IRC is the original Internet Relay Chat, one the first (1988) protocol created for "chatting" in real-time on the Internet, and the oldest one still in use. It is also one of the oldest protocols still active on the internet, predating the web by a few years.

This page is mostly a discussion of software that runs on top of IRC and operated by end users.


Tor makes extensive use of IRC with multiple active channels on the OFTC network. Our user-visible documentation is at this wiki page.


We do not operate the OFTC network. The public support channel for OFTC is #oftc.


We operate a virtual machine for people to run their IRC clients, called chives.

A volunteer (currently pastly) runs a ZNC bouncer for TPO people on their own infrastructure.

Some people connect to IRC intermittently.


The new IRC server has been setup with the roles::ircbox by weasel (see ticket #32281) in october 2019, to replace the older machine. This role simply sets up the machine as a "shell server" (roles::shell) and installs irssi.


No specific SLA has been set for this service


Just a regular Debian server with users from LDAP.


No specific project has been created to track issues.


This page was originally created to discuss the implementation of "bouncer" services for other staff. While many people run IRC clients on the server over an SSH connexion, this is inconvenient for people less familiar with the commandline.

It was therefore suggested we evaluate other systems to allow users to have more "persistence" online without having to overcome the "commandline" hurdle.


Must have

  • user-friendly way to stay connected to IRC

Nice to have

  • web interface?
  • LDAP integration?


  • replacing IRC (let's not go there please)

Approvals required

Maybe checking with TPA before setting up a new service, if any.

Proposed Solution

Not decided yet. Possible options:

  • status quo: "everyone for themselves" on the shell server, znc ran by pastly on their own infra
  • services admin: pastly runs the znc service for tpo people inside tpo infra
  • TPA runs znc bouncer
  • alternative clients (weechat, lounge, kiwiirc)
  • irccloud


Staff. Existing hardware resources can be reused.

Alternatives considered

Discarded alternatives

Most other alternatives have been discarded because they do not work with IRC and we do not wish to move away from that platform just yet. Other projects (like qwebirc) were discarded because they do not offer persistence.

Free software projects:

Yes, that's an incredibly long list, and probably not exhaustive.

Commercial services:

None of the commercial services interoperate with IRC unless otherwise noted.