Pidgin crashes with ‘Segmentation fault’ (Solved!)

Pidgin is a multi-protocol chat client that I use basically for my MSN contacts only. It did its job pretty well so far. Until some weeks ago after an update it stopped working. I never really figured out what the problem is as I merely use Skype, but now needed to contact some people using the MSN protocol. So I started a little investigation and found a work around.

UPDATE 16/07/2008: There are two solutions described here, the second one comes from a comment and is actually – if it works – the much nicer

By simply starting on the command line it did exactly what happened usually: The Pidgin window comes up for a couple of seconds and than closes down completely. The feedback on the command line tells me about a ‘Segmentation fault’. Ok, that could mean a lot. But a Google search quickly provides some useful hits. The one that got Pidgin working again is this bug report, the last comment states that running as super user does work. So I tried ‘sudo pidgin’ and voilá, it indeed starts up. Have to set up my Account again, but that is a question of seconds. Running Pidgin as super user opens some security issues of course, but as a work around it is fair enough. Will follow the bug and see whether they can come up with fixed version soon.

For the sake of completeness here my details and a debug output from Pidgin as normal user:

Pidgin 2.4.1 on Ubuntu 8.04. Debug run with pidgin -d

~$ pidgin -d
(09:21:10) prefs: Reading /home/daniel/.purple/prefs.xml
(09:21:10) prefs: Finished reading /home/daniel/.purple/prefs.xml
(09:21:10) prefs: purple_prefs_get_string: /pidgin/browsers/command not a string pref
(09:21:10) dbus: okkk
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/musicmessaging.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/ticker.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/spellchk.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/timestamp.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/timestamp_format.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/notify.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/history.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/gevolution.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/cap.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/pidginrc.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/pidgin-otr.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/iconaway.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/xmppconsole.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/gestures.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/convcolors.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/nautilus.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/gtkbuddynote.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/extplacement.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/pidgin/markerline.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/libbonjour.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/libnovell.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/liboscar.so
(09:21:10) plugins: /usr/lib/purple-2/liboscar.so is not usable because the ‘purple_init_plugin’ symbol could not be found.  Does the plugin call the PURPLE_INIT_PLUGIN() macro?
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/psychic.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/ssl-gnutls.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/dbus-example.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/statenotify.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/autoaccept.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/libmsn.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/idle.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/ssl-nss.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/libmyspace.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/log_reader.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/newline.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/libqq.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/libjabber.so
(09:21:10) plugins: /usr/lib/purple-2/libjabber.so is not usable because the ‘purple_init_plugin’ symbol could not be found.  Does the plugin call the PURPLE_INIT_PLUGIN() macro?
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/joinpart.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/libxmpp.so
(09:21:10) util: Reading file xmpp-caps.xml from directory /home/daniel/.purple
(09:21:10) util: File /home/daniel/.purple/xmpp-caps.xml does not exist (this is not necessarily an error)
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/buddynote.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/perl.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/libzephyr.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/ssl.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/libyahoo.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/tcl.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/libgg.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/libicq.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/libaim.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/libsametime.so
(09:21:10) plugins: /usr/lib/purple-2/libsametime.so has a prefs_info, but is a prpl. This is no longer supported.
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/libsimple.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/offlinemsg.so
(09:21:10) plugins: probing /usr/lib/purple-2/libirc.so
(09:21:10) prefs: /purple/status/scores/offline changed, scheduling save.
(09:21:10) prefs: /purple/status/scores/available changed, scheduling save.
(09:21:10) prefs: /purple/status/scores/invisible changed, scheduling save.
(09:21:10) prefs: /purple/status/scores/away changed, scheduling save.
(09:21:10) prefs: /purple/status/scores/extended_away changed, scheduling save.
(09:21:10) prefs: /purple/status/scores/idle changed, scheduling save.
(09:21:10) prefs: /purple/status/scores/offline_msg changed, scheduling save.
(09:21:10) util: Reading file accounts.xml from directory /home/daniel/.purple
(09:21:10) util: Reading file status.xml from directory /home/daniel/.purple
(09:21:10) certificate: CertificateVerifier x509, singleuse requested but not found.
(09:21:10) certificate: CertificateVerifier singleuse registered
(09:21:10) certificate: CertificatePool x509, ca requested but not found.
(09:21:10) certificate: CertificateScheme x509 requested but not found.
(09:21:10) certificate/x509/ca: Lazy init failed because an X.509 Scheme is not yet registered. Maybe it will be better later.
(09:21:10) certificate/x509/ca: Init failed, probably because a dependency is not yet registered. It has been deferred to later.
(09:21:10) certificate: CertificatePool ca registered
(09:21:10) certificate: CertificatePool x509, tls_peers requested but not found.
(09:21:10) certificate: CertificatePool tls_peers registered
(09:21:10) certificate: CertificateVerifier x509, tls_cached requested but not found.
(09:21:10) certificate: CertificateVerifier tls_cached registered
(09:21:10) prefs: /purple/logging/format changed, scheduling save.
(09:21:10) prefs: /purple/logging/format changed, scheduling save.
(09:21:10) prefs: /purple/proxy/type changed, scheduling save.
(09:21:10) prefs: /purple/proxy/host changed, scheduling save.
(09:21:10) prefs: /purple/proxy/port changed, scheduling save.
(09:21:10) prefs: /purple/proxy/username changed, scheduling save.
(09:21:10) prefs: /purple/proxy/password changed, scheduling save.
(09:21:10) certificate: CertificateScheme x509 requested but not found.
(09:21:10) certificate: CertificateScheme x509 registered
(09:21:10) stun: using server
(09:21:10) sound: Initializing sound output drivers.
(09:21:10) prefs: /pidgin/conversations/placement changed, scheduling save.
(09:21:10) prefs: purple_prefs_connect_callback: Unknown pref /pidgin/conversations/im/show_protocol_icons
(09:21:10) gtkblist: added visibility manager: 1
(09:21:10) docklet: created
(09:21:10) util: Reading file blist.xml from directory /home/daniel/.purple
(09:21:10) pounce: Error reading pounces: Failed to open file ‘/home/daniel/.purple/pounces.xml’: No such file or directory
(09:21:10) ui_main: Failed to load the default window icon (scalablepx version)!
(09:21:10) Session Management: ICE initialized.
(09:21:10) Session Management: Connecting with no previous ID
(09:21:10) Session Management: Handling new ICE connection…
(09:21:10) done.
(09:21:10) Session Management: Connected to manager (GnomeSM) with client ID 117f000101000121599127000000063310021
(09:21:10) Session Management: Using pidgin as command
(09:21:10) dbus: Need to register an object with the dbus subsystem. (If you are not a developer, please ignore this message.)
(09:21:10) dbus: The signal “gtkblist-unhiding” caused some dbus error. (If you are not a developer, please ignore this message.)
(09:21:10) account: Connecting to account danielhenze@hotmail.de
(09:21:10) connection: Connecting. gc = 0x858a0e0
(09:21:10) msn: new httpconn (0x858a078)
(09:21:10) proxy: Gnome proxy settings are set to ‘manual’ but no proxy server is specified.  Using Pidgin’s proxy settings instead.
(09:21:10) dns: DNS query for ‘messenger.hotmail.com’ queued
(09:21:10) util: requested to fetch (http://192.168.0.1:49152/gateway.xml), full=1, user_agent=((null)), http11=1
(09:21:10) proxy: Gnome proxy settings are set to ‘manual’ but no proxy server is specified.  Using Pidgin’s proxy settings instead.
(09:21:10) dns: DNS query for ‘192.168.0.1’ queued
(09:21:10) Session Management: Received first save_yourself
(09:21:10) dns: Created new DNS child 6840, there are now 1 children.
(09:21:10) dns: Successfully sent DNS request to child 6840
Segmentation fault

