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All about Internet Relay Chat


As most people on IRC these days know, we all use some sort of BNC software. Well, here is the next generation of BNC that you will just want to get your hands dirty with, called IRCCloud.

IRCCloud is a modern, always-connected IRC client that works on mobile devices and modern web-browsers.

You’ll always be connected to IRC, even if your browser is closed and your computer is offline. When you come back to your computer, you’ll be able to easily see and respond to new messages since the last time you checked.

You can use IRCCloud from multiple computers, a record of messages you’ve seen and responded to are automatically kept in sync, so you get a seamless experience every time.

What exactly IS IRCCloud?
To make things simple, it’s an IRC client – IRCCloud connects to IRC servers for you, keeps your connection alive, and stores your chat history. You can access it via a modern web browser, or their mobile apps.

Does IRCCloud act as a BNC/bouncer and stay connected when I go offline?
Yes it does – you will stay connected to IRC even if you shutdown your computer or sign out of This means when you come back, you’ll be able to see what happened on IRC whilst you were away.

Can I connect to an IRC network via SSL?
Yes. Additionally, your web connection to the will always be over HTTPS.

Can I connect to an IRC network that requires a password?
Yes, if you upgrade your account. NickServ login and SASL auth are also supported.

Is it FREE or does it cost something?
There is a free trial version which allows you to connect to up to 2 IRC networks other than IRCCloud’s home network. With the FREE account there is a limitation of being inactive for 2 hours before you are set as inactive and disconnected from any networks you may be connected to.
The PAID version is only $5/month. That includes an unlimited amount of allowed networks and access to connect to passworded servers.

What mobile versions are there?
Currently there is an Android app and an iOS app. They are available in the app stores, and are also open source.

How can I ban an IRCCloud user without banning the entire IRCCloud bouncer?
Information on the host and username scheme that IRCCloud uses is available in their abuse policy.

Why IRCCloud?
IRCCloud was built to solve these three issues:

  • You need to be online and running your IRC software to get messages
  • Being logged in to IRC from two or more computers often causes confusion
  • Most IRC software isn’t a pleasure to use

IRCCloud’s design philosophy is to make things clean, elegant and unobtrusive. IRC software shouldn’t get in your way. They’ve enabled some useful features by default, such as automatically collapsing join and part messages. Conversely, and as a matter of good taste, IRCCloud promises never to add graphical emoticons.

So, Who’s behind IRCCloud?
RJ works on the backend software, which is written in Erlang. An online-music alumnus, he founded Audioscrobbler and, where he worked from 2002-2009. He occasionally blogs about Erlang and scalability topics on, and is @metabrew on Twitter.

James works on the interface design, and writes the JavaScript that powers the frontend. Another online music refugee and alumnus, he keeps himself busy with various JS/PHP side projects, blogs as and tweets as @jwheare

UnrealIRCd Survey

As the #1 most used IRC daemon on most networks, UnrealIRCd as we all know is a great daemon. It has many features, easy configureation and good irc support. But as IRC grows (or dies depending on how you look at it), there are more and more IRC daemons being released. With all of the long time IRC users learning to code, they decide to branch out either from the unrealircd source or from another IRC daemon source. With that being said, UnrealIRCd is slowly moving down the popularity list.

So to improve the UnrealIRCd, Syzop (Bram Matthys), has decided to launch an online survey.

This survey is not only for those who have dealt with UnrealIRCd as a developer, but for anyone and everyone who has ever been on an IRC network, that runs UnrealIRCd, either as just a user, an admin, or a developer. The results from the survey will be used by the UnrealIRCd development team to know what areas to focus more time on in the Unreal3.4.x series

The purpose of this survey is to give us a good idea of how people think about UnrealIRCd, how it’s being used, and – even more important – in what areas we should improve.
–Syzop, Project Leader. Developer/maintainer of UnrealIRCd 3.2.x and 3.4.x

So if you like, dislike, or want UnrealIRCd to be improved in any way, shape or form, this is your time to fill out this survey. It takes about 15 minutes of your time to complete (only if you end up having to answer all 33 questions), But some questions are skipped depending on your answer for some questions.

If you have 15 minutes to spare right now, we encourage you to visit

Quakenet open-sources core services

The gaming aimed IRC network Quakenet recently published their set of services, commonly known as Newserv, to the community. Among the different bots, the two most notable ones are Q and S, which handle user accounts, channel management and protection against floods in big channels.

