Are there any public Sametime servers?

Apart from a demonstration server hosted by Lotus/IBM, no. This protocol is designed to connect to a Lotus/IBM Sametime server running on a corporate LAN.

Why doesn’t Sametime appear in the protocols list?

Sametime support in Pidgin depends on a separate library called Meanwhile. You will need to install the Meanwhile library and the libpurple-meanwhile (or similar, depending on distribution) package to enable Sametime support. If you are building Pidgin from source, then the Sametime plugin will be built automatically if you have the development headers for Meanwhile installed.

Why do I get the error “Not Authorized” when connecting?

The Sametime server to which you’re attempting to connect has been configured with a whitelist of acceptable clients. This error indicates that the client ID used by Pidgin (0x1700) is apparently not in that whitelist, so the server denies your login. You can cause Pidgin to masquerade as the default Sametime Connect client by setting the “Hide client identity” option in your account preferences.

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