Because Robots Believe In You!

Wes Frazier, IT Analyst.

A little blag where I post things, often about tech or politics. Sometimes about things I read.

Installing/compiling pidgin-opensteamworks on Debian Wheezy.

pidgin-opensteamworks is a plugin for the Pidgin instant messenger allowing it to connect to Valve’s Steam service. (Actually it should work with anything using libpurple, so any telepathy client w/ telepathy-haze can likely make use of it as well.)

However it is currently unpackaged in Debian and worse, its makefile is crap. I ran across a dozen posts at various blogs and associated comments which were all generating noise on how to massage the Makefile into a working state for their respective distributions. None of which really worked for me.

I discovered it was packaged in an Ubuntu PPA but it had a dependency on a version of libc which was newer than what Wheezy ships. However I was able to extract a makefile from the source package, apply it to the SVN code and got it to compile relatively cleanly.

Prerequisite Packages:

  • build-essential
  • libpurple-dev
  • libgnome-keyring-dev
  • libnss3-dev
  • libjson-glib-dev
  • libglib2.0-dev

Tarball of the SVN as of October 18th w/ modified makefile: steam-libpurple.tar.bz2

Icon pack (gives the protocol an icon):

After building copy the library to ~/.purple/plugins (or to /usr/lib/purple-2/ for all users.) Unzip to /usr/share/pixmaps/pidgin/protocols/

Steam should now be a valid account type in pidgin.

One thing to keep in mind is that the plugin uses the mobile API to work. You will appear to other steam users as if you are logged in from a smart phone. Other than that the plugin works, flawlessly.

pidgin-opensteamworks is distributed under the GPL v3 license.


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I had been looking for a solution to my problem for several hours, pidgin was not willing to detect the f****** plugin, until I tried this!

    — Ashemsay Mon, 31 Mar 2014

  2. Thanks for help,it's worked - Linux Debian Wheezy amd64

    — LemanoMan Thu, 10 Apr 2014

  3. Glad this was useful for folks!

    trashHeap Sat, 26 Apr 2014

  4. Thanks, if you're okay with it, I posted a "newer" guide based on yours on my tumblelog.

    torekk Thu, 19 May 2016

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