Wednesday, 27 January 2010

How-To: Install Finch 2.6.5 in Debian Lenny

Finch is a powerful text user interface instant messaging client based on libpurple, and it comes included in the Pidgin source, the popular GNOME IM client. Finch supports various protocols, including AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo and IRC.

The version which ships in Debian Lenny is rather old (2.4.3), so in order to install the latest release of Finch in Debian Lenny (which, at the time of writing is 2.6.5), just follow the next steps:

Make sure the sources repositories are enabled, so that the needed development libraries are available. That is, a line like the following should be available in the /etc/apt/sources.list file:

deb-src lenny main contrib non-free

As root, update the packages list:

apt-get update

And install the development libraries:

apt-get build-dep finch

Next, download the Pidgin source code (which also includes Finch source) from the official website (direct link here), uncompress it:

tar -xjf pidgin-2.6.5.tar.bz2

Change the current working directory to pidgin-2.6.5 and compile and install it using:

./configure --disable-gtkui --disable-vv --disable-nm

The --disable-gtkui switch will not build the GTK interface, and the other two will disable voice/video support and NetworkManager support.

Now issue the usual:

make install

The last one as root. Alternately, you can install Finch as a local user, by specifying an install prefix:

./configure --prefix=/home/USER/usr --disable-gtkui --disable-vv --disable-nm
make install

In this case, make install should be run as normal user. Replace USER with your username and make sure /home/USER/usr/bin is included in your $PATH variable. Run Finch by typing finch at the command-line.

Pidgin 2.6.5 running in a terminal


Anonymous said...

My take on all these linux based IM apps is that : do not talk to me unless you can incorporate yahoo / google video & audio chatting. It's absolutely of no use how cutting edge the technology is or how good the UI is. What matters is functionality to the end user. Projects like gyache have been trashed years ago and no other project seems to be addressing this concern. All the pidgins & empathys are no good unless this is not addressed. One way how Windows is way ahead of Linux - whatever linux advocates may say to defend themselves - this remains the truth !

Khelben said...

Thanks very much for doing this! I'm compiling up this Finch from source code right now.

As usual, these Microsoft lovers just don't get it.

Khelben said...

I cannot start finch:

finch: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Recommendations? I'm using Debian Lenny as has been suggested also.

Anonymous said...

run ldconfig