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5.6.8 Free OpenSource
EN IT

Online help and support for using BeeBEEP

Online help is a continuously updated section of the website.
In this first phase I will go to get the closed tickets on SourceForge and I will turn them into support sections.
If there were any special requests you can open a ticket on SourceForge (see below how to do it).
Any help is always welcome to make this guide a reference point for those who want to use BeeBEEP.

This help is on a single page.
You can use the search function on your browser (usually activated with CTRL+F) to find the keywords that interest you.

Last updated: Sep 15th, 2019

Help index
Estimated reading time: about 5 minutes

Install

How to install BeeBEEP on your operating system.

BeeBEEP is released in multiple versions to meet the needs of as many operating systems as possible.

Windows

  • Installer (beebeep-setup-x.y.z.exe): BeeBEEP will be installed in the programs folder and the rules in Windows Firewall will be created automatically at the end of the installation.
    If Windows will show a notification screen at the time of installation go to More Info and then click Run Anyway.
  • Portable (beebeep-x.y.z.zip): the portable version of BeeBEEP contains all the application files in its compressed folder. You can unzip the folder in the place you prefer, for example in the Program Files folder, in Documents or in your usb key to have it always with you.
    For this type of version there are 2 packages, one for Windows XP and the other for the most recent versions of the Microsoft operating system (Windows 10, 8 and 7).

What should you do when the Windows 10 security message appears?

  1. Double clic on BeeBEEP installer (beebeep-setup-X.Y.Z.exe)...

    BeeBEEP warning message on Windows 10
    After clicking on the BeeBEEP installer
  2. Clic on More info ...

    BeeBEEP warning message on Windows 10
    After clicking on "More info"
  3. Clic on Run Anyway ...
  4. The BeeBEEP installation program starts successfully.

Why is a security message shown when you launch BeeBEEP?

BeeBEEP is not a digitally signed application and operating systems like Windows or MacOSX warn users against using software without a digital signature.
I fully understand their reasons but a digital certificate has a cost per year and you need one for Microsoft and one for Apple. BeeBEEP is a free software and I wouldn't even have to pay to distribute it.
So, be careful and download BeeBEEP from trusted sites.
For the rest, I'm sure you will understand my point of view and you won't mind doing one or two more clicks to launch BeeBEEP the first time.


Linux and Raspberry

BeeBEEP for Linux is released on this website in the 32 and 64 bit version with an installation package in the .tar.gz format compiled with Qt 4 libraries or Qt 5. To install the portable package follow the instructions below.

BeeBEEP tar.gz version with Qt 4

  • Download the new 64-bit or 32-bit version depending on your operating system (in the example I'll use the 64-bit 5.6.4) from here.
  • Open the folder where you downloaded the new version and unpack the archive (for example in /usr/local/share/):
    # sudo tar zxvf beebeep-5.6.4-qt4-amd64.tar.gz /usr/local/share/.
  • Enable the BeeBEEP executable:
    # sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/share/beebeep-5.6.4-qt4-amd64/beebeep
  • Create a link to the executable beebeep(for example in /usr/local/bin/):
    # sudo ln -s /usr/local/share/beebeep-5.6.4-qt4-amd64/beebeep /usr/local/bin/beebeep
  • Check BeeBEEP dependencies and install packages if needed.
    For Debian like distro as Ubuntu:
    # sudo apt install libqt4-dev libqt4-xml libxcb-screensaver0 libavahi-compat-libdnssd1 libphonon4 libhunspell-dev phonon-backend-gstreamer

BeeBEEP tar.gz version with Qt 5

  • Download the new 64-bit or 32-bit version depending on your operating system (in the example I'll use the 64-bit 5.6.8) from here.
  • Open the folder where you downloaded the new version and unpack the archive (for example in /usr/local/share/):
    # sudo tar zxvf beebeep-5.6.8-qt5-amd64.tar.gz /usr/local/share/.
  • Enable the BeeBEEP executable:
    # sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/share/beebeep-5.6.8-qt5-amd64/beebeep
  • Create a link to the executable beebeep(for example in /usr/local/bin/):
    # sudo ln -s /usr/local/share/beebeep-5.6.8-qt5-amd64/beebeep /usr/local/bin/beebeep
  • Check BeeBEEP dependencies and install packages if needed.
    For Debian like distro as Ubuntu:
    # sudo apt install libqt5printsupport5 libqt5multimedia5 libqt5multimedia5-plugins libxcb-screensaver0 libavahi-compat-libdnssd1

For more information you can read the Linux Installation Guide on SourceForge.

