Backing up Pidgin

Backing up the instant messaging client Pidgin.

Pidgin stores its per-user configuration files on Linux in ~/.purple/, and on Windows (Vista and newer) in C:\Users\WINDOWS-USER\AppData\Roaming\.purple\. Throughout the rest of this document I shall assume the Linux location; change as necessary for your installation.

I back up:

  • logs/ (chat logs, if logging has been enabled)
  • accounts.xml (user’s account data, optionally including passwords)
  • prefs.xml (user’s preferences)

These files are not encrypted by Pidgin, so if Pidgin is logging chats or storing passwords, be sure to appropriately secure your backup files.

If you use a sync-based backup, you will be dismayed to learn that the files accounts.xml and prefs.xml are frequently modified by Pidgin during normal use. Your backup repository will quickly accumulate thousands of copies of them. The only workaround I know is a kludge: remove them from your sync-based backup set, and instead back them up with a traditional backup solution.

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About Warren Post

So far: Customer support guy, jungle guide, IT consultant, beach bum, entrepreneur, teacher, diplomat, over-enthusiastic cyclist. Tomorrow: who knows?
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