How to use Bitlbee for Twitter (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing, Science, and Nature.

Thu, 24 Mar 2011

How to use Bitlbee for Twitter

I've been using Bitlbee to follow Twitter from my IRC client (xchat) for many months now. I love it -- it's a great interface, really easy to use.

But every now and then I have to install it on a new machine, and I remember its one flaw: it has no documentation to speak of. What docs there are cover only pieces of the puzzle, and nobody covers basics like "How do I connect in the first place?"

So here's mine.

First, install bitlbee. The download page has tarballs, but if you're on Ubuntu or Debian, the easiest way is to add the bitlbee repository to your sources.list.

Once bitlbee is installed (the server should start automatically), it will run an IRC server on port 6667. So connect your IRC client to localhost/6667.

In the bitlbee server window that comes up, type this: register passwd
This will be your bitlbee password. It isn't related to your Twitter password.

Set your IRC client to identify passwd so you don't have to type the bitlbee password every time you connect.

Tell Bitlbee your Twitter account handle: account add twitter your-twitter-handle passwd
The password is just a placeholder; it doesn't have to match the one you just set up for bitlbee.

Then enable it: account on
Bitlbee should print:

<root> twitter - Logging in: Connecting
<root> twitter - Logging in: Requesting OAuth request token

Before long, you should see a new channel called twitter_, with a long URL. Paste this URL into your browser to authenticate. You'll have to log in with your Twitter handle and password.

Twitter will give you a code number. Paste this back into the Bitlbee twitter_ channel.

That should be all you need! Bitlbee should now log in to Twitter and give you statuses in a #twitter channel.

(Slightly updated from initial post to clarify the two passwords -- thanks pleia2 and wilmer.)

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[ 16:19 Mar 24, 2011    More tech | permalink to this entry | comments ]
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