Ubuntu (debian-like) package (beebeep_5.6.8-1_amd64.deb)

The new versions of BeeBEEP for linux 64-bit will also have the .deb installation package (tested on Ubuntu 18.04, Mint 19.2, ZorinOS 15).
BeeBEEP will be installed in the folder /usr/lib/beebeep/ and it will search files beebeep.ini, beebeep.dat, beebeep.off and cache folder in /home/your_account/.local/share/MarcoMastroddiSW/BeeBEEP/.
Instead, the files with the translations (*.qm) and the BeeBEEP icon will be installed in the folder /usr/share/beebeep/.
If you want to add the configuration file beebeep.rc you must also consider the search order of the folders that BeeBEEP will do at its start:

  • /home/your_account/.local/share/MarcoMastroddiSW/BeeBEEP/
  • /usr/lib/beebeep/
  • /etc/beebeep/
  • /usr/local/etc/beebeep/
  • /usr/local/lib/beebeep/

Usually if you want the preferences to be valid for the whole system I suggest you this path:
/etc/beebeep/beebeep.rc

Now, below, here are the instructions to install the package from the command line:

  • Download the 64-bit package for debian-like systems from SourceForge.
  • Open the terminal and go to the folder where you downloaded the file.
  • Install the package:
    # sudo dpkg -i beebeep_5.6.8-1_amd64.deb
  • This version of BeeBEEP needs the Qt 5 libraries to work, so if you didn't install them on your system the command could give you an error.
    Don't worry, with the next command you will install all BeeBEEP dependencies:
    # sudo apt install -f
  • You can find BeeBEEP in the main menu of your desktop manager in the Office or Instant messenger section.

On some linux systems you may not hear the classic beep sound. Check the BeeBEEP log and if you read [WARNING] Sound device is not available then a dependency was not installed correctly.
You have to manually install the libqt5multimedia5-plugins package and the sound system will start working properly
# sudo apt install libqt5multimedia5-plugins


MacOSX

Installation is very simple for MacOSX. Download the package from the download page and double-click on it. The system will decompress the installation file and bring up the BeeBEEP icon. Drag and drop the icon to the "Applications" folder.
To start BeeBEEP for the first time, remember to click on the icon with the CMD button pressed to tell Apple that you are opening a program that you really want to start.


OS/2

BeeBEEP for OS/2 is distributed in two modes:

  • as compressed package that you have to download and manually install; if prerequisites are required, you will have to manually install them too;
  • as RPM package; you can install it using your favorite rpm package manager, that will take care to download and install both the software and its prerequisites.

You can find more information on the ECSoft/2 webpage thanks to Elbert Pol who maintains it.

Estimated reading time: about 1 minute

Update

How to update BeeBEEP to the new version with compressed package (zip or similar).

BeeBEEP is a portable application. The installation package of each new version contains only the application files. To update just unzip the files directly in the BeeBEEP folder by overwriting the old versions.
The files with preferences and messages will not be affected by the process. In fact they are saved in separate files called beebeep.ini and beebeep.dat which will not be overwritten during the update.


Update a Linux version with the Debian package

  • Download the 64-bit package for Debian and debian-like systems (Ubuntu, Mint, ZorinOS, ...).
  • Install the package:
    # sudo dpkg -i beebeep_5.6.5-1_amd64.deb
  • If you receive an error due to unmet dependencies, run the command:
    # sudo apt install -f

Update a Linux version installed with snap (Ubuntu)

  • Locate the path where the BeeBEEP executable is installed:
    # locate beebeep
    (for example /usr/bin/beebeep)
  • Rename the executable of the old version:
    # sudo mv /usr/bin/beebeep /usr/bin/beebeep.old
  • Follow the instructions to install BeeBEEP on Linux.
  • Create a link to the executable beebeep in the path of the old version:
    # sudo ln -s /usr/local/share/beebeep-5.6.4-qt4-amd64/beebeep /usr/bin/beebeep
Estimated reading time: about 1 minute

Development version

How to test the new features of BeeBEEP before they are released.

