Skip to content
IRC Bot Framework for Node.js

Travis Status NPM Downloads Version ISC Licensed Github Issue Count Github Stars

Tennu is an IRC bot framework written in Node.js


Basic Usage

As a framework

See Getting Started.

Library Usage

With Tennu as a library, you create an irc client, require your plugins or subscribe to your event listeners, and then connect.

var tennu = require('tennu');
var network = require('../config/myNetwork.json'); // See next section
var myClient = tennu.Client(network);

Before connecting, add listeners to events from irc & users, or load plugins.

// Do something when a nick, perhaps yourself, joins a channel
myClient.on('join', function (message) {
    this.say(, + " joined!");

// Do something when a user emits a command, in this case, join the specified channel.
myClient.on('!join', function (command) {

// Load a plugin.

// Or just use a plugin from tennu_plugins/%f or node_plugins/tennu-%f
myClient.use(['admin', 'last-seen']);


See for the full documentation.


The network configuration object contains all of the properties of an irc-socket except for "socket" plus the following configuration options:

  • tls - Boolean that if true, upgrades the NetSocket to a TLS socket.
  • auth-password - Password for identifying to services
  • nickserv - Nickname of nickserv service. Defaults to "nickserv".
  • command-trigger - Command character to trigger commands with. By default, "!".
  • command-ignore-list - List of commands not to fire a handler for. By default, []. Example: ["commands", "help"]
  • channels - Array of channels to autojoin. Example: ["#help", "#tennu"]
  • plugins - An array of plugin names that the bot requires.
  • disable-help - [Deprecated] Boolean that when true, disables the built-in help plugin.
  • daemon - The IRCd you are connecting to. Optional, but useful for "unreal" and "twitch".

The irc-socket configuration values are as follows:

  • server - IRC server to connect to. Example:
  • port - Port to connect to. Defaults to 6667.
  • nicknames - Array of nicknames to try to use in order.
  • username - Username part of the hostmask.
  • realname - "Real name" to send with the USER command.
  • password - Password used to connect to the network. Most networks don't have one.
  • proxy - WEBIRC details if your connection is acting as a (probably web-based) proxy.
  • capabilities - IRCv3 capabilities required or wanted. Tennu requires multi-prefix.
  • connectOptions - Options passed to the wrapped socket's connect method. Options port and host are ignored.

Other plugins may add additional properties. See their respective documentation.

Configuration objects are JSON encodable.

Dependency Management

The second (optional) parameter to tennu.Client is an object of factories to replace the factories that the Client uses by default.

  • NetSocket
  • IrcSocket
  • Plugins
  • Logger

These functions will always be called as constructors (a.k.a. with new).


The only one you will probably care about is Logger. The object returned by the Logger function must implement the following methods:

debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit, alert, emerg

Base Tennu will only use debug through error, but other plugins and event emitters may use crit through emerg.


Tennu follows SemVer. Tennu will have breaking changes in the future, and many updates will be breaking updates, so expect to see the major version go up to pretty high numbers. The alternative was to have verisons 0.16.x at some point, and that's just silly. Tennu is usable today, might as well call it post-1.0, even if it's not 'feature complete'.

Event Handling

Note: Tennu uses a custom event handler. Listeners are placed at the end of the node event queue (with setImmediate), insead of happening in the same turn. Errors are currently logged to console, but otherwise swallowed.

Response Functionality

Commands and Messages that have a channel property take a return value. Currently, the return value must be a string or array that is then said to the channel the message originated in.

// Simple echobot.
tennu.on('privmsg', function (privmsg) {
    return privmsg.message;

// Equivalent to:
tennu.on('privmsg', function (privmsg) {
    tennu.say(, privmsg.message);

Subscribing Options

See Subscriber Plugin docs

Subscribing to events in Tennu is more flexible than most event listeners.

You register a single handler on multiple events at once by separating the events with a space, for example client.on("x y", fn) is equivalent to client.on('x', fn); client.on('y', fn). Furthermore, an object can be passed, where each key is passed as the first parameter and its value, the second.

