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AustNet Moves to InspIRCd

After being based on a modified IRCu for a long period of time, AustNet moves to an InspIRCd based IRCd. IRC-Junkie asks AustNet’s Praetorian about the how, why and what of this change.

“The previous IRCd that was in use, Austhex 7, had served AustNet for quite a long period,” Praetorian explains. “it was modified quite a bit, to accommodate things that were unique to AustNet, such as “helpers”, and virtual world, which when implemented, was quite unique for its time.”

Being so heavily modified it also offered serious challenges in the last days of its use. Sections of its code became so outdated modern compilers had problems compiling the code.

The decision was made for a move to InspIRCd. In the spirit of the old IRCd again changes have been made to the IRCd. However, “the number of changes to the standard codebase is quite small, and this assist us in being able to keep tracking against their SVN/Releases.”

Most of the changes are in the form of modules, some of which are embraced by the InspIRCd people and will be put into the core IRCd in a future release.

The new IRCd (named Austhex 8) is received well by AustNet’s users because of long awaited features. Praetorian explains: “Registered Nick modes, and preventing of being messaged by unregistered users (to prevent spam), Dynamic connection allowances to limit at the IRCd on a network level, the number of clients allows from an IP/Subnet/Mask (many IRCd’s tend to do this at a services level, where all clients end up killed, or even glined for going over. This functionality removes this, and simply denies the connection).”

The change took a bit longer then the network initially expected. One reason of the delay was a changing approach to the change from the network, the other “due to some less-that-mature code that was in the Inspircd releases.”

Part of this was due to syncing the “fork” against an old release of InspIRCd which saw many changes over time. “it was a necessary evil in order to accommodate a number of very important changes.”

The post with the announcement and practical changes for its userbase can be found here.

Category: IRC, IRCd, Networks
  • katsklaw says:

    “(many IRCd’s tend to do this at a services level, where all clients end up killed, or even glined for going over. This functionality removes this, and simply denies the connection).”

    This is a double edged sword.

    First I’d like to say every modern IRCd I’ve seen can limit the max number of connections per IP in the ircd’s config file, including ircu, unreal, bahamut and well as inspircd to name just a few.

    Second, by having services control the max users per ip allows for global control from irc instead of having to edit multiple irc config files. By coupling ircd limits and services limits, the larger number of users per ip max can be easily adjusted for cyber cafes or shell providers.

    Ideally services should send data to the ircd to ban violators at the ircd and not use such features as akills that do indeed waste bandwidth when the ability to stop the connection at the ircd is better. This feature must be supported at the ircd though before services can use this ability.

    October 29, 2008 at 1:20 pm
  • Skip says:

    The trigger (dynamic connection) system implemented was a very big stumbling block, but was designed to centralise the management (there are no trigger settings in any server .conf) and reduce the effects and heavy-handedness of having services track + issue glines/akills.

    Essentially we now have a universal system that can be as specific or broad as we like, that applies changes instantly, even the default limit is handled dynamically:
    @0.0.0.0/0 * G 0 0 0 A 3 2 1 U 0 0 0
    1379 clients attached across 1247 hosts

    The main motivation behind the system was to stop treating users as if they’d “done something wrong” by going over the limit, the limit now shows clients what they can and cannot connect, not blows them away for trying.

    October 29, 2008 at 1:21 pm
  • katsklaw says:

    while I understand that in many cases users exceeding limits are treated by default as violators. It’s not really possible for softweare alone to asign intent to any specific case. In either case it’s possible for users to receive an error that does not pertain to them, either valid users that get an error because the software it told to give them a message as if they are malicious or malicious users given an error as if they have done nothing wrong. I do however agree that treating the user as if they are not malicious is a good PR approach.

    With many software packages, users that exceed their limit are directed to a URL where all the possible reasons for the denied connection can be explained. These same packages allow administration to edit the error message returned so that they can also give a more politically correct response.

    October 29, 2008 at 1:22 pm
  • zi says:

    Interesting…

    A network I’m with has been putting InspIRCd through its paces, as we’d like to take make the switch as well; however, our testing has made it pain stakingly obvious that it’s still an infant ircd compared to other options out there. So, we’ll be continuing with ircu along with a few modifications.

    I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on these recent developments…

    October 29, 2008 at 1:22 pm
  • w00t says:

    [quote comment="88"]Interesting…

    A network I’m with has been putting InspIRCd through its paces, as we’d like to take make the switch as well; however, our testing has made it pain stakingly obvious that it’s still an infant ircd compared to other options out there. So, we’ll be continuing with ircu along with a few modifications.

    I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on these recent developments…[/quote]

    Come have a chat with us about what you found that you didn’t like. I’d say after about 5-6 years, software generally starts to reach a point of maturity, which is where we are at.

    We’re also very open to contributions if you’d like to see things added: http://www.inspircd.org/wiki/Contributing_to_InspIRCd

    (ot: Asmo, you forgot to remind me. I’ll try get that thing done today :P )

    October 29, 2008 at 1:23 pm
  • Asmo says:

    [quote comment="89"]
    (ot: Asmo, you forgot to remind me. I’ll try get that thing done today :P )[/quote]

    Haha thanks mate :) Just did not wanted to bug you too soon ’bout it >:)

    October 29, 2008 at 1:24 pm
  • Quension says:

    [quote]I\’ll try get that thing done today[/quote]

    * has flashbacks of http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113243/quotes

    “It’s in that place where I put that thing that time.”

    October 29, 2008 at 1:26 pm
  • Asmo says:

    It all worked out in the end ;)

    October 29, 2008 at 1:27 pm

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