‘HALP I locked meself out of bitlbee’ aka resetting Your bitlbee password.

Hi there.

Yes… I did it… 2 days ago I have locked myself out of my own bitlbee account :). Easy fix if You have root on the machine that the bitlbee server runs on tho.

Get root:


Stop the bitlbee service. In Arch Linux that would be done with:

systemctl stop bitlbee

Move Yourself to where bitlbee stores the accout xml files.

cd /var/lib/bitlbee

List the content of the folder and filter listing for xml files.

ls ./ | grep -i xml

You will get something like:


obviously instead of yourbitlbeelogin You will see Your actual login for Your bitlbee server.

Now generate new md5 hash for Your new password:

bitlbee -x hash yournewpassword

Replace yournewpassword with Your actual new password for bitlbee server. Terminal will spit out something like:


Write it down / copy it – whatever floats Your boat.

Use mcedit / nano / vi / emacs / joe – whatever suits You and open yourbitlbeelogin.xml.

mcedit ./yourbitlbeelogin.xml

First line will look somewhat like this:

user nick=”yourbitlbeelogin” password=”md5hashofyouroldbitlbeepassword” version=”1″

Remove the md5hashofyouroldbitlbeepassword bit and replace it with the new md5 hash that You have just generated for yournewpassword so it looks like this:

user nick=”yourbitlbeelogin” password=”7EcI4byy9MgrAPiK9″ version=”1″

Save the file and re-start Your bitlbee service.

systemctl start bitlbee

Use yournewpassword to log into the bitlbee server.

Because bitlbee uses Your password (or its hash – not sure) to create hashes of passwords for Your accounts (jabber / gadu-gadu / msn etc.) after manually editing that .xml file You won’t be able to log into any of those accounts – they will reject Your passwords as incorrect. You need to re-set all the account passwords. Use:

account tag set password

on all Your accounts (luckily I only had 2) diconnect and reconnect back to the bitlbee server.

Tada… All is bitlbee with the world again.




"Never meet Your heroes. Most of the time you'll only end up disappointed." White Polak Male Husband Employee Hetero Carnivorous Fugly Geek @$$hole with ADD Catholic “Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

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