Welcome to BitlBee, your IRC gateway to ICQ, MSN, AOL, Jabber, Yahoo! and Twitter.
The center of BitlBee is the control channel, &bitlbee. Two users will always be there, you (where "you" is the nickname you are using) and the system user, root.
You need register so that all your IM settings (passwords, contacts, etc) can be saved on the BitlBee server. It's important that you pick a good password so no one else can access your account. Register with this password using the register command: register <password> (without the brackets!).
Be sure to remember your password. The next time you connect to the BitlBee server you will need to identify <password> so that you will be recognised and logged in to all the IM services automatically.
When finished, type help quickstart2 to continue.
Add and Connect To your IM Account(s)
Step Two: Add and Connect To your IM Account(s).
To add an account to the account list you will need to use the account add command: account add <protocol> <username> <password> [<server>].
For instance, suppose you have a Jabber account at jabber.org with handle email@example.com with password QuickStart, you would:
account add jabber firstname.lastname@example.org QuickStart
Account successfully added
Other available IM protocols are msn, oscar, yahoo and twitter. OSCAR is the protocol used by ICQ and AOL. For more information about the account add command, see help account add.
When you are finished adding your account(s) use the account on command to enable all your accounts, type help quickstart3 to continue.
Step Four: Managing Contact Lists: Add, Remove and Rename
Now you might want to add some contacts, to do this we will use the add command. It needs two arguments: a connection ID (which can be a number (try account list), protocol name or (part of) the screenname) and the user's handle. It is used in the following way: add <connection> <handle>
add 0 email@example.com
has joined &bitlbee
In this case r2d2 is online, since he/she joins the channel immediately. If the user is not online you will not see them join until they log on.
Lets say you accidentally added firstname.lastname@example.org rather than email@example.com, or maybe you just want to remove a user from your list because you never talk to them. To remove a name you will want to use the remove command: remove r2d3
Finally, if you have multiple users with similar names you may use the rename command to make it easier to remember: rename r2d2_ r2d2_aim
When finished, type help quickstart4 to continue.
Step Five: Chatting.
First of all, a person must be on your contact list for you to chat with them (unless it's a group chat, help groupchats for more). If someone not on your contact list sends you a message, simply add them to the proper account with the add command. Once they are on your list and online, you can chat with them in &bitlbee:
tux: hey, how's the weather down there?
you: a bit chilly!
Note that, although all contacts are in the &bitlbee channel, only tux will actually receive this message. The &bitlbee channel shouldn't be confused with a real IRC channel.
If you prefer chatting in a separate window, use the /msg or /query command, just like on real IRC. BitlBee will remember how you talk to someone and show his/her responses the same way. If you want to change the default behaviour (for people you haven't talked to yet), see help set private.
You know the basics. If you want to know about some of the neat features BitlBee offers, please type help quickstart5.
So you want more than just chatting? Or maybe you're just looking for more features?
With multiple channel support you can have contacts for specific protocols in their own channels, for instance, if you /join &msn you will join a channel that only contains your MSN contacts.
Account tagging allows you to use the given account name rather than a number when referencing your account. If you wish to turn off your gtalk account, you may account gtalk off rather than account 3 off where "3" is the account number.
You can type help set to learn more about the possible BitlBee user settings. Among these user settings you will find options for common issues, such as changing the charset, HTML stripping and automatic connecting (simply type set to see current user settings).
For more subjects (like groupchats and away states), please type help index.
If you're still looking for something, please visit us in #bitlbee on the OFTC network (you can connect via irc.bitlbee.org), or mail us your problem/suggestion. Good luck and enjoy the Bee!