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Windows Live Messenger is an instant messenger application that allows users to send messages and communicate with other Windows Live Messenger users over the internet using their Windows Live IDs (@hotmail.com, @msn.com etc). Windows Live Messenger was formerly called MSN Messenger. Currently, there isn't an official version of the messenger provided by Microsoft, so you will need to choose an Ubuntu compatible alternative. This guide shows some alternative applications that will allow you to use Windows Live from Ubuntu.



Emesene is an open source clone of the Microsoft Windows Live Messenger client. It is designed to be similar to the design of the Microsoft Windows Live client so users may be familiar to its design and will be able to have use of it quickly.


Emesene currently has support for most of the features found in the Microsoft Windows Live client. This includes file transfer, nudging, personal messages and offline messaging. The software also has support for MsgPlus-like features, such as coloured nicknames, chat logging and auto reply. The features of this application are further extended by the use of plugins.


Emesene is available from the repositories under Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 LTS, under the package name "emesene." For more information on installing applications, see InstallingSoftware. For more advanced users, there is a unstable branch of Emesene which contains more features.

This can be installed by using the following command in Terminal: {{ svn co https://emesene.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/emesene/trunk/emesene emesene }}

Pidgin Instant Messenger

Pidgin is normally included in your default installation of Ubuntu. You can access it by going to Applications > Internet > Pidgin Instant Messenger. As the application supports more than one network, you will need to configure it use your Windows Live Messenger account.

Adding your Windows Live Account

To add your Windows Live account in Pidgin, do the following:

  • If you haven't already used Pidgin you won't need to do this step as it opens automatically. However if you have used Pidgin before with other accounts you will need to go to Accounts > Manage.

  • Click Add.
  • In the Add Account dialog, choose MSN from the protocol menu. Next to screen name, type in your Windows Live email address and insert your password. You may want to add a Local alias which provides a way of identifying your Windows Live account from other accounts you have in Pidgin. You can also enable new mail notifications and choose a display picture.
  • Click Save and Pidgin will automatically connect to your account.

WindowsLiveMessenger (last edited 2008-07-24 17:11:14 by localhost)