A small command line utility for sending hipchat messages

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import hipchatHotline from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/hipchat-hotline';


HipChat Hotline


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This is an NPM module that provides a command line script named hipchat-hotline. It lets you send messages to HipChat users or to HipChat rooms:

Usage: hipchat-hotline <recipient> <msg>
    When sending to either user or room:
      --message-format text | html
      --notify         false | true
    When sending to a room:
      --color          yellow | green | red | gray | purple

It has many uses, but was created so that processes (build, ci, deployment, general automation) could notify people with when (and how) they completed.

HipChat is a good medium because it's so accessible, and you get notifications, timestamps, and search for free. Build, ci, and deployment information is obviously available elsewhere, but it's usually less accessible and not ambiently available.

Messages to Users:

hipchat-hotline user@company.com "<a href='$BUILD_URL'>This build</a> failed."
hipchat-hotline @SpecificUser Your latest commit has been built and deployed.

Messages to Rooms:

hipchat-hotline 'Maintenance Room' 'Merged branches removed. Cleanup complete.'
hipchat-hotline --color red TeamRoom "<a href='$BUILD_URL'>This build</a> failed."


npm install -g hipchat-hotline

Who are you sending as?

You must set an environment variable named HIPCHAT_API_TOKEN in order to use hipchat-hotline. You will send messages as the identity to which this token belongs.

How can you find your token? Presuming you've got a HipChat account, login to https://www.hipchat.com and:

  • Click Edit Profile
  • Click API Access
  • Look for your token after the text "To access the API as yourself.."

What are you looking for? Tokens are 40 characters long. Here's an example of one: 72JvEnJuXaI3l4K6zLcC8hp2PUvRGJn09hA2FA4Q.

If those instructions didn't work for you, or if the https://hipchat.com website changes its user interface, you can note what the www in https://www.hipchat.com changes to after you login and jump straight to the page that shows the token: https://what-the-www-changes-to.hipchat.com/account/api

Once you've got this token, set it as an environment variable:

export HIPCHAT_API_TOKEN=72JvEnJuXaI3l4K6zLcC8hp2PUvRGJn09hA2FA4Q

Alternatively, you can add this information to a file named ~/.hipchat-hotlinerc.

Add a line that looks like:


And hipchat-hotline will load this information into your environment before it runs.


Examples follow and are split into two categories:

  1. For People, and then
  2. For Rooms

For People

Using @nickname

Send a message to a single person on hipchat using an @nickname:

hipchat-hotline @YourFriend "Hi there"

Using email address

or you can use an email address:

hipchat-hotline yourfriend@company.com 'Time is up! Let us do this!'

Sidenote about Quotes

hipchat-hotline is a command line utility, and so, your shell will interpret arguments before it runs. It is safest to pass two arguments by explicitly wrapping the arguments in quotes.

However, if you're daring you can take advantage of the fact that hipchat-hotline will combine all arguments beyond the first into the second, so, these two ideas become equivalent:

hipchat-hotline @user 'This is a message'
hipchat-hotline @user This is a message

--message-format: text vs html and defaults

HipChat (the service) allows you to specify whether your message should be interepted as text or html. By default hipchat-hotline will send text, unless we see that your content has the HipChat supported HTML tags in it. If hipchat-hotline sees those tags it will send html:

hipchat-hotline @user 'This will be text'
hipchat-hotline @user "This will be html: <a href='https://hipchat.com'>hipchat</a>"

However, you can be explicit about text vs html, if you're into that:

hipchat-hotline --message-format text @user "This will be <b>text</b>"


By default the hipchat-hotline notifies people and makes their phone buzz or client application "pop up" on their desktop, but you can be quiet about it:

hipchat-hotline --notify false @user "This will be quiet"

For Rooms

Send a message to everyone in a particular room:

hipchat-hotline MiracleOfScience "Everything is OK."
hipchat-hotline 'Wrap Room Name In Quotes If There Are Spaces' 'Got it! Thanks.'


HipChat allows you to specify the color of a message when you're sending to a room. The default color is green, and you can choose from red and gray, and purple:

hipchat-hotline --color gray "Phoenix Landing" "It's been awhile."
hipchat-hotline --color green "Rangzen Tibetan Place" 'Good Food!'
hipchat-hotline --color purple 'The Field' Nice atmosphere.
hipchat-hotline --color red "The Enormous Room" "Where'd you go?"


You do not need to interrupt a room:

hipchat-hotline --notify false TheMiddleEast "This will appear, but won't notify."

--message-format (again)

You can also do the --message-format thing, setting it to text or html as you please.

More Examples?

Here's a shell script that is used for general testing. It provides several examples of how this command line utility could be used: test/examples.sh.


If you'd like to contribute check out CONTRIBUTING.md.