Needed to get IM working from my Ubuntu Linux boxes to my employer’s Microsoft Office Communicator (2007?) service. Was using the Microsoft Messenger 4.7 client in a VM hosting Windows, but of late this seems to not work well enough for some of my coworkers (since I am often not actively using that VM).

I had looked at this over a year ago, but the SIPE support for Pidgin did not support the options needed for the IM service as configured by the company. On checking again, it seemed possible that the current version might work, but I needed the most recent version of Pidgin and the SIPE plugin.

Update: There is at present a bug in the SIPE 1.11.0 in the autodiscover code that causes a crash after about 90 seconds. I had to revert to Pidgin 2.6.6 and SIPE 1.10.0.

So … for future reference. :)

Building Pidgin and the SIPE plugin from sources on Ubuntu

  1. Install the dependencies needed to build from sources.

    sudo apt-get build-dep pidgin pidgin-sipe
    
  2. Remove any existing installation.

    sudo apt-get remove pidgin pidgin-sipe libpurple-dev
    
  3. Download Pidgin sources.
  4. Change to the directory in which you unpacked the Pidgin sources, and build.

    ./configure
    make
    sudo make install
    
  5. Download Pidgin SIPE plugin.
  6. Change to the directory in which you unpacked the SIPE plugin sources, and build. ./configure –enable-telepathy=no make sudo make install
  7. Now run Pidgin. It should appear in the usual Gnome menu, or can be run from the command line. Given that figuring out the right options for you company’s setup can be tricky (it was for me), you might want to do the initial connection setup with debug output from the command line.

    pidgin -d
    

    Not strictly necessary, as the “Debug Window” (got to via the “Help” menu) offers the same(?) information.

    You might also want to (temporarily) disable any other IM accounts you have configured.

Figuring out the right options to use with your company IM service … you are on your own. :)