ngircd.conf(5)             (Jan 2021)              ngircd.conf(5)

          ngircd.conf - configuration file of ngIRCd


          ngircd.conf is the configuration file of the ngircd(8)
          Internet Relay Chat (IRC) daemon, which must be customized
          to the local preferences and needs.

          Most variables can be modified while the ngIRCd daemon is
          already running: It will reload its configuration file when
          a HUP signal or REHASH command is received.

          The file consists of sections and parameters. A section
          begins with the name of the section in square brackets and
          continues until the next section begins.

          Sections contain parameters of the form

               name = value

          Empty lines and any line beginning with a semicolon (';') or
          a hash ('#') character are treated as a comment and will be
          ignored. Leading and trailing whitespaces are trimmed before
          any processing takes place.

          The file format is line-based - that means, each non-empty
          newline-terminated line represents either a comment, a sec-
          tion name, or a parameter.

          Section and parameter names are not case sensitive.

          There are three types of variables: booleans, text strings,
          and numbers. Boolean values are true if they are "yes",
          "true", or any non-null integer. Text strings are used 1:1
          without leading and following spaces; there is no way to
          quote strings. And for numbers all decimal integer values
          are valid.

          In addition, some string or numerical variables accept lists
          of values, separated by commas (",").

          The file can contain blocks of seven types: [Global], [Lim-
          its], [Options], [SSL], [Operator], [Server], and [Channel].

          The main configuration of the server is stored in the

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          [Global] section, like the server name, administrative
          information and the ports on which the server should be lis-
          tening. The variables in this section have to be adjusted to
          the local requirements most of the time, whereas all the
          variables in the other sections can be left on their
          defaults very often.

          Options in the [Limits] block are used to tweak different
          limits and timeouts of the daemon, like the maximum number
          of clients allowed to connect to this server. Variables in
          the [Options] section can be used to enable or disable spe-
          cific features of ngIRCd, like support for IDENT, PAM, IPv6,
          and protocol and cloaking features. The [SSL] block contains
          all SSL-related configuration variables. These three sec-
          tions are all optional.

          IRC operators of this server are defined in [Operator]
          blocks. Links to remote servers are configured in [Server]
          sections. And [Channel] blocks are used to configure pre-
          defined ("persistent") IRC channels.

          There can be more than one [Operator], [Server] and [Chan-
          nel] section per configuration file, one for each operator,
          server, and channel. [Global], [Limits], [Options], and
          [SSL] sections can occur multiple times, too, but each vari-
          able overwrites itself, only the last assignment is rele-

          The [Global] section is used to define the main configura-
          tion of the server, like the server name and the ports on
          which the server should be listening.  These settings depend
          on your personal preferences, so you should make sure that
          they correspond to your installation and setup!

          Name (string; required)
               Server name in the IRC network. This is an individual
               name of the IRC server, it is not related to the DNS
               host name. It must be unique in the IRC network and
               must contain at least one dot (".") character.

          AdminInfo1, AdminInfo2, AdminEMail (string)
               Information about the server and the administrator,
               used by the ADMIN command. This information is not
               required by the server but by RFC!

          HelpFile (string)
               Text file which contains the ngIRCd help text. This
               file is required to display help texts when using the
               "HELP <cmd>" command.  Please note: Changes made to
               this file take effect when ngircd starts up or is
               instructed to re-read its configuration file.

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          Info (string)
               Info text of the server. This will be shown by WHOIS
               and LINKS requests for example.

          Listen (list of strings)
               A comma separated list of IP address on which the
               server should listen.  If unset, the defaults value is
               "" or, if ngIRCd was compiled with IPv6 support,
               "::,". So the server listens on all configured
               IP addresses and interfaces by default.

          MotdFile (string)
               Text file with the "message of the day" (MOTD). This
               message will be shown to all users connecting to the
               server. Please note: Changes made to this file take
               effect when ngircd starts up or is instructed to re-
               read its configuration file.

          MotdPhrase (string)
               A simple Phrase (<127 chars) if you don't want to use a
               MOTD file.

          Network (string)
               The name of the IRC network to which this server
               belongs. This name is optional, should only contain
               ASCII characters, and can't contain spaces.  It is only
               used to inform clients. The default is empty, so no
               network name is announced to clients.

          Password (string)
               Global password for all users needed to connect to the
               server. The default is empty, so no password is
               required. Please note: This feature is not available if
               ngIRCd is using PAM!

          PidFile (string)
               This tells ngIRCd to write its current process ID to a
               file. Note that the "PID file" is written AFTER chroot
               and switching the user ID, therefore the directory the
               file resides in must be writable by the ngIRCd user and
               exist in the chroot directory (if configured, see

          Ports (list of numbers)
               Port number(s) on which the server should listen for
               unencrypted connections.  There may be more than one
               port, separated with commas (","). Default: 6667.

