I was facing this problem with Pidgin for a quite long time. After upgrading to Fedora 10, I see the problem is not fixed yet. So I had to look into the issue and finally found a solution.
- Click System -> Administration -> Services
- Choose Network Manager and click Stop and Disable
- You can stop it from command line using
sudo service NetworkManager stop
- Restart Pidgin.
- It should now connect automatically.
Stopping Network Manager will also solve the ‘no network connection’ issue that you might have been facing while Adding/Removing programs from System -> Administration -> Add/Remove Programs.