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Old 01-11-2009, 10:38 PM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2008
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Pidgin unable to login to MSN

I just recently switched from Ubuntu 8.10 to Fedora 10, and everything has worked fine for a few days, until today when I opened Pidgin, and received this error when trying to sign in to my MSN account...

"**** disconnected
Unable to retrieve MSN Address Book"

After a bit of googling it seems to be related to using the MSNP14 protocol. The only problem is, I have never specifically activated this. I am using the version of pidgin from the repositories.

The only thing I could think of is that when I switched distributions, I kept my home folder, as it was on a different partition. Could this be the problem? If not, how can I disable MSNP14 (If that's even the problem here)?
Old 01-12-2009, 12:01 AM   #2
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I just started having this problem too. Pidgin 2.5.3 on Kubuntu 8.10 fully updated. It worked fine before I left for this weekend, and now that I come back, it is broken.

edit// Just so you know, Pidgin has been on MSNP15 since 2.5.0. It is NOT something you activate, but something that the developers set as default in the build. Don't worry about that aspect. The search results are false, as at the time that post was made, was before they had migrated the code to the newer MSN protocol versions.

Last edited by gehzumteufel; 01-12-2009 at 12:04 AM.
Old 01-12-2009, 12:13 AM   #3
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Same issue here. Slackware 12.0, but was running 2.5.2. Upgrade to 2.5.3 did not help. Worked yesterday, but broken today.
Old 01-12-2009, 12:57 AM   #4
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Same issue here running WinXp. sp3

worked yesterday, broken today.

Best guess is that MSN have changed something. WE NEED A WORKAROUND? PATCH!!
Old 01-12-2009, 01:20 AM   #5
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Found this thread googling for a solution because as many of those who posted here, it worked yesterday bit today it doesnt.
Patches? Workarounds? Skype does IM too and it gets more popular every day, I guess I'll e-mail my skype name to my MSN contacts and tell them that they can find me there. One less MS 'thing' out of my computer.
Old 01-12-2009, 01:33 AM   #6
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Alright guys, here is some info.
Old 01-12-2009, 04:17 AM   #7
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It appears that there is a problem with the MSNP15 protocol, which is what the latest version of pidgin is using. I've temporarily solved this problem by switching to the msn-pecan plugin for pidgin, which uses an earlier version of the protocol that isn't affected by this issue.

Go to and download it. They have .deb's but no RPM. Compiling was easy enough. Instructions can be found at

Then, just open up pidgin, and go to Accounts->Manage Accounts. Select your MSN account, click Modify, and change your protocol from MSN to WLM.
Old 01-12-2009, 04:34 AM   #8
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Having used Pidgin (previously Gaim) for quite a long time, these MSN problems aren't anything new, but nice to see the problem is recognized this fast. I've used MSN webmessenger when Pidgin has failed until a fix has come, but I'll try that Pecan plugin now to see how it works out..

Apparently the other Gnome-fitting messenger application, Empathy, has no problems with MSN at the moment. Gotta try and see how that plays out as well..last time I used it, though, I had this problem of not being able to reply to any messages (funny - like a phone line deaf to one direction); I could send messages (as in starting conversation), but if I was sent a message, replying to it would only show up on my side. I guess one can't have everything
Old 01-12-2009, 04:37 AM   #9
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This must be something temporary. Pidgin worked for me flawlessly yesterday - it broke this morning and I know I haven't done any update of any component whatsoever on my system (F10).
I'll wait for a day and see what happens...
Old 01-12-2009, 04:58 AM   #10
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Thank you muchly

Hey everyone. My first post! Yay! Anyway, i'd just like to thank everyone who have contributed to this thread. I was having a bad enough day as it was, only to come home and find out that pidgin was throwing me an unretrievable address book error. I'm just glad i wasn't the only one having the issue, and was quite relieved to see the pecan pidgin plugin allowed my msn to work again. So thank you!
Old 01-12-2009, 05:42 AM   #11
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Hi there!

I'm using ubuntu 2.6.24-23-generic, and have the same problem, but a colleague of mine who uses kubuntu 2.6.24-19-generic, and uses pidgin without a problem.

I'm not an expert but maybe someone can detect the diferences between those two systems.

Old 01-12-2009, 05:46 AM   #12
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no problem here,
debian testing
pidgin 2.4.3
Old 01-12-2009, 06:16 AM   #13
Registered: May 2008
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I used the opportunity to check out empathy, looks ok - just needs more work but more importantly works with msn while I wait for pidgin patch
Currently my vote goes to pidgin despite some protocol problems..
Old 01-12-2009, 06:54 AM   #14
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same here, on gentoo with pidgin 2.5.2

solved it by
emerge -av pidgin-msn-pecan

and chose WLM protocol
Old 01-12-2009, 08:00 AM   #15
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Similarly, on Ubuntu Intrepid (8.10)...

sudo apt-get install msn-pecan

Then, visit your account details in Pidgin and change the protocol from MSN to WLM. All working for now.

Also, I believe msn-pecan also uses the new protocol (MSNP15), so I think that MS must have changed something that exposes a Pidgin bug.

Apologies; msn-pecan uses MSNP12, which is newer than Pidgin 2.4.3 and earlier (MSNP9) but still not the current protocol.

Last edited by aaronkelley; 01-12-2009 at 03:56 PM.


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