          ServerGID (string or number)
               Group ID under which the ngIRCd daemon should run; you
               can use the name of the group or the numerical ID.

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               For this to work the server must have been started with
               root privileges!

          ServerUID (string or number)
               User ID under which the ngIRCd daemon should run; you
               can use the name of the user or the numerical ID.

               For this to work the server must have been started with
               root privileges! In addition, the configuration and
               MOTD files must be readable by this user, otherwise
               RESTART and REHASH won't work!

          This section is used to define some limits and timeouts for
          this ngIRCd instance. Default values should be safe, but it
          is wise to double-check :-)

          ConnectRetry (number)
               The server tries every <ConnectRetry> seconds to estab-
               lish a link to not yet (or no longer) connected
               servers. Default: 60.

          IdleTimeout (number)
               Number of seconds after which the whole daemon should
               shutdown when no connections are left active after han-
               dling at least one client (0: never). This can be use-
               ful for testing or when ngIRCd is started using "socket
               activation" with systemd(8), for example. Default: 0.

          MaxConnections (number)
               Maximum number of simultaneous in- and outbound connec-
               tions the server is allowed to accept (0: unlimited).
               Default: 0.

          MaxConnectionsIP (number)
               Maximum number of simultaneous connections from a sin-
               gle IP address that the server will accept (0: unlim-
               ited). This configuration options lowers the risk of
               denial of service attacks (DoS). Default: 5.

          MaxJoins (number)
               Maximum number of channels a user can be member of (0:
               no limit).  Default: 10.

          MaxNickLength (number)
               Maximum length of an user nickname (Default: 9, as in
               RFC 2812). Please note that all servers in an IRC net-
               work MUST use the same maximum nickname length!

          MaxPenaltyTime (number)

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               Maximum penalty time increase in seconds, per penalty
               event. Set to -1 for no limit (the default), 0 to dis-
               able penalties altogether. ngIRCd doesn't use penalty
               increases higher than 2 seconds during normal opera-
               tion, so values greater than 1 rarely make sense.

          MaxListSize (number)
               Maximum number of channels returned in response to a
               LIST command. Default: 100.

          PingTimeout (number)
               After <PingTimeout> seconds of inactivity the server
               will send a PING to the peer to test whether it is
               alive or not. Default: 120.

          PongTimeout (number)
               If a client fails to answer a PING with a PONG within
               <PongTimeout> seconds, it will be disconnected by the
               server. Default: 20.

          Optional features and configuration options to further tweak
          the behavior of ngIRCd are configured in this section. If
          you want to get started quickly, you most probably don't
          have to make changes here -- they are all optional.

          AllowedChannelTypes (string)
               List of allowed channel types (channel prefixes) for
               newly created channels on the local server. By default,
               all supported channel types are allowed.  Set this
               variable to the empty string to disallow creation of
               new channels by local clients at all. Default: #&+

          AllowRemoteOper (boolean)
               If this option is active, IRC operators connected to
               remote servers are allowed to control this local server
               using administrative commands, for example like CON-
               NECT, DIE, SQUIT etc. Default: no.

          ChrootDir (string)
               A directory to chroot in when everything is initial-
               ized. It doesn't need to be populated if ngIRCd is com-
               piled as a static binary. By default ngIRCd won't use
               the chroot() feature.

               For this to work the server must have been started with
               root privileges!

          CloakHost (string)
               Set this hostname for every client instead of the real
               one. Default: empty, don't change. Use %x to add the

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               hashed value of the original hostname.

          CloakHostModeX (string)
               Use this hostname for hostname cloaking on clients that
               have the user mode "+x" set, instead of the name of the
               server. Default: empty, use the name of the server. Use
               %x to add the hashed value of the original hostname

          CloakHostSalt (string)
               The Salt for cloaked hostname hashing. When undefined a
               random hash is generated after each server start.

          CloakUserToNick (boolean)
               Set every clients' user name and real name to their
               nickname and hide the one supplied by the IRC client.
               Default: no.

          ConnectIPv4 (boolean)
               Set this to no if you do not want ngIRCd to connect to
               other IRC servers using the IPv4 protocol. This allows
               the usage of ngIRCd in IPv6-only setups.  Default: yes.

          ConnectIPv6 (boolean)
               Set this to no if you do not want ngIRCd to connect to
               other IRC servers using the IPv6 protocol.  Default:

          DefaultUserModes (string)
               Default user mode(s) to set on new local clients.
               Please note that only modes can be set that the client
               could set using regular MODE commands, you can't set
               "a" (away) for example!  Default: none.

          DNS (boolean)
               If set to false, ngIRCd will not make any DNS lookups
               when clients connect.  If you configure the daemon to
               connect to other servers, ngIRCd may still perform a
               DNS lookup if required.  Default: yes.