To ensure the release of increasingly stable versions you can help me by downloading a development version and testing it in your environment.
The procedure is very simple and will allow the stable version and the development version to coexist on your computer.

Inside the package you will only find the executable file that you will need to copy inside the folder of a previously installed BeeBEEP.

The file name has the following format:
beebeep-X.Y.Z-beta-[release number].zip (for example: beebeep-5.6.3-beta-1146.zip)

You will almost always recognize the test package from the final version number: if it is odd it is a development executable, if a stable version is even (for example, 5.6.3 is a development version that can be installed in the folder of BeeBEEP 5.6.2).

At this point from time to time you can decide whether to use the stable or development version simply by clicking on the file you wish to launch.

I usually only publish the package for Windows but, upon request, I can also provide you with the version for your operating system.

When you find bugs or suggestions for new features, please let me know by opening a ticket on SourceForge or sending me an e-mail directly specifying which test version you are using (the file release number is important).

It is important that you first read the following installation instructions...
  • Download the development version.
  • Unzip the downloaded file.
  • Copy the executable file to the folder where you installed the stable version of BeeBEEP.
    It is the same folder where there is the file beebeep.exe in Windows, or beebeep in Linux.
  • Launch the beta version by clicking on the file you just copied.
Now you can download the beta version of BeeBEEP...
Estimated reading time: about 6 minutes

Configuration

How to best configure BeeBEEP to find other users in your network.

BeeBEEP is an application characterized above all by its simplicity of use. In most cases you don't have to configure anything at all: BeeBEEP will do it for you automatically adapting to your subnet.
So before manually intervening, verify that there is no network problem because of your firewall (or the firewall of the users you want to connect to) or because of your router that blocks UDP traffic on port 36475.

Here is a list of the default ports used by BeeBEEP:

  • 36475 (protocol UDP): port used to search and be found by other users in the network.
  • 6475 (protocol TCP): main port used by the BeeBEEP protocol for system communications and to send and receive messages.
  • 6476 (protocol TCP): port used for file transfer.

How does BeeBEEP find other users on the network?

BeeBEEP uses different methods to find other users on the network.

  • Broadcast address: a broadcast address is a network address at which all devices connected to a multiple-access communications network are enabled to receive datagrams. A message sent to a broadcast address may be received by all network-attached hosts.
    BeeBEEP BeeBEEP uses the broadcast addresses provided by your network interfaces and its default port 36475 to send and receive datagrams.
  • Multicast address: a multicast address is a logical identifier for a group of hosts in a computer network that are available to process datagrams or frames intended to be multicast for a designated network service.
    BeeBEEP uses its default multicast address 239.255.64.75 and port 36475 to send and receive datagrams.
    If your router is correctly configured to forward traffic to the multicast address and port 36475, BeeBEEP will also be able to find those users not present in your subnet.
  • Direct connection: this option is used when a user is manually added by specifying his IP address and the connection port.
    It is practically the resource to use when it is not possible to act on the network parameters specified above.

A network properly configured taking these parameters into account will allow the correct operations of BeeBEEP without manual configurations.

But as we all know and have experienced in our work, we are not always in a position to change things at will. For this reason I have included many configuration options in BeeBEEP capable of satisfying every type of network requirement.


Example #1: my office configuration
  • Create the beehosts.ini file to configure the network.
  • Create of the beebeep.rc file for common options.
  • Install BeeBEEP on every computer in the office.

The offices of my division are on two floors and on two different subnets:
10.184.15.0/24 and 10.184.16.0/24 both with a subnet mask 255.255.255.0.

The best way would be to configure the network routers to forward the multicasting traffic to the 239.255.64.75 address and the 36475 port.
In this way no manual configuration of BeeBEEP would be needed.
Unfortunately, this solution is not feasible due to a series of bureaucratic explanations that have little to do with information technology.

So to facilitate the configuration of BeeBEEP I decided to create the beehosts.ini configuration file.
It is a simple text file where I wrote the addresses on which BeeBEEP will broadcast.

