This document explains how to install ngIRCd, the lightweight Internet Relay Chat (IRC) server.
The first section lists noteworthy changes to earlier releases; you definitely should read this when upgrading your setup! But you can skip over this section when you do a fresh installation.
All the subsequent sections describe the steps required to install and configure ngIRCd.
Differences to version 25
All already deprecated legacy options (besides the newly deprecated Key and
MaxUsers settings, see below) were removed in ngIRCd 26, so make sure to
update your configuration before upgrading, if you haven't done so already
(you got a warning on daemon startup when using deprecated options): you can
check your configuration using
ngircd --configtest -- which is a good idea
Setting modes for predefined channels in [Channel] sections has been enhanced: now you can set all modes, like in IRC "MODE" commands, and have this setting multiple times per [Channel] block. Modifying lists (ban list, invite list, exception list) is supported, too.
Both the Key and MaxUsers settings are now deprecated and should be
Modes = +l <limit> and
Modes = +k <key> respectively.
Differences to version 22.x
ngircd.conf configuration variable has been renamed to
NoticeBeforeRegistration. The old NoticeAuth variable still works but
is deprecated now.
The default value of the SSL CipherList variable has been changed to "HIGH:!aNULL:@STRENGTH:!SSLv3" (OpenSSL) and "SECURE128:-VERS-SSL3.0" (GnuTLS) to disable the old SSLv3 protocol by default.
To enable connections of clients still requiring the weak SSLv3 protocol, the CipherList must be set to its old value (not recommended!), which was "HIGH:!aNULL:@STRENGTH" (OpenSSL) and "SECURE128" (GnuTLS), see below.
Differences to version 20.x
Starting with ngIRCd 21, the ciphers used by SSL are configurable and default to "HIGH:!aNULL:@STRENGTH" (OpenSSL) or "SECURE128" (GnuTLS). Previous version were using the OpenSSL or GnuTLS defaults, "DEFAULT" and "NORMAL" respectively.
When adding GLINE's or KLINE's to ngIRCd 21 (or newer), all clients matching the new mask will be KILL'ed. This was not the case with earlier versions that only added the mask but didn't kill already connected users.
The PredefChannelsOnly configuration variable has been superseded by the new AllowedChannelTypes variable. It is still supported and translated to the appropriate AllowedChannelTypes setting but is deprecated now.
Differences to version 19.x
Differences to version 17.x
Support for ZeroConf/Bonjour/Rendezvous service registration has been removed. The configuration option NoZeroconf is no longer available.
The structure of
ngircd.conf has been cleaned up and three new configuration
sections have been introduced: [Limits], [Options], and [SSL].
Lots of configuration variables stored in the [Global] section are now deprecated there and should be stored in one of these new sections (but still work in [Global]):
You should adjust your
ngircd.conf and run
ngircd --configtest to make
sure that your settings are correct and up to date!
Differences to version 16.x
ngircd.confnow require a ngIRCd configuration reload to take effect (HUP signal, REHASH command).
Differences to version 0.9.x
The option of the configure script to enable support for Zeroconf/Bonjour/ Rendezvous/WhateverItIsNamedToday has been renamed:
Differences to version 0.8.x
Differences to version 0.6.x
Some options of the configure script have been renamed:
./configure --help to review the full list of options!
Differences to version 0.5.x
Starting with version 0.6.0, other servers are identified using asynchronous passwords: therefore the variable Password in [Server]-sections has been replaced by MyPassword and PeerPassword.
New configuration variables, section [Global]: MaxConnections, MaxJoins
(see example configuration file
Note: This sections describes installing ngIRCd from sources. If you use packages available for your operating system distribution you should skip over and continue with the Configuration section, see below.
ngIRCd is developed for UNIX-based systems, which means that the installation
on modern UNIX-like systems that are supported by GNU autoconf and GNU
configure script") should be no problem.
The normal installation procedure after getting (and expanding) the source files (using a distribution archive or Git) is as following:
1) Satisfy prerequisites
./autogen.sh [only necessary when using "raw" sources with Git]
(Please see details below!)
Now the newly compiled executable "ngircd" is installed in its standard
If no previous version of the configuration file exists (the standard name
/usr/local/etc/ngircd.conf), a sample configuration file containing all
possible options will be installed there. You'll find its template in the
The next step is to configure and afterwards start the daemon. See the section Configuration below.
When building from source, you'll need some other software to build ngIRCd: for example a working C compiler, make tool, and a few libraries depending on the feature set you want to enable at compile time (like IDENT, SSL, and PAM).
And if you aren't using a distribution archive ("tar.gz" file), but cloned the plain source archive, you need a few additional tools to generate the build system itself: GNU automake and autoconf, as well as pkg-config.
