Some information about bitlbee.


sudo apt-get install bitlbee
sudo yum install bitlbee


  • Start the server
sudo service bitlbee start
  • Start the IRC client and connect to localhost (using irssi here).

Using /connect rather than /server will keep your existing connections and not close them. So you can be connected to Bitlbee and e.g. Freenode at the same time.

irssi> /connect localhost
  • Setup access on your Bitlbee server and secure it with a password.

In the control channel (&bitlbee), execute the following (do the same for all following commands).

BitlBee will associate this password with your current nick. Then, when you connect in the future, you just have to identify, either using the identify command or standard identification methods for IRC, and you will have access to your accounts.

irssi> register <password_here>
  • Setup an account within Bitlbee to connect to your jabber server:
irssi> account add <protocol> <username>
irssi> /OPER (Adding the password)
  • To set SSL (find the account number with “account list”):
irssi> account <accountnumber> set ssl true
  • To force TLS (the default is try, which falls back to plaintext if not available):
irssi> account <accountnumber> set tls true
  • Switch the account active:
irssi> account <accontnumber> on
  • Save your settings
irssi> save


irssi> Jabber
irssi> account add jabber
irssi> /OPER
irssi> <password>
irssi> account 0 set server
irssi> account 0 set ssl true
irssi> account 0 on

Depending on the jabber server, the port and the encryption used you have to alter the parameter a bit.


It took me a while to figure out how I actually could leave a conversation I've opened or that has been opened. Basically it's a mix between irssi, irc and bitlbee commands:

/WC                           => Leaving a conversation
&bitlbee> blist               => listing all contact
&bitlbee> blist online        => listing all online contacts
&bitlbee> set private true    => opening new windows for opening contacts
&bitlbee> set strip_html true => strips HTML from clients that use it
&bitlbee> account 0 set tag <tag> => set a tag on an account
/msg <nickname> <message>     => starting a conversation to <nickname>
/names                        => List all users in the channel.
&biltbee> account 0 set away DND  => Set status to away on account 0 while leaving the other untouched.

alt-[1-0], alt-[q-o]          => Switching through the channels.
/window <windownumber>        => Switchting directly into a conversation.
/window move left             => moving window to the left


You have to take a backup of the following folders:

  • /etc/bitlbee
  • /var/lib/bitlbee

You also need to take care of the permissions of these folders. Without the correct permissions the next identity $PASSWORD will be quitted with "No account available" (or something similar).