How to Install Yahoo Messenger on Ubuntu

Written by stephen lilley
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How to Install Yahoo Messenger on Ubuntu
(young women chatting image by forca from

On the list of things that will confuse someone new to the world of the Ubuntu operating system, installing programs is right at the top. Certain programs you'll be used to using in Windows or on a Mac have Ubuntu equivalents that work just as well if not better. Certain programs have Ubuntu-specific versions that will install quite easily. Certain programs like Yahoo! Messenger, for example, are unfortunately not compatible. All hope is not lost, however. There are ways to get around this. By following just a few simple steps you can have Yahoo! Messenger up and running on Ubuntu in no-time.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Internet connection
  • Ubuntu

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  1. 1

    Install Wine. Wine is what is known as a "transition layer," which is a fancy way of saying that it is a program capable of running Windows programs on other operating systems. It is a bit like an emulator, but the Wine development team would rather you not call it that. Installation files for Wine can be obtained by selecting "Synaptec Package Manager" under the "System" tab in Ubuntu and searching for "Wine."

  2. 2

    Download the Yahoo! Messenger installer as normal. This is an executable file with a .exe file extension that contains all the files and instructions necessary to install the program on your machine. On the Yahoo! Messenger webpage select the "Download" tab near the top of the page, and then select "Download Now" from the page that loads. Save the file to your Desktop for easy access for the next step.

  3. 3

    Execute the Yahoo! Messenger .exe file. If Wine has been properly installed, Ubuntu will automatically load the setup.exe file within Wine, which will cause the normal program set-up dialogue boxes to appear with instructions to follow just as if you were installing within Windows.

  4. 4

    The worst case scenario is that you'll click on the setup.exe and a box will pop up with a list of programs that could possible recognise a .exe extension, and you'll select "Wine" from said list. After that just follow the set-up instructions as normal to complete the installation. Yahoo! Messenger can then be used exactly the way it would be on a computer running the Windows Operating System.

Tips and warnings

  • Instead of installing Yahoo! Messenger, consider using one of the many Ubuntu-based programs that do the same thing. Pidgin for example is an IM client that comes pre-installed with Ubuntu and can manage Buddy Lists from multiple clients (Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, Windows Messenger) all within the same program. It can be found under the "Internet" tab.

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