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BitlBee IRC gateway to IM chat networks


You can read more about using BitlBee on our irc clients page page.


Manpage of bitlbee


Section: Maintenance Commands (8)
Updated: 07 March 2004
Index Return to Main Contents


BitlBee - IRC gateway to IM chat networks  


bitlbee [-I] [-c configuration file] [-d configuration directory]

bitlbee -D [-i address] [-p port number] [-n] [-v] [-c configuration file] [-d configuration directory]

bitlbee -h .SHDESCRIPTION BitlBee is an IRC daemon that can talk to instant messaging networks and acts as a gateway. Users can connect to the server with any normal IRC client and see their 'buddy list' in &bitlbee. BitlBee's protocol support is based on the gaim protocol plugins. BitlBee currently supports Oscar (aim and icq), MSN, Jabber and Yahoo.

bitlbee should be called by inetd(8), or you can run it as a stand-alone daemon.



Run in inetd(8) mode. This is the default setting, you usually don't have to specify this option.
Run in daemon mode. In this mode, BitlBee forks to the background and waits for new connections. All clients will be served from one process.
Run in ForkDaemon mode. This is similar to ordinary daemon mode, but every client gets its own process. Easier to set up than inetd mode, and without the possible stability issues.
-i address
Only useful when running in daemon mode, to specify the network interface (identified by IP address) to which the daemon should attach. Use this if you don't want BitlBee to listen on every interface (which is the default behaviour).
-p port number
Only useful when running in daemon mode, to specify the port number on which BitlBee should listen for connections. 6667 is the default value.
Only useful when running in daemon mode. This option prevents BitlBee from forking into the background.
Be more verbose. This only works together with the -n flag.
-c path to other configuration file
Use a different configuration file.
-d path to user settings directory
BitlBee normally saves every user's settings in /var/lib/bitlbee/. If you want the settings to be stored somewhere else (for example, if you don't have write permissions in the default location), use this option.
Show help information.


To get a complete list of commands, please use the help commands command in the &bitlbee channel.  


ircd(8), inetd(8), inetd.conf(5), gaim(1).

For more information on using BitlBee, once connected, you should use the on-line help system.  


Of course there are bugs. If you find some, please report them at  


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple PLace, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA  


 Wilmer van der Gaast <> JelmerVernooij<> MauritsDijkstra<>




This document was created by man2html using the manual pages.
Time: 17:30:23 GMT, October 23, 2013
BitlBee - News
  • BitlBee 3.2.1 fixes Twitter issues

    BitlBee 3.2.1 was just released, which should fix compatibility issues with Twitter introduced by HTTP/1.0 deprecation.

    If you're using or you shouldn't have to do anything, they're already updated.

  • Facebook chat disabled for no clear reason

    If you're having troubles using Facebook chat with BitlBee, that's a known issue. Facebook have revoked BitlBee's API keys last night without giving any reason. All I received is two mysterious e-mails. Also, my Facebook account was disabled. But that might have been for different reasons since I don't remember the last time I used it. TBH I'm impressed I recognised enough pictures of my contacts to be able to restore it. :>

    To make matters worse, in their communication to users connected to their chat from BitlBee, they say "You can contact the app admin for more information". I can assure you, I know as much as you do.

    I've heard rumours that a whole bunch of chat apps were disabled, not just BitlBee. No clue what's going on, but in the meantime you can switch back to password-based authentication.

    No clue whether it will come back. I've clicked the Appeal button so let's find out whether anyone reads what ends up there other than character device 1:3. We'll see, I'm not going to waste too much effort on it myself.

    Update: As always, pay attention to the date on posts like this. This problem got resolved within a day or so IIRC.

  • BitlBee 3.2

    Now available: BitlBee 3.2. Get it while it's hot! It adds support for Twitter API version 1.1, which will be required from March this year. But even without that it's a huge improvement over previous versions, with support for the streaming API and direct messages.

  • BitlBee 3.0.6

    BitlBee 3.0.6 is available for download now. If you want to know what's new, just read the changelog.

    (Yes, this post is a copy-paste of the one for the last release. :-)

  • BitlBee 3.0.5

    BitlBee 3.0.5 is available for download now. If you want to know what's new, just read the changelog.

  • Twitter problems?

    If you have problems keeping your Twitter connection open, this is a known issue caused by bad behaviour on Twitter's end. In some cases this may also cause crashes due to faulty error handling in BitlBee.

    A fix to work around this annoying behaviour was committed to bzr and is live on the two main public servers for a while now. Also, the nightly builds have the fix.

    If the problems with Twitter persist, a 3.0.5 release may come soon.

  • BitlBee 3.0.4

    It took a while, but BitlBee 3.0.4 is finally ready. Get it while it's hot, if you aren't already running bzr snapshots anyway. :-)

  • BitlBee 3.0.3

    BitlBee 3.0.3 is ready. Rushed out a bit because Twitter broke for many of us. This release should fix it, by using the "new" and preferred way to download your contact list.

    For now, you should also be able to use the following work-around to make older versions work: account twitter set base_url This workaround isn't perfect though. Please upgrade, if you can.

    3.0.3 has some other nice changes. If you want to know it all, just read the changelog.

  • BitlBee 3.0.2

    Keeping it short again: BitlBee 3.0.2 is ready! Mostly bug fixes, and a few new toys.

  • BitlBee 3.0.1

    BitlBee 3.0.1 is ready! Mostly bug fixes, not a lot of new stuff.

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