Skip to main content

Pidgin, SIPE, and Read Error on Ubutnu 12.04

I think I may have posted about this before but I couldn't find it, so since I was doing a clean install of Ubuntu 12.04 on one of my laptops this weekend I figured I'd write it up again.

If you're on Ubuntu 12.04, you use Pidgin (which you should -- Empathy sucks), and you need to connect to MS Lync (formerly known as Office Communicator), thankfully you can simply install the SIPE plugin for Pidgin:
sudo apt-get install pidgin-sipe

In my case I also had to specify this as the User Agent to get it to connect:
UCCAPI/4.0.7577.314 OC/4.0.7577.314 (Microsoft Lync 2010)

There's one additional wrinkle on Ubuntu 12.04, because even after installing the SIPE plugin and setting the user agent, you may see "Read error" when you try to connect.

You're never alone on the Internet -- other people have run into this too, and the solution is simple enough, but since I didn't want to have to do that every time I launched Pidgin I put that in a bash script and changed the Pidgin launcher to point to this script.

You can put this anywhere so long as it's executable, but here's the script:

I feel like a bad nerd by admitting that I have no idea what that does and didn't take the time to look into it since it solved my problem, but there's the solution that works for me.


Reuben Brown said…
I was just dealing with this today. Thanks Matt.
Gregory said…
Wow!! Spent a few hours trying to get it work... this solved my problem. How did you come to this idea?
Matt Woodward said…
Honestly it was just a lot of searching until I found a reference in the link I include in my post that did the trick. So I can't take credit for the solution, but glad it's helpful for me to help spread the word.
Peter said…
This bug has a more permanent fix if you don't mind changing your environment variables. I created ~/.pam_environment and added the mentioned line there. After a reboot Pidgin started working. More information can be found here:
Matt Woodward said…
Excellent -- thanks for the additional info Peter!
Ano Nym said…
Thanx a lot!
This bugg is in Ubuntu 11X as well, run into it this week when i just did a normal update of the ubuntu binaries.

But the start script solved the problem :)
Ano Nym said…
Thanx a lot!
This bugg is in Ubuntu 11X as well, run into it this week when i just did a normal update of the ubuntu binaries.

But the start script solved the problem :)
Jesse B said…
I don't see an option for setting the user agent in any dialogs? Are you using the SIMPLE protocol option?
Matt Woodward said…
Did you install the SIPE plugin for Pidgin (sudo apt-get install pidgin-sipe)? You need to have that plugin installed, and then for the protocol type you'd pick Office Communicator.

For me when I go to create a new account (or edit my existing one) and choose Office Communicator as the account type, on the advanced tab there is a User Agent field. So my guess is you didn't install the SIPE plugin or aren't using the Office Communicator protocol.
Unknown said…
For anyone finding their way here from GoogleLand, this is a known bug with the NSS plugin, which is an SSL library.

Today I updated to Fedora 19 Alpha and ran into the bug.
Vadim Peretokin said…
Thanks Matt. I didn't have to set the User Agent, but the NSS did the trick.
How can I resolve this on Windows?
Matt Woodward said…
Sorry, no earthly idea. I don't use Windows.
em windows use:
start %PATH%\PidginPortable.exe


Popular posts from this blog

Installing and Configuring NextPVR as a Replacement for Windows Media Center

If you follow me on Google+ you'll know I had a recent rant about Windows Media Center, which after running fine for about a year suddenly decided as of January 29 it was done downloading the program guide and by extension was therefore done recording any TV shows.

I'll spare you more ranting and simply say that none of the suggestions I got (which I appreciate!) worked, and rather than spending more time figuring out why, I decided to try something different.

NextPVR is an awesome free (as in beer, not as in freedom unfortunately ...) PVR application for Windows that with a little bit of tweaking handily replaced Windows Media Center. It can even download guide data, which is apparently something WMC no longer feels like doing.

Background I wound up going down this road in a rather circuitous way. My initial goal for the weekend project was to get Raspbmc running on one of my Raspberry Pis. The latest version of XBMC has PVR functionality so I was anxious to try that out as a …

Setting Up Django On a Raspberry Pi

This past weekend I finally got a chance to set up one of my two Raspberry Pis to use as a Django server so I thought I'd share the steps I went through both to save someone else attempting to do this some time as well as get any feedback in case there are different/better ways to do any of this.

I'm running this from my house (URL forthcoming once I get the real Django app finalized and put on the Raspberry Pi) using I don't cover that aspect of things in this post but I'm happy to write that up as well if people are interested.

General Comments and Assumptions

Using latest Raspbian “wheezy” distro as of 1/19/2013 (’lll be using Nginx ( as the web server/proxy and Gunicorn ( as the WSGI serverI used heavily as I was creating this, so many thanks to the author of that tutorial. If you’re looking for more details on …

The Definitive Guide to CouchDB Authentication and Security

With a bold title like that I suppose I should clarify a bit. I finally got frustrated enough with all the disparate and seemingly incomplete information on this topic to want to gather everything I know about this topic into a single place, both so I have it for my own reference but also in the hopes that it will help others.Since CouchDB is just an HTTP resource and can be secured at that level along the same lines as you'd secure any HTTP resource, I should also point out that I will not be covering things like putting a proxy in front of CouchDB, using SSL with CouchDB, or anything along those lines. This post is strictly limited to how authentication and security work within CouchDB itself.CouchDB security is powerful and granular but frankly it's also a bit quirky and counterintuitive. What I'm outlining here is my understanding of all of this after taking several runs at it, reading everything I could find on the Internet (yes, the whole Internet!), and a great deal…