Pidgin – Protocol Unknown (FIXED)

Update: The problem has been fixed. Please see the above post.

A few weeks ago, Pidgin could not connect to Yahoo messenger server because Yahoo was changing its protocols. At the time, the Pidgin was at version 2.5.5. Then that Yahoo connection problem has been fixed in version 2.5.7 and newer of Pidgin.

Anyway, Pidgin is acting up again. This time I’m not sure what is going on, and it didn’t seem other people are experiecing the same problem – Protocol Unknown for all types of accounts.


Suppose if I want to add a new account, nothing could be selected from the drop down list. Normally, you should be able to choose if you want to add Yahoo messenger or MSN protocols.

Screenshot-Pidgin-Add Account

I tried to remove Pidgin 2.5.8, re-install 2.5.6, it didn’t work. Then I tried to re-install 2.5.8 and the Unknow Protocol still presents. Next, I’m going to remove Pidgin (with its configuration) and hopefully I can use it again.

At the moment, I’m using Kopete 0.70.4 temporarily to connect to MSN messenger. However, it doesn’t seem to connect to Yahoo messenger either. But, I’m not going to investigate why or how to solve it.

If anyone knows how to fix this Pidgin unknown protocol problem, please share.

Remove Universal Access Preference icon from Gnome panel

One of the advantages of using GNU/Linux operating system is that you hardly have to restart it. I have Debian on my laptop and it’s been running for months, until last night. It crashed and froze. Anyway, that’s not the main point this post was written.

After restarting, I saw this new icon in the Gnome top panel (the third icon from the right):


Well, for the start, I don’t know what it is and I don’t think I will have a need for it either. So I wanted to remove it, but right click on this icon would do nothing. Left clicked on it would give me some setting option, but nowhere does it mention how to remove it.

Thanks to the tip from Ubutu Forum, someone has found a solution. Basically, you need to go the “Keyboard Preferences” and untick the “Accessibility features can be toggled  with keyboard shortcuts“.

The following is the step by step guide:

On Debian, from the menu panel, click on System -> Preferences -> Keyboard (alternatively, you can just type gnome-keyboard-properties from the Terminal)

Screenshot-Keyboard Preferences

Then, untick or uncheck the Accessibility features can be toggled  with keyboard shortcuts and click on Close button. The undesired icon shall disappear.

Credit: How to remove universal access from notification area

Pidgin 2.5.5 – cannot connect to Yahoo messenger

I just noticed the abnormality with Pidgin 2.5.5 (running on Debian) these few days — I couldn’t connect my Yahoo messenger account at all. According to the discussion of Bug #389278 it appears that Yahoo was trying to change its protocol.

A quick way to have Pidgin connecting to Yahoo messenger server again is to change the Pager server setting for the Yahoo account in Pidgin.

To do this, from Pidgin:

  • Manage Accounts (Ctrl + A)
  • Select the Yahoo account from the list (assuming you’ve set one up before), and click Modify
  • Click on Advanced tab, under the Yahoo Options, in the Pager server field replace with

Try to connect to Yahoo messenger server again. It worked for me.

Credit: Bug #389278 in pidgin (Ubuntu)


Please cosider upgrade your Pidgin to version 2.5.7. I just upgraded mine and the problem seems to have gone away. Don’t forget to change the Page Server back to

Debian JSON for Ruby

I tried to install JSON for Ruby via RubyGem,

# gem install json

and I got the following error message:

Building native extensions. This could take a while...
ERROR: Error installing json:
ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension.

/usr/bin/ruby1.8 extconf.rb install json
extconf.rb:1:in `require': no such file to load -- mkmf (LoadError)
from extconf.rb:1

Gem files will remain installed in /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/json-1.1.6 for inspection.
Results logged to /usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/json-1.1.6/ext/json/ext/generator/gem_make.out

However, I found out in Debian, we can just install this library libjson-ruby:

$ sudo apt-get install libjson-ruby

Now, try to verify if it works:

$ irb
irb(main):001:0> require 'json'
=> true

apache2: Could not reliably determine the server’s fully qualified domain name, using for ServerName

Everytime I start apache2 (# apache2ctl start) this message is dispalyed:

apache2: Could not reliably determine the server’s fully qualified domain name, using for ServerName

Well, the site is still running despite the above notification.

To fix it, we need to edit the /etc/apache2/httpd.conf or /etc/apache2.conf and add the following line:

ServerName nameofserver

Now, restart the apache server (# apache2ctrl restart) and should no loger see the previous message.