Run the ZNC IRC Bouncer in a Docker container.
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ZNC (1.6) for Docker

Run the ZNC IRC Bouncer in a Docker container.


  1. Install Docker.
  2. Make .znc container: docker run -v /znc-data --name znc-data busybox echo Data-only container for znc


To retain your ZNC settings between runs, you will need to bind a directory from the host to /znc-data in the container. For example:

docker run -d -p 6667 --name znc --volumes-from znc-data gotbadger/znc

This will download the image if needed, and create a default config file in your data directory unless you already have a config in place. The default config has ZNC listening on port 6667. To see which port on the host has been exposed:

docker ps

Or if you want to specify which port to map the default 6667 port to:

docker run -d -p 4444:6667 --name znc --volumes-from znc-data gotbadger/znc

Resulting in port 4444 on the host mapping to 6667 within the container.


If you've let the container create a default config for you, the default username/password combination is admin/admin. You can access the web-interface to create your own user by pointing your web-browser at the opened port.

I'd recommend you create your own user by cloning the admin user, then ensure your new cloned user is set to be an admin user. Once you login with your new user go ahead and delete the default admin user.

External Modules

If you need to use external modules, simply place the original *.cpp source files for the modules in your {DATADIR}/modules directory. The startup script will automatically build all .cpp files in that directory with znc-buildmod every time you start the container.

This ensures that you can easily add new external modules to your znc configuration without having to worry about building them. And it only slows down ZNC's startup with a few seconds.

Notes on DATADIR

ZNC needs a data/config directory to run. Within the container it uses /znc-data, so to retain this data when shutting down a container, you should use the volume from another persistent container. Hence --volumes-from znc-data is part of the instructions above.

You'll want to periodically back up your znc data to the host fs:

docker run --volumes-from znc-data -v $(pwd):/backup ubuntu tar cvf /backup/backup.tar /znc-data

And restore them later:

docker run --volumes-from znc-data -v $(pwd):/backup busybox tar xvf /backup/backup.tar

Passing Custom Arguments to ZNC

As docker run passes all arguments after the image name to the entrypoint script, the start-znc script simply passes all arguments along to ZNC.

For example, if you want to use the --makepass option, you would run:

docker run -i -t --volumes-from znc-data gotbadger/znc --makepass

Make note of the use of -i and -t instead of -d. This attaches us to the container, so we can interact with ZNC's makepass process. With -d it would simply run in the background.

Building It Yourself

  1. Follow Prerequisites above.
  2. Checkout source: git clone && cd docker-znc
  3. Build container: sudo docker build -t $(whoami)/znc .
  4. Make data container: sudo docker run -v /znc-data --name znc-data gotbadger/znc echo Data-only container for znc
  5. Run container: sudo docker run -d -p 6667 --volumes-from znc-data $(whoami)/znc