Migrating from Windows Pidgin to MacOS X Adium

In replacing my aging Dell C840 laptop with a new MacBook Pro, I need to switch from using Pidgin to using Adium for IM. Since they’re both based on libpurple underneath, I figured there ought to be a way to migrate my settings from one to the other. As it turns out, it might be possible.

Your libpurple settings are stored in %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\.purple on Windows. Similarly, they’re stored in ~/Library/Application Support/Adium 2.0/Users/Default/libpurple on OSX. If you simply replace the blist.xml and accounts.xml that Adium creates with the ones from Pidgin, that should work, right?


Adium’s preferences are stored in plist format which, can now be easily edited since 10.5 (Leopard), even through AppleScript. Luckily, there’s even a simple utility called plutil that can convert from XML to binary plist format.

It would be pretty straight-forward to write a simple script that parses the libpurple XML and wrote out the appropriate plist XML then use the plutil tool to convert to plist binary format – but, I’m feeling lazy and only have about 10 accounts to migrate, so I’ll just do it by hand. Of course, there’s more to migrate than just accounts (old chat logs, etc.) but it’s not enough to overcome the inertia of my lack of caring to do it right now.

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  1. In case you also want to convert your Pidgin log files to Adium, check my blog and the converter I developed:

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