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freenode migration to ircd-seven successfully completed

Just as announced, the migration away from the aged hyperion IRCd to the new ircd-seven started at 7:30am UTC – here’s a short summary of the events:

5 minutes early, christel of freenode staff announced via Global that she’s preparing the move:

-christel- [Global Notice] Good morning all! As you are aware we’re about to start the migration over to ircd-seven shortly, I am about to take a snapshot of the services database and copy across topics and channelmodes (bans, invexes etc). This means that any changes you make to channel modes or services after this point (on hyperion) will be lost. We’ll be a bit noisy as the migration goes on and will global to keep you updated. Thanks for your patience

Shortly after that she announced that a few servers will not immediately return into the main round-robin because they need upgrades:

-christel- [Server Notice] Hi, for users on calvino we would encourage you to make sure that your client is set to reconnect to main rotation (chat.freenode.net) as this server will not be immediately available after migration. Thank you!

-christel- [Global Notice] Hi all, services and channel states have now been migrated over to the new production network. We’re migrating utility bots/pseudoservers as we speak and we’re nearly ready for users. Users connected to calvino, crichton, kubrick, leguin and verne may wish to make sure they are re-connecting to chat.freenode.net as these servers will not be immediately linked on newnet as they are pending upgrades first. Thank you!

Just little over an hour later, christel posted an update via Global, declaring the switchover complete:

-christel- [Global Notice] Hi all, The migration is complete! newnet is up and running and you may now manually connect to irc.freenode.net, ports stay the same, however SSL listens on ports 7000 and 7070 if you wish to connect via SSL. We’ll be taking down hyperion servers momentarily and we shall see you on the other side! Thank you!

-christel- [Global Notice] The migration is complete and went smoothly, thank you for your patience while we transferred state from hyperion to seven, thank you to seven and charybdis developers for making ircd-seven happen and than you to freenodes infrastructure team for all getting dug in! Website FAQ is updated, as is our blog. You may wish to familiarise yourself with changes. Thanks!

The loophole that allowed users of the Firefox webbrowser to connect to the network via Javascript and spam channels has been fixed and a feature to block channel-wide CTCPs has been implemented in the new IRCd which is a major improvement and should keep the spammers at bay.

Another much-anticipated feature of the new IRCd is client- and server-side SSL which is now available on ports 7000 and 7070 network-wide. A possibly not complete list of new features and changes the new IRCd introduces can be found here, here and here.

Congratulations to the freenode staff team for the smooth migration!

freenodes ircd-seven is in the final testing stage

ircd-seven, the IRCd that is going to replace the aged hyperion IRCd currently in use on freenode, is in the final stages of testing.

After being in the public testing phase for over one year, it seems it is finally ready to go into production use on the network.

In an announcement, freenode staff write that after “extensive testing by users and staff, we are now preparing for the switch-over which is taking place at the end of this month” and that they’d like to thank “those of you who have helped test, those who have botted the testnet and in particular those who have helped us find and iron out bugs”.

Those who make use of bots on freenode are advised to “take these last couple of weeks to make sure that they work with the new ircd, so as to not experience disappointment on switch-over for the production network”.

Closing the announcement they write that if “all going well, the switch-over is scheduled for Saturday January 30th 2010″.

Freenode issues

Not only was (and is) Freenode being hit by some bored kiddy – to add insult to the injury they’re currently experiencing major stability issues, resulting in many netsplits throughout the day.

As JonathanD writes in their most-recent blogpost they’ve been “facing some fairly major splits today as there have been issues between some of our major hubs” and that they’ve “rerouted these and are working on tracing down the cause of any other splits” and that their “staff are already hard at work on these issues and will resolve them as quickly as possible”.

The following global notices have been sent on the network to let the users know what is going on:

[Global Notice] Hi all, we appear to be having some connectivity issues with our main US hub, as a result of this we are temporarily without  services, if this affects your channel please contact staff in #freenode for assistance. We’re looking into the issues as we speak. Thank you for your patience.

[Global Notice] Hi all, we’re having some major issues with connectivity at the DC hosting one of our hidden hubs, I’m going to re-route around it,  which will cause about twice as much noise as the splits already made. Apologies for the inconvenience.

JonathanD also notes that “these and other issues are a large part of the reason for the upcoming migration to ircd-seven, and we still need your help in that regard.” They are “still in need help testing the new ircd and working out the bugs”, so if you feel like being part of the solution he asks you to “have a look at this posting for information on how you can test the new ircd.”

freenode testing a new IRCd

freenode, the network hosting the channels for many free / opensource projects – who just recently announced that they have surpassed the 50,000 users mark – do have big news again.

Existing since 1995 as a stand-alone network, it’s gone through a few IRCds already – from ircu to dancer-ircu then dancer-hybrid and hyperion now.

Being in use since August 2005 now, hyperion could see it’s end-of-life on freenode pretty soon as this blog post, asking for users to get aboard the freenode testnet, might indicate.

ircd-seven is the name the new IRCd is called, which is based on charybdis which in turn is based on ircd-ratbox. This should prove as being a very stable codebase as ratbox is the main IRCd used on EFNet and therefore is used on a large scale for quite some time now.

Since “neither ratbox nor Charybdis implements freenode’s more unique features, such as ban-forwarding or hidden IRC operators” a small team of developers started modifying the code, consisting of only one main dev, a few upstream contributors and the occasional contribution by volunteers. Today, according to christel of freenode, the project is “fairly close to completion, it needs a few tweaks to some staff-only functionality, but most of it’s there”. Asked about an anticipated release date, christel replied that they’re “looking at early next year if everything is going after plan”.

A few of the new features already have been publicized, amongst them are SSL-support for both servers and clients where hyperion only did S2S compression and haven’t had any encryption neither for users nor servers so that’s a big leap forward to the 21st century. Also the channel ban system has been reworked and the username prefixes (i= and n=) are gone for good ;) and ~ is used to indicate a non-identd username instead as most other IRCds do too.

The way you can identify on connect also has been changed and you can now sign in to an account without having to use a nickname that is linked to it by specifying it in the form of accountname:password in the server-password field. You can also do that using SASL provided your client supports it – only irssi and Conspire do that as of now.

Being asked if there are even more features coming up or if the features in the posting are complete, christel replied “Oh, theres definitely a few more surprises in store!”.

To check out the new IRCd yourself, connect to testnet.freenode.net on port 9002 for normal connections or 9003 for SSL encryption. The ircd-seven bugtracker is located here – you can also download the IRCds sourcecode there.

Thanks to TheXception for the tip & thanks to christel for the interview! :)