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How to setup Screen + Irssi + Bitlbee

Individual Setups


Screen is a multi-terminal console application.
Basically, it gives you multiple terminals in one.
Screen also supports detaching from the current terminal while remaining running.
This allows you to reattach it from the same terminal or from a different one (like over ssh) later.

First off, install screen.
It should be in your distribution's repository.
If not, grab the source from the screen homepage and compile/install it by hand.

I'll cover the basics of screen usage here.

Screen is configured via the .screenrc file in your home directory.

I generally run screen with 6 terminals open numbered 1-6.
I use the ` (backtick) as the escape key to trigger screen commands.
To enter a ` into the terminal, hit the key twice (``).
To switch terminals, enter ` then the terminal number (`1, `3, etc.).
To detach screen, enter `d.
This will release screen from the current terminal but keep it running so you can reattach to it later from the same terminal or from elsewhere.
To attach to a running screen session, run “screen -x”.

My .screenrc is in the resources section of this page.


Irssi is a console IRC client.


Bitlbee is an IRC to IM gateway server.
It runs as an IRC server and can be used from any IRC client.
When you connect to Bitlbee, you get a control channel for controlling bitlbee and managing your IM services.

To send a message to someone, enter “/msg name message” just like messaging them in IRC.


Screen + Irssi

Irssi + Bitlbee


My .screenrc

#change the hardstatus settings to give an window list at the bottom of the
#screen, with the time and date and with the current window highlighted
#The window list is on the left with the format "1$ main  2$* mc  3$- root" (terminal 2 is currently active and terminal 3 is the last terminal I had active)
#The date and time are aligned to the right with the format "Sun 09 Dec 2007  9:52:13"
hardstatus alwayslastline
hardstatus string '%{= mK}%-Lw%{= KW}%50>%n%f* %t%{= mK}%+Lw%< %{= kG}%-=%D %d %M %Y %c:%s%{-}'

#Enable UTF8 (unicode) support by default
#Note that some programs (like mc) look strange and possibly misbehave when using the screen session from a non-unicode-aware terminal
defutf8 on

#Change the escape to the backtick (the character under the ~) since it's rarely used
escape ``

#Setup our default screen terminals (screen -t name number)

#Start a terminal named main as terminal number 1
screen -t main  1

#Keep this terminal alive after closing mc
screen -t mc    2
stuff "mc\015"

#Keep this terminal alive after closing ncmpc
screen -t music 4
stuff "ncmpc\015"

#Start a terminal named irc as terminal number 5
screen -t irc   5

#Start a terminal named mail as terminal number 6
screen -t mail  6

#This terminal will close if the su environment is exited
screen -t root  3       su -
howtos/screenirssibitlbee.txt · Last modified: 2017/07/02 10:11 (external edit)