A repository has been set-up, from which one can download a copy of the source code. Complete with a README file, it’s not only aimed at developers, but also network administrators. The repository is located at Available under GPL v2.0 license, freedom to use and extend the software has graciously been given by the maintainer slug.

Quakenet is based on a lot of modified and custom-crafted code. Whilst the network has released some software in the past, this is the first time they release the last version of something their core services. Prior to this release, the latest public version of Q dated back to January 2003.


IceChat is an open source IRC Client developed by Snerf in July of 2000, first named sIRC. This version still exists and works with very minimum features.


sIRC Screenshot

It was then recoded from scratch and renamed to VClient in August of 2001 to Icechat.


VClient Screenshot

To this date, Icechat has now managed to have its on in-built VBS script engine as well as many everyday IRC features. The best feature, It’s FREE! Ice chat is compatible with Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP/2003/Vista and also Windows 7, it has also been tested on 64bit XP, Vista and Windows 7.

IceChat also has some very unique features that make it a special IRC Client. A few features to be noted include but not limited to built in emoticons, which can de disabled if the user wishes, a Favorite Server Tree, IRCv3 capabilities and built in virus scanners.

Since the beginning of IceChat, it has now gone through multiple rewrites and is now cross-platform friendly. It now has mirc scripting abilities, VB Scripting and multi-language support. IceChat has now had over 30,000 downloads with a few Beta testers to make sure the release version doesnt have any major bugs.

IceChat is now in version 9, which started in January of 2009 in C# and was yet again a rewrite. The latest release of v9 was released February 9th, 2013.

Icechat currently has its own support channel on the Freenode IRC network at #IceChat

The CloakNet Project

The CloakNet Project is a program that encrypts messages on an IRC network using plain text. It was developed on the .NET platform, as well as having a Python version for Linux users. When executed, cloaknet puts itself inbetween the IRC Client that the user is using and the IRC server so that anything sent to and from the IRC Client is encrypted for secure communication.

The CloakNet Project is currently in Beta Version. This means it works, but there are many bugs to be found and fixed. Both the source code and the binaries are available for download. The current list of Clients that have been tested with the beta version are: mIRC, irssi, Trillian, X-Chat, Bersirc, KVIrc, Pidgin, Visual IRC, ChatIRC, BitchX, Konversation, Snak, Ircle, & Colloquy.

Cloaknet currently uses 256 bit Rijndael/AES. Currently, all messages that are decrypted via CloakNet are prepended with “++”, this is to inform you that the message needed decrypted and were not sent on an unencrypted channel. This prepended stamp will never be sent outside of the network, and is not considered a CloakNet identifier.

When the Cloaknet program is running on your system, You will simply connect your preferred IRC Client to the CloakNet daemon, which then will allow encryption of all your messages sent and recieved on your Client. It will then forward your Client to your preferred IRC Network. There is no modifications required to the client or the server for this to be possible.

For this all to be possible, any and all users wishing to communicate with each other via CloakNet much have a common Pre-Shared Key (PSK). Users without CloakNet, or a PSK, will see encrypted text instead. With the PSK, CloakNet will decrypt the text and forward it to your client un-encrypted.

Below is the infrastructure in which CloakNet uses to connect your IRC Client to the desired Network using the PSK, both on Windows and Linux. All information below was taken directly from the CloakNet Website.

Operation (.NET):

The current version (.NET 20080229.0320) command structure is as follows:

cloaknet.exe [remotehost:port] [psk] [localhost:port] [initvector]

[remotehost:port] Required
[psk] Required
[localhost:port] Optional
[initvector] Optional

For Example:

C:\cloaknet.exe preSharedKeyHere 1234567890123456


C:\cloaknet.exe preSharedKeyHere localhost:1337 1234567890123456

Operation (Python):

The current version (Python 0.2) command structure is as follows:


Configure the proxy.ini file as follows (on one line no more):
[server_name] [server_port] [proxy_port] [initial_value] [pass_key] [salt]
For Example: 6667 9997 3u76@B24eFg5c1D9 key456 salt56789

Known Bugs:

There is currently a known bug which is thought to be related to DCC, which causes CloakNet to crash. If/When this happens, Restart CloakNet after ensuring all other CloakNet daemons are kill, once it has restarted you may be informed that CloakNet cannot bind to the last port in which you used. If this happens, simply change the port CloakNet is running on. If you are running CloakNet on a remote network host, you may need to open/forward another port before changing the port.

Where do I download this?

Simply Download Cloaknet from the CloakNet Website.