Skip to content
This is The Construct
Branch: master
Clone or download
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
construct construct: Add smoketest. Apr 24, 2019
deps deps: Upgrade RocksDB. Dec 10, 2018
doc doc: Reorg some documentation. Dec 20, 2018
include/ircd ircd::json: Remove explicit type check here. Apr 25, 2019
ircd ircd::server: Use zero ipv4 addr for null string here. Apr 25, 2019
modules modules/s_fetch: Remove cancels on request construction error. Apr 25, 2019
share share/ Test DESTDIR/datadir dir Jan 20, 2019
tools Add appveyor.yml Apr 1, 2019
.appveyor.yml appveyor: Build without --enable-debug. Apr 23, 2019
.gitignore .gitignore: Ignore the .cache file. Dec 21, 2018
.gitmodules deps: Track Riot. Jan 29, 2018
.travis.yml travis.yml: Travis-CI became useless and inept I guess at some point … Sep 5, 2018
LICENSE Update NEWS. Dec 12, 2017 README: Add blerb on -pitrecdb. Apr 16, 2019 Move m4 to tools/m4. Sep 18, 2018

|                                                                                                 |
|                                                                                                 |

This — is The Construct

Fast. Secure. Feature Rich. Community Lead.

IRCd was a free and open source server which facilitated real-time communication over the internet. It was started by Jarkko Oikarinen in 1988 at the University of Oulu and its derivatives underpinned the major IRC networks for decades.

Due to its age and stagnation since the mid-2000's, a growing number of proprietary cloud services are now filling the vacuum of innovation. In 2014 a new approach was proposed to reinvigorate real-time communication for free and open source software: a federation of networks known as the matrix.

IRCd has been rewritten for the global federation of networks    

This is the Construct — the community's own Matrix server. It is designed to be fast and highly scalable, and to be developed by volunteer contributors over the internet. This mission strives to make the software easy to understand, modify, audit, and extend. It remains true to its roots with its modular design and having minimal requirements.

Even though all of the old code has been rewritten, the same spirit and philosophy of its predecessors is still obvious throughout.

Similar to the legacy IRC protocol's origins, Matrix wisely leverages technologies in vogue for its day to aid the virility of implementations. A vibrant and growing ecosystem already exists.

Join us in /



  • Boost library 1.66+
  • RocksDB library 5.16.6.
  • Sodium library for curve ed25519.
  • OpenSSL library for HTTPS TLS / X.509.
  • magic library for MIME type recognition.
  • zlib or lz4 or snappy (Optional) Compressions.
Build tools
  • GNU C++ compiler, automake, autoconf, autoconf2.13, autoconf-archive, libtool.

  • A platform capable of loading dynamic shared objects at runtime is required.


At this phase of development the best thing to do is pull the master branch and use the latest head.

The head of the master branch is consistent and should be safe to pull without checking out a release tag. When encountering a problem with the latest head on master that is when a release tag should be sought.


Please follow the standalone build instructions in the next section until this notice is removed.

sudo make install

Additional documentation for building can be found in doc/

BUILD (standalone)

This section is intended to allow building with dependencies that have not made their way to mainstream systems. Important notes that may affect you:

  • GCC: Ubuntu Xenial (16.04) users must use a PPA to obtain GCC-7 or greater; don't forget to export CXX=g++-7 before running ./configure on that system.

  • Boost: The required version is available through apt as boost-all-dev on Ubuntu Cosmic (18.10). All earlier releases (including 18.04 LTS) can configure with --with-included-boost as instructed below (or obtain that package instead).

  • OpenSSL: We use 1.0.x for now. Systems that default to 1.1.x will need to ./configure with options that find 1.0.x files. Arch Linux users can use ./configure --with-ssl-includes=/usr/include/openssl-1.0

  • RocksDB: All users should configure with --with-included-rocksdb as instructed below.


mkdir build
  • The install directory may be this or another place of your choosing.
  • If you decide elsewhere, make sure to change the --prefix in the ./configure statement below.
./configure --prefix=$PWD/build --with-included-boost --with-included-rocksdb
  • The --with-included-* will fetch, configure and build the dependencies included as submodules.
make install


  • For standalone builds you will need to add the included lib directories in your git repo to the library path: export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/path/to/src/deps/boost/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/path/to/src/deps/rocksdb:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

  • We will refer to your server as host.tld. For those familiar with matrix: this is your origin and mxid @user:host.tld hostpart. If you delegate your server's location to something like we refer to this as your servername.

Construct clusters all share the same origin but each individual instance of the daemon has a unique servername.

  1. Execute

    There are two arguments: <origin> [servername]. If the servername argument is missing, the origin will be used for it instead.

    bin/construct host.tld

    There is no configuration file.

    Log messages will appear in terminal concluding with notice IRCd RUN.

  2. Strike ctrl-c on keyboard

    The command-line console will appear.

  3. Create a general listener socket by entering the following command:

    net listen matrix * 8448 privkey.pem cert.pem chain.pem
    • matrix is your name for this listener; you can use any name.
    • * and 8448 is the local address and port to bind.
    • privkey.pem and cert.pem and chain.pem are paths (ideally absolute paths) to PEM-format files for the listener's TLS.

    The Matrix Federation Tester should now pass. Browse to and verify "AllChecksOK": true

  4. To use a web-based client like Riot, configure the "webroot" directory to point at Riot's webapp/ directory by entering the following:

    conf set ircd.webroot.path /path/to/riot-web/webapp/
    mod reload webroot
  5. Browse to https://host.tld:8448/ and register a user.

Additional Notes

Recovering from broken configurations

If your server ever fails to start from an errant conf item: you can override any item using an environmental variable before starting the program. To do this simply replace the '.' characters with '_' in the name of the item when setting it in the environment. The name is otherwise the same, including its lower case.

Recovering from database corruption

In very rare cases after a hard crash the journal cannot completely restore data before the crash. Due to the design of rocksdb and the way we apply it for Matrix, data is lost in chronological order starting from the most recent transaction (matrix event). The database is consistent for all events up until the first corrupt event, called the point-in-time.

When any loss has occurred the daemon will fail to start normally. To enable point-in-time recovery use the command-line option -pitrecdb at the next invocation.


Generate doxygen using /usr/bin/doxygen tools/doxygen.conf the target directory is doc/html. Browse to doc/html/index.html.


Roadmap for service

  • Phase One: Matrix clients using HTTPS.
  • Phase Two: Legacy IRC network TS6 protocol.
  • Phase Three: Legacy IRC clients using RFC1459 / RFC2812 legacy grammars.

Roadmap for deployments

The deployment mode is a macro of configuration variables which tune the daemon for how it is being used. Modes mostly affect aspects of local clients.

  • Personal: One or few users. Few default restrictions; higher log output.
  • Company: Hundreds of users. Moderate default restrictions.
  • Public: Thousands of users. Untrusting configuration defaults.

Roadmap for innovation

  • Phase Zero: Core libircd: Utils; Modules; Contexts; JSON; Database; HTTP; etc...
  • Phase One: Matrix Protocol: Core VM; Core modules; Protocol endpoints; etc...
  • Phase Two: Construct Cluster: Kademlia sharding of events; Maymounkov's erasure codes.
You can’t perform that action at this time.