Pidgin - version 2.5.4 or higher
    2. A Gmail account -- Gtalk as used as the IM Message <-> SMS text gateway
    3. Google Talk SMS Plugin :

    Service only known to work within United States. I know of no known incidences were people located in other areas of the world are able to make this work.

    Optional Pidgin Character Counting Plugin - To Give Character Count of SMS messages that should not eclipse 140 characters (Homepage:
    - Deb File -

    1. Gmail Account -- Ensure that in the Gmail Settings that SMS messaging is enabled. This is located within: Settings->Labs->Text Messaging (SMS) in Chat.

    2. Ensure Pidgin is installed
    If you haven't installed Pidgin this can be done by:
    sudo aptitude install pidgin
    I will leave the details how to add your individual gmail account into pidgin to the reader. It should be self explanatory.

    Installation of Plugins:
    1. Google Talk SMS plugin : Download the plugin ( and place it within the ~/.purple/plugins folder. If you do not have this directory tree, you will have to create the appropriate directories and place the perl plugin within this directory. I would verify the permissions on this file and ensure they are at least executable by the user. I changed the permissions on my file to 755. This can be done via

    chmod 755 ~/.purple/plugins/
    2. Optional Character Counting plugin - Download the plugin .deb file: This may be installed via the following:

    sudo dpkg -i pidgin-convcharcount-plugin_2.3.1-1_i386.deb
    The are other methods to install this plugin additionally if you are interested in compiling pidgin from source or mtn:

    Activating the plugins:
    The plugins must be first activated within Pidgin prior to be able to utilize their functionality. This may be accomplished by first enabling the plugins:
    Pidgin->Tools->Plugins->Google Talk SMS (Make sure this is checked)
    Pidgin->Tools->Plugins->Conv. input chars count (Make sure this is checked)

    Adding a cellular phone to use:
    Pidgin->Buddies->Add Buddy
    The format for adding a phone number is the following: (Where xxxxxxxxxx is the area code and phone number)

    After adding the buddy, the name within the Buddy List will always be shown as Not Authorized, and there is no way to verify that the buddy is "Online" since communications are going through an IM-to-SMS gateway.

    Windows Instructions:
    For those running a mix of Windows and Linux boxes as I do, this plugin can be used in Windows. Additional requirements are installation of a perl interpreter. This can be either through the installation of Active Perl ( or through the installation of cygwin. After installation of either the above the appropriate windows version of the script is placed within the %APPDATA%/.purple/plugins subfolder. In some cases you may need to change the properties of this file to something like 744 to make it executable (YMMV). The difference between the windows and linux versions of the plugins are the Linux CR/LF are converted to windows style CR/LF. Ive included the windows version as this is not distributed on the original site.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Gmail_SMS_Chat_Enablation.JPG 
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Name:	Pidgin_Plugin_Activation.JPG 
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Name:	Adding_SMS_Buddy.JPG 
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    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by kevdog; August 17th, 2009 at 12:58 PM.


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