Frequently Asked Questions

IRC clients

In general case, perhaps some clients don't support some IRC commands needed to use Minbif. You may create aliases, or use the /quote command.


Minbif is mainly tested with irssi and this is probably the most supported IRC client.

  • Add an alias for the SVSNICK command: /alias svsnick quote svsnick


  • Add an alias for the MAP command: /alias map /quote map


This is a crappy old IRC client, do not use it.


How to change an account ID?

Use the /MAP edit command. For example:

/MAP edit msn0 accid msn

Note: to work, this IM account needs to be disconnected.

How to change my nickname or my mood message?

The /MAP cmd command can run a specific command on an account. Firstly, run it without any argument to display all available commands:

/MAP cmd jabber0
16:36:58 !  Commands available for jabber0:
16:36:58 !    SetUserInfo
16:36:58 !    ChangePassword
16:36:58 !    SearchforUsers
16:36:58 !    SetMood
16:36:58 !    SetNickname

Then, for example, run the SetMood command:

/MAP cmd jabber0 SetMood

The request pseudo-user will ask you what new mood message you want to set:

16:37:09  request> Request closed.
16:37:11  request> New request: Set User Nickname
16:37:11  request> Please specify a new nickname for you.
16:37:11  request> Default value is: 
16:37:11  request> Type answer:
16:37:14  > romain
16:37:14  request> Request closed.

Note: this feature is introduced into Minbif 1.0.1

Is there a way to get minbif not to change the contact names server side?

You can do it globally:

/admin server_aliases false

Or for a specific account:

/map edit ACCID server_aliases false

Note: this feature is introduced into Minbif 1.0.2.

Warning: the /SVSNICK command will not store aliases client-side, so when you disconnect/reconnect to the account, specific aliases will be lost.


How to become away

How to change my status message

See Status management.

Why do my accounts are shown as away when I don't speak for a while?

This is a libpurple setting which turn you away (Idle) if you don't send any message for five minutes.

To disable this setting, use:

/ADMIN away_idle false

Protocols specifics


Minbif crashes when I try to add a MSN buddy

This is a race condition in some libpurple versions. There isn't any work around available for minbif which does not disable the aliases feature.

To get more information about this, read the #140 ticket, or the libpurple opened ticket. Please upgrade to libpurple >=2.6.4.

How to join a MSN group chat?

As conversation channels does not exist on MSN, you need to initiate a group chat with a buddy. Just create one with this command:


Then you can invite people with the /INVITE command.

Why file transfers are slow on MSN?

The libpurple's msn plugin does not support peer-to-peer file transfers. Files are sent through the MSN server.

You can use instead the msn-pecan plugin which supports direct file transfers.

XMPP (Jabber, GMail, Facebook)

I can't join a conference room because my nickname is already in use

How do I change my handle on a conference room?

You need to give the handle parameter to the /JOIN command. For example, use:

/JOIN handle=romain_

How using Facebook?

You can now use the Facebook Chat from Minbif without any third-party plugin, and without all the bugs, since Facebook now provides XMPP access.

To set it up, it is very simple: get your username and password from here (click on "Pidgin"), and provide Minbif with:

/map add jabber PASSWORD &fb -!require_tls

The connection won't be encrypted, but if you use Facebook you already don't care much about privacy, don't you ? ;-)


Minbif crashes when I add a prpltwtr account

That's probably because you compiled prpltwtr with IS_PIDGIN. You need to disable it. Edit global.mak and add this line on top of the file:


I can't join the "Home Timeline" group chat

Try to join the channel with:

/JOIN #Home%20Timeline:twitter

If you use a version of Minbif which doesn't support IRC channel names containing spaces, you have two solution:

  • Edit twitter.c and change the name from "Home timeline" to "Timeline" at line 138. Then, join channel with /join #Timeline:twitter
  • Compile prpltwtr with the _HAZE_ parameter


How do I use the skype4linux plugin with minbif when it runs on a server?

You can follow this article.


Does minbif support OTR?

It is the job of the IRC client. irssi-otr is known to work.

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