          Ident (boolean)
               If ngIRCd is compiled with IDENT support this can be
               used to disable IDENT lookups at run time.  Users iden-
               tified using IDENT are registered without the "~" char-
               acter prepended to their user name.  Default: yes.

          IncludeDir (string)
               Directory containing configuration snippets (*.conf),
               that should be read in after parsing the current con-
               figuration file.  Default: none.

          MorePrivacy (boolean)
               This will cause ngIRCd to censor user idle time, logon

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               time as well as the PART/QUIT messages (that are some-
               times used to inform everyone about which client soft-
               ware is being used). WHOWAS requests are also silently
               ignored, and NAMES output doesn't list any clients for
               non-members.  This option is most useful when ngIRCd is
               being used together with anonymizing software such as
               TOR or I2P and one does not wish to make it too easy to
               collect statistics on the users.  Default: no.

          NoticeBeforeRegistration (boolean)
               Normally ngIRCd doesn't send any messages to a client
               until it is registered.  Enable this option to let the
               daemon send "NOTICE *" messages to clients while con-
               necting. Default: no.

          OperCanUseMode (boolean)
               Should IRC Operators be allowed to use the MODE command
               even if they are not(!) channel-operators? Default: no.

          OperChanPAutoOp (boolean)
               Should IRC Operators get AutoOp (+o) in persistent (+P)
               channels?  Default: yes.

          OperServerMode (boolean)
               If OperCanUseMode is enabled, this may lead the compat-
               ibility problems with Servers that run the ircd-irc2
               Software. This Option "masks" mode requests by non-
               chanops as if they were coming from the server.
               Default: no; only enable it if you have ircd-irc2
               servers in your IRC network.

          PAM (boolean)
               If ngIRCd is compiled with PAM support this can be used
               to disable all calls to the PAM library at runtime; all
               users connecting without password are allowed to con-
               nect, all passwords given will fail.  Users identified
               using PAM are registered without the "~" character
               prepended to their user name.  Default: yes.

          PAMIsOptional (boolean)
               When PAM is enabled, all clients are required to be
               authenticated using PAM; connecting to the server with-
               out successful PAM authentication isn't possible.  If
               this option is set, clients not sending a password are
               still allowed to connect: they won't become "identi-
               fied" and keep the "~" character prepended to their
               supplied user name.  Please note: To make some use of
               this behavior, it most probably isn't useful to enable
               "Ident", "PAM" and "PAMIsOptional" at the same time,
               because you wouldn't be able to distinguish between
               Ident'ified and PAM-authenticated users: both don't
               have a "~" character prepended to their respective user

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               names!  Default: no.

          PAMServiceName (string)
               When PAM is enabled, this value determines the used PAM
               configuration.  This setting allows running multiple
               ngIRCd instances with different PAM configurations on
               each instance. If you set it to "ngircd-foo", PAM will
               use /etc/pam.d/ngircd-foo instead of the default
               /etc/pam.d/ngircd.  Default: ngircd.

          RequireAuthPing (boolean)
               Let ngIRCd send an "authentication PING" when a new
               client connects, and register this client only after
               receiving the corresponding "PONG" reply.  Default: no.

          ScrubCTCP (boolean)
               If set to true, ngIRCd will silently drop all CTCP
               requests sent to it from both clients and servers. It
               will also not forward CTCP requests to any other
               servers. CTCP requests can be used to query user
               clients about which software they are using and which
               versions said software is. CTCP can also be used to
               reveal clients IP numbers. ACTION CTCP requests are not
               blocked, this means that /me commands will not be
               dropped, but please note that blocking CTCP will dis-
               able file sharing between users!  Default: no.

          SyslogFacility (string)
               Syslog "facility" to which ngIRCd should send log mes-
               sages. Possible values are system dependent, but most
               probably "auth", "daemon", "user" and "local1" through
               "local7" are possible values; see syslog(3).  Default
               is "local5" for historical reasons, you probably want
               to change this to "daemon", for example.

          WebircPassword (string)
               Password required for using the WEBIRC command used by
               some Web-to-IRC gateways. If not set or empty, the
               WEBIRC command can't be used.  Default: not set.

          All SSL-related configuration variables are located in the
          [SSL] section. Please note that this whole section is only
          recognized by ngIRCd when it is compiled with support for
          SSL using OpenSSL or GnuTLS!

          CertFile (string)
               SSL Certificate file of the private server key.

          CipherList (string)
               Select cipher suites allowed for SSL/TLS connections.
               This defaults to "HIGH:!aNULL:@STRENGTH:!SSLv3"

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               (OpenSSL) or "SECURE128:-VERS-SSL3.0" (GnuTLS).  Please
               see 'man 1ssl ciphers' (OpenSSL) and 'man 3
               gnutls_priority_init' (GnuTLS) for details.

