How to get the bitlbee version

/ctcp root version

The result might be in the status window, depending on irc client.

Do people still use <insert service name here>?


Loop of "Trying to take over existing session"

The session takeover feature isn't particularly good, and should be avoided. Do set allow_takeover off and consider using a bouncer like ZNC instead if you need this.

<root> Setting ` ' does not exist. (and similar errors)

You might have a OTR plugin in your irc client or bouncer, which sends a whitespace pattern (made of spaces and tabs) when it's set to "opportunistic" mode, and having that at the end of root commands confuses bitlbee. Find a way to disable it.

(Note that the bitlbee otr plugin does the same, but only where it makes sense).

How to show offline nicks in /names list

chan &bitlbee set show_users online+,away+,offline

I restarted bitlbee and my settings didn't save

Some methods of restarting don't save the user settings - do "save" in the control channel to ensure they are saved. Of course, you need an account for that.

Can I use bitlbee to connect to IRC?

Maybe, but don't do it. See IRCThroughBitlbee

Why do some people talk to me through &bitlbee?

Those may be people who are not in your contact list. See help set handle_unknown to customize this behavior.


How to connect to the bitlbee server with SSL/TLS?

Use stunnel or tls-enabled irc bouncer (e.g. ZNC) in front of it. (TODO: docs)

What SSL/TLS library does bitlbee use?

Either gnutls, openssl, or nss, depending on compilation parameters.

GnuTLS is the most common one, most distros use it, and it's the recommended option.

OpenSSL has no detection code (will never be used unless chosen explicitly) and will show a warning about the possible GNU GPL license incompatibility when trying to compile against it. Last time i checked, only openbsd compiled bitlbee against openssl.

NSS is used by redhat based distros - RHEL, centos, fedora, etc.

Can't connect to servers that use cacert certificates such as jabber.ccc.de

The error looks like this:

<@root> jabber - Logging in: Converting stream to TLS
<@root> jabber - Login error: Could not connect to server

It affects the following ubuntu/debian releases (Newer releases are not affected)

Solutions: (pick one)

Context: The ubuntu/debian gnutls26 package introduced a security "fix" that prevents connections to servers with certificates with RSA-MD5 signatures. Cacert has that kind of signatures, and jabber.ccc.de is the most common server that uses those certificates.

The real solution here is for cacert to stop sucking (they are working on it... slowly), or to have jabber.ccc.de use a real CA like letsencrypt. Both are out of our control.

Compilation / installation issues

"help otr" gives a help message but "otr foo" says "unknown command"

The help text is always included even if you don't have the otr plugin installed. Install it.

I've rebuilt bitlbee and everything seems the same

Check ps aux, kill all old bitlbee processes. Disconnect your irc client. Ensure that you installed to the right place (the configure script installs to /usr/local by default)


Can't connect to google talk

Probably a SRV resolution error?

account jabber set server talk.google.com

jabber: Setting `oauth' does not exist.

You're using bitlbee-libpurple, which has a different jabber implementation without oauth. Install the normal bitlbee if you don't need any libpurple specific plugins.

You can build bitlbee with the builtin jabber module and libpurple by running ./configure with --jabber=1 --purple=1

How to register a new jabber account in a server?

Not supported yet. You can use a client like pidgin, psi or gajim one time just to do the registration step, then do the rest in bitlbee.

Is there google hangouts groupchat support?

Not with jabber. Try purple-hangouts or pickups


See also issues listed in HowtoTwitter

twitter: Error: Could not retrieve /1.1/favorites/create.json: 404 Not Found (Sorry, that page does not exist)

The tweet was deleted

twitter: Error: Stream closed (200 OK)

Bitlbee has to reconnect due to twitter server side maintenance. It's often harmless, but might be annoying, see the following question.

Twitter shows messages from blocked users

Turns out we're supposed to get a list of blocked users and hide them on our side. Ticket

Is the "mute" feature implemented?

Yes, since 3.4.2+20160417+master+24-ga244877-git (that's a few commits after 3.4.2)

How can i change the name of the #twitter_<username> channel?

It's a hack, but you can remove the "username" part of it like this

account twitter set username ""

And you get a channel named #twitter_. (It doesn't break because the username is irrelevant when using oauth)


Are there docs?

No. But the bitlbee-steam plugin is wonderfully documented. Go look at that. Also, read the source, and feel free to ask any questions in #bitlbee.

Can I write plugins in languages other than C?

Maybe, check the 'parson' branch. You could also do like the skype plugin (connects to a daemon over a plain tcp+ssl connection).

Other questions

(Add new questions here, move them later.)

Can I rename/remove &bitlbee?

You can create a new control channel with a different name, see "help channel".

Bitlbee will always join &bitlbee because you get messages there before logging in to your user. Currently there is no way to avoid this.

This is often asked as a way to workaround IRC client bugs - remember to report those to the developers!

BitlBee Wiki: FAQ (last edited 2017-02-05 04:07:56 by dx)