In this tutorial I will explain how to basically install, configure and run an IRC server. My IRC server of choice is unrealircd, which can be found on the following website: http://www.unrealircd.com/
This tutorial is intended to give a quick overview on how to get things running. To fully understand how things work it is necessary to also have a look at the unrealircd documentation.
1. Download and Extract unrealircd
# Download the archive (check for new version first)
# Extract it and remove the archive
tar -xvzf Unreal3.2.9.tar.gz
# Switch to the Unreal directory
2. Configuring and Compiling
For security reasons it might be a good idea to not run the irc server with full root privileges. To chroot the server to its own directory, the following lines have to be added to the
/include/config.h file before compiling (they’re already there but have to be uncommented, the lattice must not be removed):
#define IRC_USER "ircd"
#define IRC_GROUP "ircd"
You also have to create the extra user under which Unreal will run:
Then you can run the configuration script, which will ask some further questions. The default answers are pretty good so it is not necessary to change anything for a basic IRC server. Make sure to have gcc installed before you run the following commands:
3. Creating a Config File
In the Unreal3.2 directory you have to create an
unrealircd.conf file which contains the server configuration. There’s a sample config in /doc/example.conf that can be used as a basis. But you can’t just use it like it is as it has to be adapted to your environment first. You should invest some time to carefully read through it.
Here’s the config file that I use to run my server. It’ll run a basic IRC server and allow only one channel (#xyz). For the purpose of this howto (to make it more clear), I have removed/shortened the original comments and added a few custom ones:
Don’t forget to change the three passwords (“secret”) and the cloak keys!
4. Starting the Server
5. Connecting to the Server
There are a lot of IRC clients available but not all of them are suitable for IRC operators. When you choose your client, make sure that it has a server status/terminal window. The Firefox addon ChatZilla is a pretty good cross-platform client.
If you use ChatZilla you can connect to your server by entering the following URL:
To become an IRC operator you have to authenticate using the following command:
To become an operator in any channel, type:
To get information about the available commands, type: