Am i saying bull sheets?

google talk logo

WARNING: the bug this plugin exploits has fixed! Read this for more information


Find out if your (Gtalk) buddies are Invisible. To do that it sends a presence probe to the buddy. If there’s no respose before time out expires), then you can establish that the buddy have not active resources (and therefore it should be OFFLINE). If you get a presence of type ‘unavailable’ means that the buddy has at least an active resource (but we can’t know what! It could be a Gmail or iGoogle page opened with chat turned off!) and therefore COULD be Invisible (at least you know he or she is connected).


  • This is an “HALF SCAN” because you can not establish with certainty that a buddy is invisible (read Description).
  • This plugin works only with Gmail address with domain know that I could use Google Talk flag to get all Gmail accounts but this is not possible in Debian by using only pidgin-dev dependencies. If you know a better way to do this please contact me!
  • I’ve added the possibility to filter passive online Google clients (such as Gmail, iGoogle and Google Talk Lab Edition). This clients, when the chat is disabled, send a presence with a vcard if the shared status is not invisible. A mere unavailable presence if shared status is invisible. See this page for more information.


Compiled on libpurple 2.7.1 (this means you have to use this version or newer!).

ARCH File Last Update Version
Win32* 19/01/2011 0.2.1
Linux i386 google-invisibility-half-scan-0.2.1.i386.tar.gz 19/01/2011 0.2.1
Linux amd64 (thanks to dbenux!) google-invisibility-half-scan-0.2.1.amd64.tar.gz 19/01/2011 0.2.1
Source google-invisibility-half-scan-0.2.1.src.tar.gz 19/01/2011 0.2.1

* Tested on Windows XP and Windows 7 (not yet really but it should work! :))


Date Version Note
19/01/2011 0.2.1 Nothing new but I’ve add a Makefile to make compiling easier and more efficient. Now unused dependencies like gtk are no more needed (Finch users should be happy!)
17/07/2010 0.2 Added possibility to filter Gmail, Gtalk, iGoogle page with chat disabled. We’re sure that shared status of those buddies is not invisible.
12/06/2010 0.1 First


For bugs reports, hints, … email me at federico.zanco ( at )

How to build:

To build the plugin you have to install gcc, GNU make and pidgin dependencies
(or maybe only libpurple if in your os they are distribuited separately).
I.e. in Debian/Ubuntu, open a terminal and type:
sudo apt-get install gcc make pidgin-dev
then to build type:
to install (default directory is ~/.purple/plugins) type:
make install
You can also create a compressed tar by typing:
make tar

It’s hard for non experts to build the plugin in Windows so the best solution
is to download the binary directly from site.
If you feel brave you have two ways and all of them explained in
where there’s written to setup a build environment like that in
I’ve included the Mingw Makefile that I use to build my plugins for Windows.

Restart Pidgin after installing/copying. Then in Tools/Plugins you should see Google Invisibility Half Scan

How to use:

1) Compile or Download the plugin for your arch (see above).


Linux: Copy in your purple home dir:
(if ~/.purple/plugins/ does not exist:
$ mkdir ~/.purple/plugins/ )
$ cp ~/.purple/plugins/

Windows: Move google-invisibility-half-scan.dll in Pidgin plugins dir (I suppose you can create C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Applications data\.purple\plugins and move the plugin there too but I’m not sure). In Windows it should be somtething like C:\Programmi\Pidgin\plugins\

3) Restart Pidgin and in Tools/Plugins you should see Google Invisibility Half Scan Plugin

Once enabled, there’are two things you can do with this plugin:

  • open the context menu by right clicking on a buddy and select “Is it Invisible?” and wait the response.
  • open Tools\Google Invisibility Half Scan Plugin\Massive scan… and wait the response.

You can set timeout values in Tools\Plugin, select Google Invisibility Half Scan Plugin and then Configure.


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02111-1301, USA.

3 thoughts on “Google Invisibility Half Scan

  • October 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Finally google patched this bug

  • October 25, 2010 at 2:02 am

    its tru, the plug in doesn[t work anymore, i’ll be waiting for a new realease, or is this the end?

  • October 25, 2010 at 10:24 am

    this is probably the end of this plugin. If someone will get a new method…


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