Everything About Python IRCd: Internet Relay Chat Server

Communication is an important aspect of any business and relationship. With good communication, you can minimize errors and improve work efficiency drastically. Many businesses are implementing the IRCd server to set up a Chat System using Python for their employees. Not only businesses, but private groups are also taking advantage of this communication method and creating their own talk box.

Python IRCd stands for Internet Relay Chat Daemon (Server) using Python as a base programming language. There are many ways to create IRC communications but setting up a daemon is still hard for many programmers. As there are no modules available to set this up directly, we have to use a socket to create this daemon server.

In this post, we’ll go through the creation of the daemon server and how to set up and run it.

What exactly is a Python IRCd?

IRC is abbreviated for Internet Relay Chat. There are many software and applications to help you to communicate using IRC. But if you want to host your own server for relay chat, you need a server (daemon – IRCd) to make sure that connects with the client and transfer messages accordingly.

Many private chat networks over the darknet are dependent on IRCd as their basic block. As these servers are highly customizable and secured on your own server machines, they are used by many groups.

Is there any module to setup IRCd in Python?

In Python, there is no direct module to set up the IRCd server. Instead, you’ll have to use the basic socket library to set up the basic communication gateway.

But there are many available repositories in Github where developers have collectively developed a server that is capable of handling connections.

In this post, we’ll have a look at one of such popular repositories and how to run it.

Setting Up IRCd Using Socket

About 19 contributed together made a project on Github known as miniircd. This project is a simple IRCd based communication server that completely uses Python and has absolutely no requirements apart from Python 3.6.

Every IRC server has a protocol and set of commands. This repository has a predefined set of commands which you can edit later on depending on your need.

To install the library, run the following command –

git clone https://github.com/jrosdahl/miniircd.git
cd miniircd

The above command will clone the source code from GitHub and then you can run the server using the ./miniircd command. If you’re not able to run the above command, then use the following method to install mini ircd as a Python package and add it automatically to the path –

pip install miniircd
miniircd --help

You may need to use pip3 if you have both python 2 and 3 versions installed. Just make sure that you install it in the correct environment.

To start the server, run the following command –

miniircd --debug --ports=14121

Instantly, this will start the daemon server at port 14121 on your current localhost and you can use the socket module from Python to connect with the server. Tip: You can get the name of hosts connected to your device using Python.

Also, make sure that you use a Linux machine to run this server, otherwise, you may encounter errors.

Commands available in Miniircd –

Following are some of the commands available in this Python IRCd server –

NICK – Gives a nickname to the client and registers.

QUIT – closes the client connection

USER – Register user.

JOIN – Join two channels from the server.

PASS – Use the password for a user. Until you use the correct password, you cannot text in channels.

TOPIC – Handle topics.

Setting Up IRCd Using Unrealircd

Apart from Miniircd that uses Python to start the server, you can use the Unrealircd daemon directly. This application is capable of hosting and responding to clients according to their commands. Moreover, it’s available for Linux as well as Windows machines.

The only problem being that you cannot customize the server according to you. You have to follow the same set of rules and commands which are already defined by Unrealircd.

This application is used by many groups to communicate privately. Above all. there is no need to create customized commands, you can directly use the available commands.

Moreover, Unrealircd is open source and thus you can highly rely on it than other private software. According to IRCstats, UnrealIRCd is the top used server software with dominating 38.6% of the IRC market.

Downloading the UnrealIRCd

Following are the steps to install UnrealIRCd.

For Linux –

wget https://www.unrealircd.org/downloads/unrealircd-5.2.2.tar.gz
tar xvzf unrealircd-5.2.2.tar.gz
cd unrealircd-5.2.2
sudo make install

For Windows –

Head over to UnrealIRCd official website and check for windows installer files from the Downloads sections. Install it and then start configuring the server according to your need.

Some FAQs on Python IRCd Servers

How does Python IRCd work?

Internet Relay Chat daemon is a server that allows the clients to connect with the server and create a real-time chat box for them. These servers are capable of creating different channels for different users and also can handle a specific set of commands.

Can IRCd be encrypted in Python?

There is very little encryption associated with most of the IRCd applications. But, you can set up your custom encryption which uses SHA256 or RSA encryption to send and receive the messages.

Why do hackers use IRC?

Hackers use IRC for Anonymity, Simple Protocol, and it’s extremely Easy to Use. Usually, IRC servers are hosted from private machines which makes it harder for external entities to track their chats.

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