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Using the otr4-em module in node

var otr = require("otr4-em")
  , version = otr.version(); // "4.1.0-emscripten"

First thing we need is to load the account data. An account is a combination of an OTR key, an instance tag, and known buddy fingerprints. Keys are stored in a keystore file. Instance tags are stored in an instance tags file, and fingerprints are stored in a fingerprints file.

The otr.User class is a container for loading/saving and managing these files.

Loading account data

To load the account data from files we can specify the paths when creating an otr.User object:

var user = new otr.User({
    keys: "~/.purple/otr.private_key",
    fingerprints: "~/.purple/otr.fingerprints",
    instags: "~/otr.instags"

A tilda '~' represents the user's home directory and will be resolved accordingly. If specified files exist the keys, fingerprints and instance tags will be loaded automatically. A warning will be logged to the console otherwise.

Files are loaded and parsed synchronously.

Alternatively you can load the files using the loadKeysFromFs, loadFingerprintsFromFS and loadInstagsFromFS methods:

var user = new otr.User();

If you are creating a new set of account data you do not need to pass in any file paths.

var user = new otr.User();

See the API documentation for additional methods for importing account data.

It's important to note the following:

  • you must manually save the user data back to the file system. (see below)

Saving account data


See the API documentation for additional methods for exporting account data.


An account is identified by an account name and protocol. Accounts are encapsulated in an Account object returned by the account method of the otr.User object.

Lets create a new account, with accountname "" and protocol "xmpp":

var user = new otr.User();
var account = user.account("","xmpp");

generate an OTR key for the account:

account.generateKey(function(err, privkey){
    	console.log("Something went wrong!", err.message);
    	console.log("Generated key successfully.");

and an instance tag:

        console.log("failed to generate instance tag!", err);
        console.log("new instance tag:", instag);

The public key fingerprint of the OTR key is retrieved with the fingerprint method:

account.fingerprint(); //'65D366AF CF9B065F 41708CB0 1DC26F61 D3DF5935'


Now that we have created an account and our OTR key, we can chat with remote parties (a contact). A contact is identified by a username. Lets say we want to chat with Bob, we create a Contact object using the contact method of our account:

var bob ="Bob");

Once we have a Contact object we can setup an OTR conversation, using the openSession method of the contact:

var session = bob.openSession();


A session is an event emitter. The first thing todo is to hookup the session to the underlying network connection/socket. Lets assume we have established a TCP socket "client" to our contact:

var net = require('net');

var client = net.connect({

when receiving data from the network pass it into the session's recv method

client.on('data', function(data) {

when a session emits the inject_message with a message fragment send it to the remote end:


To start an OTR conversation, we call the start method of the session.


When connecting to a contact for the first time, or if we have not saved their fingerprint to file two events will be fired by the session, new_fingerprint and write_fingerprints:

It will be followed by a "gone_secure" event:

    console.log( session.fingerprint() );

after which we can begin to exchange messages with contact:


When the contact sends us a message, the session will fire the "message" event:

session.on("message",function(message, private){
        //OTR is active and message was sent privately (encrypted)
        //recevied a message in plaintext

At anytime during a secure session we can perform authentication using the Socialist Millionaire's Protocol, (SMP):

var session.smpStart("shared-secret");

You may receive an smp event and respond:

session.on("smp", function(type) {
    switch (type) {
        case "request":

        case "complete":
            console.log("SMP successful");

on successful SMP authentication the smp "complete" event will be emitted.

API documentation

See the full API docs for more detailed documentation.