Establishing OTR connections through ZNC
Now that we are using ZNC to manage our IRC traffic, let's establish an OTR session. The
process is similar to what we did with BitlBee and by the end of this, you should be well-
versed in establishing identity with OTR. For this experiment, you will either need a
crypto-savy friend, a begrudging significant other, or a separate IRC account. Basically,
you need somebody with whom you can chat via OTR.
Now that you are logged onto freenode or your favorite IRC network, initiate a chat with
another user. On most clients, this will open the conversation in a new window when you
type the following command:
At this point, you can enjoy an old-fashioned, unencrypted chat with your buddy. To chat
with OTR, we first need to generate a key, like we did with BitlBee. In ZNC, there is a vir-
tual user, *otr , similar to the *status user, to whom you direct OTR commands. First,
you should generate a keypair by typing in the following command:
/msg *otr genkey
Remember, all virtual users in ZNC have the * prefix. This will probably open a new win-
dow with the *otr user and you should see something like this:
<*otr> Starting key generation in a background thread.
<*otr> Key generation finished.
Now you can initiate an OTR conversation. If you want to initiate the OTR conversation,
type the following:
Otherwise, your buddy can initiate the OTR conversation and ZNC-OTR will automatically
proceed with the protocol. Unlike BitlBee, the question is not part of the authenticate com-
mand, so you must type that first on your own. If Alice and Bob are talking, the conversa-
tion prior to the authenticate step would look like:
<alice> When prompted, answer the question: What was printed
on my t-shirt which I wore yesterday? One word, lowercase.
<bob> got it.