Today when I was starting pidgin I could connect to ICQ, but when trying to connect to MSN Pidgin comes up with:

unable to retrieve MSN address book

So I was googeling a little bit and found a bug @ pidgin from yesterday. The problem is not pidgin, although the official MSN client and some others clients still work (e.g. meebo). There are several different versions of the MSN protocol, pidgin is using MSNP15. And exactly this protocol is currently not working on the server side @ Microsoft (as it seems).

Other clients are not affected as they switch to older version of the protocol, which are still working.

Because I don’t want to wait until MS fixed the problem, I use a quick workaround. As an alternative you can install msn-pecan.

With Gentoo this works (after adding “x11-plugins/pidgin-msn-pecan ~x86” to /etc/portage/package.keywords):

# emerge pidgin-msn-pecan

After the installation just restart Pidgin go to “Accounts” -> “Manage Accounts”. Select your MSN-Account, click “Modify”. Choose “WLM” as protocol. Save and reconnect your MSN account. Works like a charm!

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