If you are using one of the "big" operating systems or Linux distributions, you can use the following commands to install all the required packages to build the sources including all optional features and to run the test suite:
yum install \ autoconf automake expect gcc glibc-devel gnutls-devel \ libident-devel make pam-devel pkg-config tcp_wrappers-devel \ telnet zlib-devel
apt-get install \ autoconf automake build-essential expect libgnutls28-dev \ libident-dev libpam-dev pkg-config libwrap0-dev libz-dev telnet
pacman -S --needed \ autoconf automake expect gcc gnutls inetutils libident libwrap \ make pam pkg-config zlib
The first step, to run
./autogen.sh, is only necessary if the
script itself isn't already generated and available. This never happens in
official ("stable") releases in "tar.gz" archives, but when cloning the source
code repository using Git.
This step is therefore only interesting for developers!
autogen.sh script produces the
Makefile.in's, which are necessary for
the configure script itself, and some more files for
autogen.sh you'll need GNU autoconf, GNU automake and pkg-config: at
least autoconf 2.61 and automake 1.10 are required, newer is better. But don't
use automake 1.12 or newer for creating distribution archives: it will work
but lack "de-ANSI-fication" support in the generated Makefile's! Stick with
automake 1.11.x for this purpose ...
So automake 1.11.x and autoconf 2.67+ is recommended.
Again: "end users" do not need this step and neither need GNU autoconf nor GNU automake at all!
configure script is used to detect local system dependencies.
In the perfect case,
configure should recognize all needed libraries, header
files and so on. If this shouldn't work,
./configure --help shows all
In addition, you can pass some command line options to
configure to enable
and/or disable some features of ngIRCd. All these options are shown using
./configure --help, too.
Compiling a static binary will avoid you the hassle of feeding a chroot dir (if you want use the chroot feature). Just do something like:
CFLAGS=-static ./configure [--your-options ...]
Then you can use a void directory as ChrootDir (like OpenSSH's
make(1) command uses the
Makefile's produced by
compiles the ngIRCd daemon.
make install to install the server and a sample configuration file on
the local system. Normally, root privileges are necessary to complete this
step. If there is already an older configuration file present, it won't be
These files and folders will be installed by default:
/usr/local/sbin/ngircd: executable server
/usr/local/etc/ngircd.conf: sample configuration (if not already present)
/usr/local/share/man/: manual pages
The following optional features can be compiled into the daemon by passing
options to the
configure script. Most options can handle a
which will be used to search for the required libraries and header files in
the given paths (
<path>/include/...) in addition to the
Enable (disable) support for logging to "syslog", which should be available on most modern UNIX-like operating systems by default.
Enable (disable) support for compressed server-server links. The Z compression library ("libz") is required for this option.
IO Backend (autodetected by default):
ngIRCd can use different IO "backends": the "old school"
poll(2) API which should be supported by most UNIX-like operating systems,
or the more efficient and flexible
epoll(7) (Linux >=2.6),
By default the IO backend is autodetected, but you can use
to disable a more enhanced API.
When using the
epoll(7) API, support for
select(2) is compiled in as
well by default, to enable the binary to run on older Linux kernels (<2.6),
Include support for IDENT ("AUTH") lookups. The "ident" library is required for this option.
Include support for Wietse Venemas "TCP Wrappers" to limit client access
to the daemon, for example by using
The "libwrap" is required for this option.
Enable support for PAM, the Pluggable Authentication Modules library.
doc/PAM.txt for details.
Enable support for SSL/TLS using OpenSSL or GnuTLS libraries.
doc/SSL.txt for details.
Adds support for version 6 of the Internet Protocol.
Please have a look at the
ngircd.conf(5) manual pages for
details and all possible command line and configuration options -- and don't
forget to run
ngircd --configtest to validate your configuration file!
After installing ngIRCd, a sample configuration file will be set up (if it
does not exist already). By default, when installing from sources, the file is
/usr/local/etc/ngircd.conf (other common names, especially for
distribution packages, are
You can find the template of the sample configuration file in the
online on the homepage. It
contains all available options.
In the sample configuration file, there are comments beginning with
; -- this is only for the better understanding of the file, both comment
styles are equal.
The file is separated in five blocks: [Global], [Features], [Operator], [Server], and [Channel].
In the [Global] section, there is the main configuration like the server name and the ports, on which the server should be listening. Options in the [Features] section enable or disable functionality in the daemon. IRC operators of this server are defined in [Operator] blocks, remote servers are configured in [Server] sections, and [Channel] blocks are used to configure pre-defined ("persistent") IRC channels.
ngIRCd supports the following command line options:
The daemon uses the file
<file> as configuration file rather than
the standard configuration
ngIRCd should be running as a foreground process.
Server-links won't be automatically established.
Reads, validates and dumps the configuration file as interpreted by the server. Then exits.
--help to see a short help text describing all available parameters
the server understands, with
--version the ngIRCd shows its version
number. In both cases the server exits after the output.
Please see the
ngircd(8) manual page for more details!