Downloading the package
The latest BitlBee release is always available from http://www.bitlbee.org/.
Download the package with your favorite program and unpack it: tar
xvfz bitlbee-<version>.tar.gz where <version> is to be
replaced by the version number of the BitlBee you downloaded (e.g. 0.91).
BitlBee's build system has to be configured before compiling. The
configure script will do this for you. Just run
it, it'll set up with nice and hopefully well-working defaults. If you
want to change some settings, just try
./configure --help and see what you can do.
Some variables that might be of interest to the normal user:
prefix, bindir, etcdir, mandir, datadir - The place where
all the BitlBee program files will be put. There's usually no reason to
specify them all separately, just specifying prefix (or keeping the default
/usr/local/) should be okay.
config - The place where BitlBee will save all the per-user
settings and buddy information. /var/lib/bitlbee/
is the default value.
msn, jabber, oscar, yahoo - By default, support for all
these IM-protocols (OSCAR is the protocol used by both ICQ and AIM) will
be compiled in. To make the binary a bit smaller, you can use these options
to leave out support for protocols you're not planning to use.
debug - Generate an unoptimized binary with debugging symbols,
mainly useful if you want to do some debugging or help us to track down a
strip - By default, unnecessary parts of the generated binary
will be stripped out to make it as small as possible. If you don't want this
(because it might cause problems on some platforms), set this to 0.
flood - To secure your BitlBee server against flooding attacks,
you can use this option. It's not compiled in by default because it needs
more testing first.
ssl - The MSN and Jabber modules require an SSL library for
some of their tasks. BitlBee can use three different SSL libraries: GnuTLS,
mozilla-nss and OpenSSL. (OpenSSL is, however, a bit troublesome because of
licensing issues, so don't forget to read the information configure will
give you when you try to use OpenSSL!) By default, configure will try to
detect GnuTLS or mozilla-nss. If none of them can be found, it'll give up.
If you want BitlBee to use OpenSSL, you have to explicitly specify that.
After running configure, you should run
make. After that, run make install as
By default, BitlBee runs as the user nobody. You might want
to run it as a seperate user (some computers run named or apache as nobody).
Since BitlBee uses inetd, you should add the following line to /etc/inetd.conf:
6667 stream tcp nowait nobody /usr/local/sbin/bitlbee bitlbee
Inetd has to be restarted after changing the configuration. Either
killall -HUP inetd or
/etc/init.d/inetd restart should do the job on most systems.
You might be one of the.. ehr, lucky people running an xinetd-powered distro.
xinetd is quite different and they seem to be proud of that.. ;-)
Anyway, if you want BitlBee to work with xinetd, just copy the
bitlbee.xinetd file to your /etc/xinetd.d/ directory (and probably edit it to suit
You should create a directory where BitlBee can store it's data files. This
should be the directory named after the value 'CONFIG' in Makefile.settings.
The default is /var/lib/bitlbee, which can be created
with the command mkdir -p /var/lib/bitlbee. This
directory has to be owned by the user that runs bitlbee. To make
'nobody' owner of this directory, run chown nobody /var/lib/bitlbee.
Because things like passwords are saved in this directory, it's probably
a good idea to make this directory owner-read-/writable only.