mcabber and OTR
Today I wanted to try out off-the-record messaging (OTR) using mcabber. I did not really find any documentation or web sites saying anything else than “It works!” so I decided to write this Nano How-To for other people having the same problem.
Get a usable mcabber version
mcabber started supporting OTR from version 0.9.4 onwards. E.g. the version in Debian “Etch” 4.0 is way too old (0.8.3), so you have to make do somehow different (back-port, source compile, magic, etc.).
I created a .deb of mcabber 0.9.7 using the current testing version as a template (for ARM only, so no downloads). To do this I had to recompile the libotr2 package, too, as 3.0 apparently is too old.
Set up mcabber for OTR
mcabber stores its configuration in
You also have to append/uncomment
Key generation takes time (roughly seven minutes on my NSLU2, mere fractions of seconds on your shiny new 256-core CPU) and will be started as soon as you restart mcabber. The key will be deposited in
Now set up your buddies for OTR
Of course you have to talk them into using a OTR capable client but that is beyond the scope of this document . What I mean is that you have to enable OTR for your buddies in mcabber by issuing
otrpolicy <JID> opportunistic
If you now talk to your buddy a OTR channel will be established (the first thing you say will be unencrypted so you probably want to say something inconspicuous like “Hi!”, and not directly “Care to overthrow the government of $COUNTRY?”). mcabber will print these messages:
*** OTR: new fingerprint: NNNNNNNN NNNNNNNN NNNNNNNN NNNNNNNN NNNNNNNN *** OTR: channel established
If you have verified your counterpart’s key issue
Now you and OTR should be all set (up). Have fun and don’t overthrow too many poor governments! And Kathrin, thanks for your help .
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