          DHFile (string)
               Name of the Diffie-Hellman Parameter file. Can be cre-
               ated with GnuTLS "certtool --generate-dh-params" or
               "openssl dhparam". If this file is not present, it will
               be generated on startup when ngIRCd was compiled with
               GnuTLS support (this may take some time). If ngIRCd was
               compiled with OpenSSL, then (Ephemeral)-Diffie-Hellman
               Key Exchanges and several Cipher Suites will not be

          KeyFile (string)
               Filename of SSL Server Key to be used for SSL connec-
               tions. This is required for SSL/TLS support.

          KeyFilePassword (string)
               OpenSSL only: Password to decrypt the private key file.

          Ports (list of numbers)
               Same as Ports , except that ngIRCd will expect incoming
               connections to be SSL/TLS encrypted. Common port num-
               bers for SSL-encrypted IRC are 6669 and 6697. Default:

          [Operator] sections are used to define IRC Operators. There
          may be more than one [Operator] block, one for each local

          Name (string)
               ID of the operator (may be different of the nickname).

          Password (string)
               Password of the IRC operator.

          Mask (string)
               Mask that is to be checked before an /OPER for this
               account is accepted.  Example: nick!ident@*

          Other servers are configured in [Server] sections. If you
          configure a port for the connection, then this ngIRCd tries
          to connect to the other server on the given port (active);
          if not, it waits for the other server to connect (passive).

          ngIRCd supports "server groups": You can assign an "ID" to
          every server with which you want this ngIRCd to link, and
          the daemon ensures that at any given time only one direct
          link exists to servers with the same ID.  So if a server of

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          a group won't answer, ngIRCd tries to connect to the next
          server in the given group (="with the same ID"), but never
          tries to connect to more than one server of this group

          There may be more than one [Server] block.

          Name (string)
               IRC name of the remote server.

          Host (string)
               Internet host name (or IP address) of the peer.

          Bind (string)
               IP address to use as source IP for the outgoing connec-
               tion. Default is to let the operating system decide.

          Port (number)
               Port of the remote server to which ngIRCd should con-
               nect (active).  If no port is assigned to a configured
               server, the daemon only waits for incoming connections
               (passive, default).

          MyPassword (string)
               Own password for this connection. This password has to
               be configured as PeerPassword on the other server. Must
               not have ':' as first character.

          PeerPassword (string)
               Foreign password for this connection. This password has
               to be configured as MyPassword on the other server.

          Group (number)
               Group of this server (optional).

          Passive (boolean)
               Disable automatic connection even if port value is
               specified. Default: false.  You can use the IRC Opera-
               tor command CONNECT later on to create the link.

          SSLConnect (boolean)
               Connect to the remote server using TLS/SSL. Default:

          ServiceMask (string)
               Define a (case insensitive) list of masks matching
               nicknames that should be treated as IRC services when
               introduced via this remote server, separated by commas
               (","). REGULAR SERVERS DON'T NEED this parameter, so
               leave it empty (which is the default).

               When you are connecting IRC services which mask as a

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               IRC server and which use "virtual users" to communicate
               with, for example "NickServ" and "ChanServ", you should
               set this parameter to something like "*Serv",
               "*Serv,OtherNick", or "NickServ,ChanServ,XyzServ".

          Pre-defined channels can be configured in [Channel] sec-
          tions. Such channels are created by the server when starting
          up and even persist when there are no more members left.

          Persistent channels are marked with the mode 'P', which can
          be set and unset by IRC operators like other modes on the

          There may be more than one [Channel] block.

          Name (string)
               Name of the channel, including channel prefix ("#" or

          Topic (string)
               Topic for this channel.

          Modes (string)
               Initial channel modes, as used in "MODE" commands. Mod-
               ifying lists (ban list, invite list, exception list) is

               This option can be specified multiple times, evaluated
               top to bottom.

          KeyFile (string)
               Path and file name of a "key file" containing individ-
               ual channel keys for different users. The file consists
               of plain text lines with the following syntax (without

                    user : nick : key

               user and nick can contain the wildcard character "*".
               key is an arbitrary password.

               Valid examples are:


               The key file is read on each JOIN command when this
               channel has a key (channel mode +k). Access is granted,
               if a) the channel key set using the MODE +k command or
               b) one of the lines in the key file match.

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               Please note:
               The file is not reopened on each access, so you can
               modify and overwrite it without problems, but moving or
               deleting the file will have not effect until the daemon
               re-reads its configuration!

          It's wise to use "ngircd --configtest" to validate the con-
          figuration file after changing it. See ngircd(8) for

          Alexander Barton, <>
          Florian Westphal, <>



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