#538 closed defect (invalid)

Permission bug in bitlbee 1.2.4

Reported by: anonymous Owned by:
Priority: normal Milestone:
Component: BitlBee Version: 1.2.4
Keywords: permission, bitlbee Cc: borja.tarraso.hueso@…
IRC client+version: Client-independent Operating System: Linux
OS version/distro: GNU/Debian squeeze and Slackware 13.0


Installation was by default in two different GNU/Linux distributions (Slackware 13.0 and Debian squeeze).

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Download tarball file from current bitlbee version (1.2.4) from official website.
  2. Extract with tar xvfz bitlbee-1.2.4.tar.gz
  3. cd bitlbee-1.2.4
  4. ./configure
  5. make
  6. make install (as root)
  7. make install-etc (as root)
  8. in my case i added this line to /etc/inetd.conf:

6667 stream tcp nowait nobody /usr/sbin/tcpd /usr/local/sbin/bitlbee

  1. Start the daemon (or restart) with:

/etc/init.d/inetutils-inetd stop /etc/init.d/inetutils-inetd start

  1. launch some IRC client, connect to localhost, port 6667
  2. When connected to bitlbee, try to register with:

register foobar


You will obtain always same response: "Error while opening configuration file". After some investigations, i found that is trying to create a file in /var/lib/bitlbee/accountname.xml, however /var/lib/bitlbee does not have by default right permissions.


chmod 777 /var/lib/bitlbee


I think make install should create this directory with right permissions directly to avoid confusion.


For any further details please do not hesitate contact me on borja.tarraso.hueso@…

Thanks in advance,

Borja Tarraso

Attachments (0)

Change History (4)

comment:1 Changed at 2009-11-11T05:31:56Z by wilmer

Resolution: invalid
Status: newclosed

We already talked about this in #bitlbee, but just to summarize..

This is not "make install"'s task. I see you're running BitlBee under the "nobody" UID. Other people may be using different UIDs (a dedicated bitlbee user for example). The permissions on /var/lib/bitlbee have to match the UID bitlbee runs at.

So that step of the configuration does *not* belong in the Makefile but in doc/INSTALL or better, the package that came with your Linux distro.

Suggestions for documentation fixes are welcome, but other than that, this is working as intended.

Note that using chmod 777 to solve permission issues is like never locking your frontdoor anymore because you keep losing the keys. Not a very good idea.

comment:2 Changed at 2010-09-16T18:59:08Z by anonymous

I experienced the same issue with bitlbee installed from repos under Ubuntu Lucid 10.04. Solved with method above, returned permissions to normal after.

comment:3 Changed at 2012-11-14T14:47:29Z by anonymous

is the config dir always /var/lib/bitlbee, even with default install prefix ?

comment:4 Changed at 2012-12-11T09:15:45Z by anonymous

If you decide to use the User = bitlbee option (which is recommended) in /etc/bitlbee remember to start bitlbee as root and it will change user by itself to bitlbee. If you have started the bitlbee daemon as a regular user you will not be able to register because it cannot change over to bitlbee user.


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