Empathy vs. Pidgin – Chat Client Showdown

I installed yet another instance of Ubuntu running in Oracle’s Virtual Box as a way of maintaining sanity in a WinDoZe environment. I am now hooked on the host+L integration with the Windows desktop, and have even learned to jocky the two taskbars over the same spot with autohide on. As a bonus, I do most of my surfing over a VPN on Ubuntu, and only got to websites on the WinDoZe side that I’m OK with having snooped (by my employer, ISP, Homeland Security, and who knows who else…)

Time to install a chat program. It will also be running over the VPN. Ubuntu comes bundled with Empathy, but Pidgin claims to have a small(er?) footprint. I installed Pidgin and fired it up with Empathy also running. Here’s the result?

$ ps axv | grep ...
2068 ?        Sl     0:00     19  1354 116461 21248  1.6 empathy
3899 ?        Sl     0:03    412  1004 160971 67560  5.3 pidgin

As you can see Empathy wins. In addition, Empathy squanders less screen real estate, so its more compact presentation is a bonus.