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I've recently installed Ubuntu 9.04. I've set up my internet connection via wvdial (Ubuntu does not recognize my mobile broadband provider), which works but it seems pidgin does not know that I'm connected to the internet. Whenever I try to use pidgin, I get a 'waiting for network connection' message and it just never gets around to connecting. What should I do to fix this?

Edit: It might be problem with my ubuntu installation/internet setup. While Firefox and Synaptic works, both Pidgin and Empathy cannot connect to the internet. It is as if the IM clients don't know that an internet connection is available. Empathy does not even allow setting the status to anything but 'offline'.

Starting empathy from the terminal prints the following output:

** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_presence_actual: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_presence_message_actual: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_presence_actual: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_connection_status: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_presence_actual: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_connection_status: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_connection_status: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_presence_actual: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_connection_status: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_presence_actual: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_connection_status: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_connection_status: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_presence_actual: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_connection_status: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_presence_actual: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_connection_status: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_connection_status: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_online_connections: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_tpconnection: MC not running.
** (empathy:3522): DEBUG: mission_control_get_tpconnection: MC not running.

I am beginning to suspect this might be due to connecting via wget.

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4 Answers 4

This may be your mobile network trying to block IM applications (most mobile phone agreements stipulate that you agree not to use data connections for instant messaging, as it impacts the networks ability to earn large amounts of money sending messages for you via SMS) or it may be that the protocol you are using reacts badly to the higher latency of the mobile network (though this option is less likely) or the combination of the high latency and traffic management by the mobile phone provider.

I have this issue with my netbook, also running Ubuntu 9.04 and using Pidgin. When connected to wireless networks all is well, but when connected via my mobile phone (currently on Vodafone's UK network) I usually can not connect at all to my MSN or Yahoo accounts. I have yet to prove whether this is due to Vodaphone or some more general network issue though (at some point I plan to try run through OpenVPN, or similar, to see if that makes any difference as VF's traffic management will not see the difference between IM connections and anything else, though the VPN itself may be blocked or traffic-shaped into uselessness).

Also, as suggested by Roland, it may be a configuration issue. To rule out network issue, test whether you still have trouble accessing IM services when your machine has a wired or known-good-wireless connection. It might also be worth trying another IM clients to rule out the problem being specific to Pidgin. Also depending on which IM protocol you are trying to use you may find there is an alternative plugin that copes better by default - for example "pecan" is an alternative plugin for MSN/WindowsLive accounts.

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1  
My mobile network is not trying to block IM applications. I can still use Pidgin without any problems from Windows and Ubuntu 7.04 using the same connection. –  MAK Oct 19 '09 at 10:05
1  
Do you have exactly the same version of Pidgin on Windows as you do on Ubuntu? Have you tried other clients under Ubuntu? Empathy is due to replace Pidgin as the default IM client in 9.10 and is (IIRC) also available in the repositories for 9.04 so that might be the first to try. –  David Spillett Oct 19 '09 at 14:20
    
I have upgraded the same version of Pidgin in Windows, Ubuntu 7.04 and Ubuntu 9.04, but only Ubuntu 9.04 is unable to connect. I'll try Empathy, thanks for your suggestion. –  MAK Oct 20 '09 at 8:02
    
@David: Empathy also does not work. See my latest edit. –  MAK Oct 21 '09 at 9:16

Got another answer on ubuntuforums.org. Disabling all accounts and re-enabling them everytime I connect to the internet appears to work. I'm using that until something better is found.

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I haven't done this in a long time, by look into using a proxy of 127.0.0.1. it should make them loop back on your internet connection. look around for more info for this.

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Regarding disabling/enabling accounts, there is a corresponding bug

I start Pidgin automatically via Startup Applications...
It starts disconnected (I use two xmpp accounts, one for gtalk the other for facebook).
I have to disable/enable accounts through "Manage accounts" to get online.

I am not the only one with this issue, see:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=11454289
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=11040098
http://superuser.com/questions/57184/pidgin-and-empathy-cant-connect-in-ubuntu-9-04

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.10
Package: pidgin 1:2.10.0-0ubuntu2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.0.0-13.22-generic 3.0.6
Uname: Linux 3.0.0-13-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 1.23-0ubuntu4
Architecture: amd64
Date: Fri Nov 25 22:27:29 2011
EcryptfsInUse: Yes
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot" - Release amd64 (20111012)
SourcePackage: pidgin
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)
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