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Revision as of 15:00, 19 August 2007 by Quantax (Talk | contribs) (added some info for european googlemail users)

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Bitlbee is a "console-based IRC to IM chatting gateway, including ICQ/MSN/Jabber". Basically, it allows the user to interact with popular chat networks (ICQ, MSN, Jabber, AIM, YIM) within their IRC client.

The users' buddies appear as normal IRC users in a channel and conversations use the private message facility of IRC.


First, download and install the package using pacman:

# pacman -S bitlbee

Bitlbee currently does not run on a daemon of its own; rather, it uses xinetd. The installation created a file: /etc/xinetd.d/bitlbee

We need to edit this because at the moment xinetd doesn't know you want to use bitlbee. Open /etc/xinetd.d/bitlbee in your preferred text editor and tell it not disable bitlbee:

disable = no

Finally, you need to allow the loopback interface in /etc/hosts.allow, add this line:


Start Up

To get things up and running we must start xinetd. As root, run:

# /etc/rc.d/xinetd start

(replacing 'start' with 'restart' if xinetd was already running, you'd know if it was)

This will need to be started every time you boot your machine. You can either do this manually (by running the above command after each boot) or have it started automatically by adding 'xinetd' to the DAEMONS array in /etc/rc.conf:

DAEMONS=(syslog-ng network alsa esd xinetd)


Now that xinetd is running your computer is acting as a bitlbee server. You are now able to connect to this in an IRC client. To connect, just connect to your machine in an IRC client:


Hopefully this will connect and you should immediately join a channel called '&bitlbee'. When you join this channel it will tell to type 'Help' if you're new... type 'Help' ;)

I won't bother repeating what the help section of bitlbee says. There are some great guides online too:

How to connect to jabber using your gmail account

In your control channel do the following:

<@user> account add jabber mypasswd

After root responds with “Account successfully added,” you can check your accounts with ‘account list’.

<@user> account list 
<@root> 0. JABBER, (connected) 
<@root> End of account list

After you have added the account, type ‘account 0 on’ and it should log in:

<@user> account on 0 
<@root> JABBER - Logging in: Connecting 
<@root> JABBER - Logging in: Connected 
<@root> JABBER - Logging in: Requesting Authentication Method
<@root> JABBER - Logging in: Authenticating 
<@root> JABBER - Logged in

If you are unable to connect, try switching the port to 5222. For some reason some people must connect on 5223 and others must connect on 5222. There appears to be no way to know which one to use other than trial and error. The easiest way to change the port number is to simply delete the account you created (’account del 0′) and add it again.

If you get errors like the following:

<@user> account on 0 
<@root> JABBER( - Logging in: Connecting
<@root> JABBER( - Logging in: Connected
<@root> JABBER( - Logging in: Requesting Authentication Method
<@root> JABBER( - Logging in: Authenticating
<@root> JABBER( - Login error: Error 403: Unknown error
<@root> JABBER( - Signing off..

Switching from to may help. This seems to work for some European Google Talk users.