Archive:Install Gaim

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This tutorial assumes that you are already interested in using Gaim, probably because it is the awesomest IM program ever.

How to install Gaim on Windows

How to install Gaim on Linux

Gaim has become a standard on Linux systems. It is likely that Gaim is already installed on your system and is either listed as "Gaim" or possibly something more generic like "Instant Messenger". The version of Gaim that came with your distribution may be fairly old by now, so you might want to consider updating.

Here are some distro-specific instructions for installing/updating Gaim:



  • $ apt-get install gaim


  • $ emerge gaim

FreeBSD (not Linux, but whos complaining?):

  • $ pkg_add -r gaim

For other distro-specific tips on installing Gaim, visit this page.

If your distribution is not listed above or in the FAQ, help can be found here. If all else fails, another option is compiling and installing Gaim from the [source code.

Optional: Some distros have additional smileys/plugins in separate packages from the main "gaim" package. Feel free to look around and install whatever you find useful.

How to install Gaim on MacOS X

OS X users can use "Adium", an application that builds upon Gaim to create an IM client that is more integrated with OS X. Adium can be found at Moreover you can speed up mac os x

However, if you insist on installing a stock copy of Gaim on OS X, continue reading.

Before you can run Gaim on OS X, you must first install the X Windows system, which is the standard graphical windowing system for all Unix variants, and Fink, which allows you to more easily install Unix software on an OS X machine.

Otherwise, you can learn How to uninstall applications on mac

Install Apple's X11 and X11 SDK

  1. Install Apple's X11 and the X11 SDK via the XCode (Developer Tools) CD that came with Panther. (Lacking the CD, you can also download it for Panther (10.3) or Jaguar (10.2).)
  2. Download and install the X11 SDK, which allows you to compile software that uses X11.

Install Fink

  1. Visit Fink's download page and get the latest version for your OS.
  2. Once downloading is complete, open the installer within the disk image and follow the instructions. The installer will require an administrator password.
  3. Fink will open the Terminal and ask for permission to modify your shell's configuration. Choose the default "Y" (without quotes) response.
  4. After completing the Fink installation, you can also install FinkCommander, which allows you to control Fink without having to use a terminal. FinkCommander is included with the Fink disk image, and can be installed by dragging it into your Applications folder.

Install Gaim

Using the Terminal:

  1. Open the Terminal (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal).
  2. Type 'fink install gaim' (without quotes) OR type 'fink install gaim-ssl' to install gaim with SSL libraries. (Gaim-ssl adds some encryption abilities, if you feel you need them.)
  3. Enter your password when prompted.
  4. Wait for the build and install to complete. This may take some time, as Fink will be downloading and installing everything that Gaim needs to run.

Using FinkCommander:

  1. Open FinkCommander. It may take a minute to load completely as it needs to ask Fink what packages are currently availiable.
  2. In the search field in the top right corner of the window, type 'gaim' (without quotes). Two entries should appear: gaim and gaim-ssl. Decide which one you want to install. (Gaim-ssl adds some encryption abilities, if you feel you need them.)
  3. Select the item you wish to install, then choose "Binary->Install" at the top of the screen. You can also build gaim from the source code by doing "Source->Install", but this will take significantly more time.
  4. Wait for install to complete. FinkCommander may ask you some questions, I have yet to encounter a situation where the default answer isn't fine.

Running gaim

  1. Open X11 (/Applications/Utilities/X11). A white terminal window labeled "xterm" should appear.
  2. At the prompt, type 'gaim' (without quotes). Gaim should start up, and you should be in business. If typing 'gaim' returns a "command not found" error, you can also give '/sw/bin/gaim' a shot.
  3. For to open Gaim more quickly in the future, go through these steps:
    1. Go to X11's Applications menu and select "Customize..."
    2. In the dialog box that pops up, click the "Add Item" button.
    3. Double-click the newly-created blank item in the Name column and enter whatever you want this menu item to be called (We suggest "Gaim", but feel free to be creative).
    4. Double-click the blank portion in the Command column and enter "gaim" (without quotes). If you had to run '/sw/bin/gaim' to get Gaim to open, then enter that here.
    5. You can also set a key combination to open this item by creating one in the shortcut column. Note that whatever you enter here will be prefixed with a Command (example: "g" equates to Command-g)