Usage Connecting to the server Since BitlBee acts just like any other irc daemon, you can connect to it with your favorite irc client. Launch it and connect to localhost port 6667 (or whatever host/port you are running bitlbee on). The &bitlbee control channel Once you are connected to the BitlBee server, you are automatically joined to &bitlbee on that server. This channel acts like the 'buddy list' you have on the various other chat networks. The user 'root' always hangs around in &bitlbee and acts as your interface to bitlbee. All commands you give on &bitlbee are 'answered' by root. You might be slightly confused by the & in the channel name. This is, however, completely allowed by the IRC standards. Just try it on a regular IRC server, it should work. The difference between the standard #channels and &channels is that the #channels are distributed over all the servers on the IRC network, while &channels are local to one server. Because the BitlBee control channel is local to one server (and in fact, to one person), this name seems more suitable. Also, with this name, it's harder to confuse the control channel with the #bitlbee channel on OFTC. Talking to people You can talk to by starting a query with them. In most irc clients, this can be done with either /msg <nick> <text> or /query <nick>. To keep the number of open query windows limited, you can also talk to people in the control channel, like <nick>: <text>.