One of the things that kept me going back to a GUI for IM over and over and over is the fact that my Jabber client of choice, namely Bitlbee, didn’t support multiuser chat (MUC). I had seen in the code commit logs that it had been added, but after downloading the development version and not seeing it, I figured they pulled it from the main branch until it stabilizes. Come to find out, if I wanted to get MUC in Bitlbee, I needed to be running the latest snapshot. Well, my bzr version is a bit old (the version on Ubuntu Dapper Drake), so I couldn’t pull the code down from the branch. Then I found out, thanks to some dude in the Jabber room on conference.jabber.org that the testing.bitlbee.org server supported MUC. This was music to my ears. I disconnected my local Bitlbee session, and connected to the testing.bitlbee.org server, and what do you know? MUC! So, if you’re running irssi, BitchX, WeeChat, or some other text-based IRC client behind screen, with Bitlbee, here’s how you can have your Jabber MUC.
First, we need to connect to testing.bitlbee.org. This server supports SSL, which I would prefer to connect with, so I’ll be using that in the example. So, in irssi, let’s connect:
/connect -ssl testing.bitlbee.org 6668
This will make the connection, then open a “&root” window for you to setup your account(s). Let’s do that, just for simplicity sake. First, we should register ourself with the server, so if we need to login again, we can identify: In our &root window in irssi:
Where password is a password of your choice. Now, if you ever disconnect, you can reconnect your accounts with just a “identify password“. Now that we’re registered, let’s add our Jabber account. For me, I’m running my own Jabber server, so I’ll use that for my example:
account add jabber email@example.com password
This will connect to the aarontoponce.org Jabber server with my password, whatever that may be. At this point, you should save your information before you go any further:
Now, let’s connect:
account on 0
The first account you add will be the 0th account (we’re counting like normal here, starting with zero), the second account you add will be account 1, and so on. Ok, now you’re connected, how do you join a Jabber MUC room? Well, on the testing.bitlbee.org server, we have the ‘join_chat’ command. The syntax is simple: “join_chat
join_chat 0 firstname.lastname@example.org &jabber atoponce
0 is the account number that is referenced to the account I added earlier. Now I’m connected to a Jabber MUC, running in Bitlbee, running in irssi, all behind screen. In other words, no more joining and leaving the MUC room. As long as my server is running, I can keep my irssi client going, and keep tabs on all the back logs in case I want to reply to something.