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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:
#!/bin/bash
export NSS_SSL_CBC_RANDOM_IV=0
pidgin

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.

Comments

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: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/pidgin/+bug/950790
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.

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=770682

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:
set NSS_SSL_CBC_RANDOM_IV=0
start %PATH%\PidginPortable.exe

att.

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