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Err - the pluggable chatbot

Err is a plugin based chatbot designed to be easily deployable, extensible and maintainable. It allows you to start scripts interactively from your chatrooms for any reason: random humour, starting a build, monitoring commits, triggering alerts ...

It is open source under the GPL3 license.

It is written and extensible in python and it is based on yapsy with an heavily adapted jabberbot for the XMPP backend.

Community behind the project

Err has a google plus page, feel free to mention it with +err if you need support, have any questions, share some of your creations etc ... If you have any bug to report or feature suggestion, please log it from its github page.

We strongly encourage you to share your creations, as you will see, a git url is all that you need to share so other people can try out your plugin from err. If your feature could be interesting as a part of an existing plugin, feel free to fork it on github too.


Backends :

  • XMPP : Tested with hipchat, openfire and Jabber but should be compatible with any standard XMPP servers.
  • CampFire support
  • Supports MUCs (chatrooms)
  • Local Graphical Console (for testing/dev)
  • Local Text Console (for testing/dev)

Included :

  • an !help command that generates dynamically the documentation from the python docstrings of the commands
  • A command history system where the users can recall a previous command
  • Can proxy and route one 2 one messages to MUC so it can enable simpler XMPP notifiers to be MUC compatible (for example the jira XMPP notifier).

Administration and Security :

  • Can be setup so a restricted list of persons have the administration rights
  • Dynamic plugin architecture : the bot admin can install/uninstall/update/enable/disable plugins dynamically just by chatting with the bot.
  • Plugins can be hosted publicly or privately on git
  • Plugins can be configured directly from the chat (no need to change setup files for every plugin)
  • Configs can be exported and reimported (!export)
  • Technical logs can be inspected from the chat

Provides for Extensibility :

  • a really easy learning curve for you to write your first plugin (see example below)
  • test consoles for superfast developement roundtrips
  • a support for subcommands
  • an automatic persistance store per plugin
  • a really simple webhooks integration
  • a polling framework for the plugins
  • an easy configuration framework
  • a templating framework to display fancy HTML messages
  • an automatic conversion from HTML to plaintext when the backend doesn't support it (you don't have to make 2 versions of your command output)


It runs under Python 2.7+ under Linux / Windows (since 1.3.0) and Mac.

Create a user for the bot on your private XMPP server or on a public server like Optionally you can create a MUC (also called conference room or chatroom) in which you can interact with the bot.

Then follow either :

  • Installation from the sources
  • Installation from Pypi [Note: This one doesn't work yet under Windows]
  • Installation from Gentoo Linux

Installation from the sources


Python 2.7+ but probably not 3.0 And those python modules. The copy-paste for the lazy pip users but if you can have them from your standard distro it is better:

pip install -r requirements.txt

Create a user for the bot in your XMPP server admin.

From the installation directory copy:

cp errbot/

Read the inline documentation of the file and edit the values so the bot can connect to your XMPP server

Starting the daemon

For a one shot try, I would recommend to use:


Then you can use the -d (or --daemon) parameter to run it in a detached mode.:

./script/ -d

so you can inspect the logs for an immediate feedback

Note that needs to be at the root of the working directory of the bot by default.

You can override this behaviour with -c specifying the directory where your is, for example:

./script/ -c /etc/err

More details on the bot admin features can be found on the wiki :

Installation from pypi

Pip will take care of installing err and the basic dependencies for you:: pip install err

Go to or create a working directory for it then copy there and adapt the configuration template:

cp /usr/lib64/python2.7/site-packages/errbot/

Then you can start and try your bot:

Installation from gentoo

It has been merged to the main tree.

So the standard way:

emerge net-im/err

Interact with the Bot

  • Invite the bot directly from your chat client.
  • Send "!help" to it without the quotes
  • it should answer by the list of available commands and a short explanation
  • if you want to know more about a specific command you can do "!help command"

More documentation is available on the wiki :

Install/uninstall a public known plugin

To get a list of public repo you can do:


Then pick one that you fancy for example:

!install err-pollbot

You should have instantly a new poll service you can use to vote for where to lunch with you collegues :)

You can imply uninstall a plugin by its name: !uninstall err-pollbot

Note: Please pay attention when you install a plugin, it may require more python external dependencies.

Tutorial to write a simple plugin

Try it ! It is super simple !

You can find a tutorial here :

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