// Examples

on("irc_event", listener)
on("!user-command", listener)
on("join quit", listener)
    "part": part_listener,
    "join": join_listener,
    "!hi !bye": talk_listener

You can also unsubscribe non-once message events with off, taking the same parameters as on.

Listener Parameters

Listeners are passed either a message or command object.


Messages are passed by irc events.

Messages are immutable, as are their args. Make sure to copy the args array before trying to manipulate it.

All messages have the following fields:

  • prefix - The prefix is either a hostmask of the format "nickname!username@hostname", or the server you are connected to.
  • command - Message command type. For example, 'privmsg' or 'nick'.
  • params - Array of sent parameters.
  • tags - IRC3 tags sent with message.

Some messages have extended information. See Message Properties.


Commands are passed for user commands.

Commands are an extension of Messages with the command type of 'privmsg'. They have all properties, plus the following properties:

  • args - Array of words after the command name.
  • command - The command name.

For example, a command of "!do-it ARG1 ARG2" will have args be ["ARG1", "ARG2"] and command be 'do-it'.


All of the following are methods on Tennu that can be used once connected.

say(channel, message)

  • channel is either a channel ("#chan") or a user ("nick").
  • message is either a string or array of strings. Given an array, say each individual element on its own line.

Has the bot say the message(s) to the specific channel/user.

/* Output (IRC)
(botnick) This is a message!
tennu.say('#example', "This is a message!");

/* Output (IRC)
(botnick) Hi there.
(botnick) Bye there.
tennu.say('#example', ["Hi there.", "Bye there."]);

act(channel, message)

As per say, but as an action (/me)

/* Output (IRC)
botnick does something!
tennu.act('#example', "does something!");

ctcpRequest(channel, tag, message)

tennu.ctcpRequest('havvy', 'PING', 'ping message');

ctcpRespond(channel, tag, message)

tennu.ctcpRespond('Havvy', 'VERSION', 'Tennu v4.2.0 (');


Change the bots nickname.


Joins the specified channel.

tennu.join("#keyed-channel channel-key");
tennu.join("0"); // Part all channels.

part(channel, reason)

Parts the specified channel with the given reason.


Quits the server with the given reason.

whois(users, server)

Server is optional, and you'll probably not need it. Look at RFC 1459 for what benefit it gives you.

users is either a string or an array of strings.


Retrieves the userhost of the user(s).


For actions that are lacking a command, you can use raw to perform them. You must either pass an array of arguments (and the multiword argument must be in a single index without the colon) or pass the full string.

If you find yourself using raw(), please file an issue.

rawf(format, args...)

As raw(message), but the arguments are passed through util.format() first.

Plugin System

Tennu has its own (optional to use) plugin system. You can read about it at

You may access the plugin system's methods via the Client.plugins property or by using one of the following methods:

  • client.require()
  • client.getPlugin()
  • client.getRole()
  • client.use()
  • client.initializePlugin()
  • client.isPluginInitializable()

Creating Your Own Plugins

See Creating Your Own Plugins.

See Getting Started.

Built-In Plugins

See Plugins documentation.

Command Line Utility

Tennu comes with a command line utility for starting Tennu bots with configuration located in a JSON file. The executable is called "tennu".


tennu config.json

The tennu command takes two optional argument, -v (--verbose) and -d (--debug), for adding a Logger that logs all non-debug messages to the console. Add -d to also log debug messages.


See the file for specific ways you can help, if you're just looking for any way to help.

Directory Structure

The lib, tennu_plugins, bin, and test directories are all auto-generated files, with the actual source in subdirectories in the src directory.

The bin directory contains the executables that the package provides. Right now this is only the 'tennu' program described in the Command Line Utility section.

The examples directory contains example bots, which may or may not work.


npm test

This command will rebuild the test files and then run the test suite.

Between all projects (tennu, tennu-plugins, irc-socket, after-events, prefix-event-emitter), there are over 200 tests, but more are always appreciated, especially if they are failing with an actual bug. ;)

Building Files

npm run build

Tennu is written using the Sweet.js dialect of JavaScript. If you've never used it, it is just JavaScript with macros. But because it's not vanilla JS, a build step is used.

See Also

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.