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10 Responses

  1. Hi! I had a similar problem, but I don’t know if it applies to your case. Here’s how I solved it:
    Note this > “Gnome proxy settings are set to ‘manual’ but no proxy”
    I purposely set my proxy settings to nothing because I was trying to make it work with Tor. Regardless, I just disabled it and reset it to Direct Internet Connection.

    Hope that helps.

  2. Hello Freiddie! Thanks for sharing your hint it indeed worked for me as well. Setting the network proxy to direct internet connection did the trick for me as well. No need to sudo pidgin anymore. Manual must be the default setting as I never tweaked or twisted something at that setting.

    Awesome!

  3. Apparently, this problem seems to have been fixed in the newest Pidgin version, according to a bug report on Pidgin: developer.pidgin.im/ticket/5663

    Glad I could help.

  4. freiddie you rock man. thanks

  5. The problem returned on 2.5.1
    Disabling settings in Gnome proxy panel makes Pidgin works…

  6. Also had a Segmentation Fault error in pidgin. The problem was that my /home partition was full.

    You need at least a couple of kb’s to run pidgin. :p

    cheers x_X

  7. Had the same problem, disabled the encryption plugin and now it works.

  8. had the same problem. I’m using the skype4pidgin plugin. the error occurs only if skype is not running when piding is starting.

  9. I have the same error, and it was because I was using tor, but putting it to direct connection didn’t work, so I decided to just erase the .purple directory from my home folder. Now I just set up pidgin again, and no problem!

  10. the error occurs only if skype is not running when piding is starting indeed! THANKS!

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