A modular IRC bot written in Go using the go-ircevent library.
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Irkbot is a modular IRC bot written in Go using the go-ircevent library. The main goal of this project is to create an IRC bot whose functionality can easily be extended through modules written in pure Go (see Module development).


Fetch and build Irkbot:

go get github.com/davidscholberg/irkbot


Irkbot uses YAML for its configuration. The config file path is expected to be $HOME/.config/irkbot/irkbot.yml. Below is a sample configuration file:

    nick: mybot
    user: mybot
    identify: True
    password: mypassword

    host: irc.freenode.net
    port: 7000
    use_tls: True
    server_auth: False
    server_pass: password

    channel_name: "#blahblah"
    greeting: "oh hai"
    cmd_prefix: "!"
    auto_join_on_kick: False

    verbose_callback_handler: False
    debug: False

    owner: mynick
    deny_message: yeah, i don't think so

    # limit in bytes to stop reading an http response
    response_size_limit: 10485760
    # time in seconds to allow for http requests
    timeout: 30
    # user agent to use in http requests
    user_agent: irkbot (+https://github.com/davidscholberg/irkbot)

# This is a list of modules that irkbot supports. If you omit any of these, they
# will not be loaded at runtime.
        # This is the location of the sqlite database used by the alias module.
        db_file: /home/david/var/irkbot/alias.db
        # This is the location of the sqlite database used by the slam module.
        db_file: /home/david/var/irkbot/slam.db
        # This is the location of the sqlite database used by the compliment module.
        db_file: /home/david/var/irkbot/compliment.db
        # This is the location of the sqlite database used by the quotes module.
        db_file: /home/david/var/irkbot/quotes.db
    # the weather module uses the OpenWeatherMap API
        api_key: key
        api_key: key


Once you've created the configuration file, simply run the Irkbot binary:


Once Irkbot has connected, you can get a list of bot commands by typing one of the following in either a channel that Irkbot is in or in a private message:

  • Assuming the bot's nick is mybot: mybot: help
  • Assuming the cmd_prefix config value is !: !help

More information about Irkbot's current modules can be gathered by looking at the modules' source in the lib/module directory.

Module development

Irkbot has a simple system for creating modules that extend the bot's functionality. Currently, the only modules that Irkbot manages are for PRIVMSG actions, but there are plans to make modules for other events, such as time-based events.

Below is an example PRIVMSG module that adds an echo command to the bot. The echo module runs when a PRIVMSG contains the echo command and sends a PRIVMSG back echoing the rest of the line.

This module file belongs in the lib/module directory.

// module is the package for all irkbot modules
package module

import (

func configEcho(cfg *configure.Config) {
	// This is an optional function to configure the module. It is called only
	// once when irkbot starts up.
	// This function can be omitted if no configuration is needed.

func helpEcho() []string {
	// This function returns an array of strings describing this command's
	// functionality. It is displayed when someone gives the help command in a
	// channel or private message.
	s := "echo <phrase> - echo the phrase back to the channel"
	return []string{s}

func echo(cfg *configure.Config, in *message.InboundMsg, actions *actions) {
	// Grab the rest of the message.
	msg := strings.Join(in.MsgArgs[1:], " ")

	// Call the Say function (which does message rate-limiting)

The final step is to add the echo module functions to the switch statement in the RegisterModules function in lib/module/register.go:

		case "echo":
			cmdMap["echo"] = &CommandModule{configEcho, helpEcho, echo}

If you omit the config function, the register function call would be:

		case "echo":
			cmdMap["echo"] = &CommandModule{nil, helpEcho, echo}

To enable the module, you'll need to add it to the modules section of the Irkbot configuration file.


Irkbot has a Dockerfile allowing you to easily create an Irkbot docker image. You'll need a working installation of Docker for the following steps.

To build the Irkbot image, run the following:

docker build --force-rm --tag irkbot:latest .

In addition to the image, you'll also want to create docker volumes for the sqlite databases and config file:

docker volume create irkbot-data-vol
docker volume create irkbot-config-vol

Now we'll create a temporary container that we can use to copy data to the volumes, and then copy our existing config and sqlite databases.

Note: If you don't have any sqlite databases yet, Irkbot will create them in the docker volume on the first run.

docker run --volume irkbot-data-vol:/irkbot-data --volume irkbot-config-vol:/irkbot-config --name irkbot-tmp-container busybox true
docker cp /home/dhscholb/.config/irkbot/irkbot.yml irkbot-tmp-container:/irkbot-config/
docker cp /home/dhscholb/var/irkbot/compliment.db irkbot-tmp-container:/irkbot-data/
docker cp /home/dhscholb/var/irkbot/quotes.db irkbot-tmp-container:/irkbot-data/
docker cp /home/dhscholb/var/irkbot/slam.db irkbot-tmp-container:/irkbot-data/
docker rm irkbot-tmp-container

Now we can create a container to run Irkbot in.

Note: Don't worry about deleting the container; any changes to the irkbot docker volumes will persist.

docker run --rm --volume irkbot-data-vol:/srv/db/irkbot --volume irkbot-config-vol:/root/.config/irkbot irkbot


PRs and issues for bug fixes and new features are welcome. If you'd like to make a new feature, please submit an issue for it first so that we can discuss requirements and implementation details beforehand.