Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I log in to several different accounts on Pidgin. Pidgin collates all of my buddies into one buddy list. For example (inexplicably), I have my normal set of AIM groups, and then a group called "Buddies" when I log in to gtalk, and another group called "gtalk". Then, when logging into my 2nd AIM account, those buddies show up in existing AIM groups.

This is annoying! I want there to be clear separation between the different accounts. (Sean Egan's rationale for this is here, "Identity vs. Account Orientation":

Is there a plugin that will let me keep my separate accounts more separate? Maybe a 3rd level of grouping for each account/protocol. Or maybe separate tabs for each buddy list. Maybe it will even let me run separate instances of Pidgin, one for each account (though that would not be fun.)

What have people used to accomplish this (and what version? My Ubuntu box has 2.5.5, but I can easily install the latest if there are new options/plugins that require it.)

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

As far as I know, you can create separate groups for each account (for example: "AIM 1" and "AIM 2") and then move your buddies to the right group. I don't use AIM but this works perfectly for me without any plug-in with Pidgin 2.6.4 using MSN. (I have a "work" group for my first and another for my second MSN account.)

Or alternatively you can run separate instances of Pidgin with sudo -u otherusername pidgin (or gksudo -u otherusername pidgin). Note, that you have to create a second user to do that, have the proper rights to run sudo and enter your password every time you run Pidgin like that, which can be a little annoying too.

share|improve this answer
So the short answer is 'not really', but some helpful tips here. Thanks! – rascher Apr 24 '12 at 3:49

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.