Setting up the MSN-XMPP plugin in Pidgin

Fun conversation in the #pidgin IRC channel this morning about the latest news about Microsoft shutting down the MSN servers later this year. As part of it, a few people wanted to start using MSN-over-XMPP using the msn-xmpp plugin for Pidgin. I have some uncommitted (and unfinished) code on my computer to convert the plugin from just an authorising mechanism to a proper protocol plugin but in its presently available state, it’s a fairly manual process. Just to make people’s lives easier I’m documenting here the setup process (might even put some info on the Google code page 🙂 )

First of all, grab the plugin, install it and enable it through Tools->Plugins
msn-xmpp-plugin-enable

Then create a new XMPP account in your Pidgin Accounts page. You’ll want to use your MSN/Live/WLM email address with the ‘@’ characters replaced with ‘%40’ for the username, and messenger.live.com as the domain
msn-xmpp-plugin-settings

Save and enable the account and follow all the popup prompts and login pages in your browser. You’ll also want to open the debug log in Pidgin through Help->Debug Window. You’re watching for a message saying ‘see-other-host’ (you can filter by it if you want). You want to then take that value and cram it into the ‘Connect Server’ setting in the Advanced tab.