File content: beehosts.ini

10.184.15.255
10.184.16.255

Since in our office we use Active Directory to authenticate and enter computers, I decided that BeeBEEP should recognize users by using this feature.
I created the file beebeep.rc, another text file where you can enter the configuration options common to all the BeeBEEPs on the network.
I started from the example file downloadable from here.
I modified it.

File content: beebeep.rc

[BeeBEEP]
UseEasyConnection = true
StartMinimized = true
UserRecognitionMethod = 2
SaveDataInUserApplicationFolder = true

The guide with an explanation of all the options can be found here.
I chose to use the "UserRecognitionMethod = 2" option instead of "UserRecognitionMethod = 1" because in our office we have only one domain for users and therefore it will never be possible to have equal accounts on different domains.
I forced the "SaveDataInUserApplicationFolder = true" option because I don't want users belonging to the "administrators" group to put their options in the BeeBEEP folder (it's always good to remember that BeeBEEP was born as a portable application and will always try to write its data in the folder where it runs).

I installed BeeBEEP on each computer and in the installation folder I inserted the file beebeep.rc and beehosts.ini.


Example #2: Windows Terminal Server
  • Create the beebeep.rc file for common options.
  • Install BeeBEEP.

File content: beebeep.rc

[BeeBEEP]
UseEasyConnection = true
StartMinimized = true
UserRecognitionMethod = 2
SaveDataInUserApplicationFolder = true
AllowMultipleInstances = true
PreventMultipleConnectionsFromSingleHostAddress = false

You need to enable the "AllowMultipleInstances" option because multiple instances of BeeBEEP will be launched on the server. Furthermore, since all users will use a single IP address, it is necessary to disable the "PreventMultipleConnectionsFromSingleHostAddress" option.

You can install BeeBEEP and in the installation folder (default resource folder) you have to insert the file beebeep.rc.

For more information about resource folder and beebeep.rc file please read the FAQ.


How does BeeBEEP recognize users on the network?

BeeBEEP uses different methods to recognize a user on the network.
The default one can be chosen either by setting it in the beebeep.rc file or in the menu
Settings - Users - Recognize users...:

  • By nickname (default): BeeBEEP always considers the nickname of the users to be reliable in order to distinguish them from each other and a unique code to compare them with those already on the list.
    UserRecognitionMethod = 3 in beebeep.rc configuration file.
  • By account and domain name: BeeBEEP will use the system account together with the domain name to identify users. You must use this option only when people in your office authenticate themselves to computer through a personal username connected to a domain.
    For example, in a windows system with active directory, I enter into my computer with my account NETWORK\marco.mastroddi and BeeBEEP uses it to recognize me.
    UserRecognitionMethod = 1 in beebeep.rc configuration file.
  • By account name: Very similar to the previous method with the difference that BeeBEEP will only use the username: marco.mastroddi.
    UserRecognitionMethod = 2 in beebeep.rc configuration file.

Please note that it is good practice to have all the BeeBEEPs in the network configured with the same user recognition method.

Error in user recognition: you cannot see all the users in your network

Check the activity page in the BeeBEEP main window.

beebeerp error screenshot
BeeBEEP activity page with error.
Connection closed to user X because it uses your account name: Y.
Connection closed to user X because it uses same account name of the already connected user Y: Z.

This error occurs when the option Settings - Users - Recognize users... is set to by account name or by account name and domain name and BeeBEEP is contacted by another on the network using the same name.
The connection is blocked and the user is shown in the list as not connected.

Connection closed to user X because it uses your nickname: Y.
Connection closed to user X because it uses your hash code.
Connection closed to user X because it uses same nickname of the already connected user Y: Z.
Connection closed to user X because it uses same hash code of the already connected user Y: Z.

This error occurs when the option Settings - Users - Recognize users... is set to by nickname and BeeBEEP is contacted by another on the network using the same nickname.
The connection is blocked and the user is shown in the list as not connected.

Messages very similar to these can also be found in the BeeBEEP log.

Estimated reading time: about 1 minute

Workgroups

How to filter your user list based on the activities performed together.

There is a substantial difference between the Workgroup and the Group.

Workgroups are essentially names that identify the categories of users and are used to limit the user list to the only categories you are interested in.

Perhaps with an example the concept will be clearer.
There are more than 100 colleagues in my division. With many of them I don't have much to do for work and so it would be just inconvenient to have them on my BeeBEEP user list.
So I decided to create Workgroups or better to name the activities I do:

  • Software development
  • Statistics
  • Systems

I agreed with the other users so that we would use the same names as the activities.
Then we put them in BeeBEEP and precisely in the menu
Settings - Network - Your workgroups...
(or in "Settings" - "Users" - "Workgroups" if you have an older BeeBEEP version).
Enable the "Accept connections only from your workgroups" option.
In this way BeeBEEP only accepts users with whom I have an activity in common and instead of 100 users, I have 24 in the list.

I also added the "Lunch" activity in my Workgroups because I usually go to lunch also with colleagues working in other things.

BeeBEEP Workgroups dialog
BeeBEEP Workgroups dialog (MS Windows).

I also make another more schematic example.

In theory for 6 users it would not make sense to set up this configuration, but I only do it for illustrative purposes.

There are 3 doctors in a doctor's office.
Every doctor has an assistant who appoints him and distributes his patients.
Every doctor wants only his assistant and the other doctors on the list.
Instead, each assistant wants to list only his referring physician and the other assistants.

I then create the following categories:

  • Doctor A;
  • Doctor B;
  • Doctor C;
  • Doctors;
  • Assistants.

Doctor A's Workgroups will be: Doctor A, Doctors.
The Workgroups of Assistant A will be: Doctor A, Assistants.

Doctor B's Workgroups will be: Doctor B, Doctors.
The Workgroups of Assistant B will be: Doctor B, Assistants.

Doctor C's Workgroups will be: Doctor C, Doctors.
The Workgroups of Assistant C will be: Doctor C, Assistants.


With Workgroups you can try every type of configuration possible to best filter your user list. From experience I have seen that there is no limit to the imagination.

Estimated reading time: less than 1 minute

Groups

How to create a conversation with multiple connected people.

If you have not already done so, please read the section on Workgroups to understand the difference between Groups and Workgroups.

The functioning of the groups is very similar to that of other messaging software.
The only difference is that there is no server that manages them.
Each group will continue to exist until there is at least one BeeBEEP in the network that has it in group list or has saved it in preferences file (beebeep.ini).

Estimated reading time: less than 1 minute

Spell checking

How to enable spell checking in BeeBEEP chats.

Starting with version 3.0.3, you can enable spell checking on BeeBEEP.
It is necessary to have a dictionary compatible with the Hunspell library (for example those distributed with LibreOffice).
You can follow these steps to install a dictionary in BeeBEEP:

  • Search your language dictionary and download it from LibreOffice extension website.
    For example you can click here to see English dictionary.
  • Unzip the file.oxt in your preferred folder (yes the extension is oxt, but it is simply a zip package).
  • Open BeeBEEP and click on menu Settings - Chat - Select dictionary...
  • Search the file.dic in the .oxt unzipped folder and select it (Hunspell needs file.dic and file.aff in the same folder).
Estimated reading time: about 1 minute

Support request

How to open a ticket for support on BeeBEEP.

The best way to get personalized assistance is to open a ticket on SourceForge.
Before doing so, however, it is good to keep some things in mind. BeeBEEP works on different operating systems and has hundreds of options. So try to be as precise as possible and provide me with as much information as you can.

Always check the BeeBEEP log in the menu Main - Show the BeeBEEP log... because many times the solution is right there.

When you open a ticket, remember to specify:

  • your operating system;
  • the BeeBEEP version;
  • the options you have activated that may relate to the topic you ask for assistance;
  • in case of a bug, describe how I can try to replicate it.

Also consider the possibility of sending me the log via e-mail (better not to publish it on SourceForge for privacy reasons).

And finally, try to have a minimum of patience and you will soon receive an answer.
I've solved hundreds of cases, you'll see I will solve yours too.

Help and support resources from SourceForge.
  • For feature request or bugs please create a ticket.
  • For help or information please visit also closed tickets.
  • For support on beebeep.ini or beebeep.rc files (the settings of the application) download the help or visit the FAQ.

Hi, I'm BeeBEEP, the free office messenger that for 9 years has been helping people like you keep messages safe and private.

Do you like BeeBEEP? Click here and make a small donation to help me continue to develop it.
BeeBEEP is an opensource project hosted by SourceForge

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