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An IRC like chat system written in Node.js

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The original goal of the project was to build fun little project to let people build their local communities. It was fun talking to many folks, getting contributions, and a journey from Go to Node. Maintaining an opensource project, is not an easy chore. It requires immense energy, and hours of careful thinking. Unfortunately I no longer have the time or energy to continue doing that. With the limited success, I feel leaving this project in it's current state is the most prudent thing I can do. I am still reachable by email, and maintainance PRs are welcome.


I had a spare Raspberry Pi and I wanted to use it! One of ideas in my head was to have your own on-premise chat server that you can use for cheap and own your data (< $50 hardware) forever and free!


For compiling you need:

  • Node 8+ (with npm5)
  • libsqlite3
  • OpenSSL 1.x.x (for uWebsockets)
  • zlib 1.x (for uWebsockets)
  • libuv 1.3+ or Boost.Asio 1.x (both optional on Linux)

You can use following commands to install them:

  • Fedora: sudo dnf install openssl-devel zlib-devel
  • Homebrew: brew install openssl zlib libuv
  • Vcpkg: vcpkg install openssl zlib libuv and/or vcpkg install openssl:x64-windows zlib:x64-windows libuv:x64-windows

Once you have installed dependencies above just do npm install && gulp (creates a dist folder that you can upload to your machine). Project can run on almost any machine that nodejs supports. I have successfully tested it on Raspberry Pi, Orange Pi etc.


You can use a .env file or environment variables to configure the server, here are the environment variables you can change:

  • RC_URL (default http://localhost:3000/) Raspchat URL where server would start listening
  • DB_PATH (default chat-log.db) Database path for SQLite database
  • WS_URL (default ws://localhost:3000/chat) Websocket URL if you are running it behind some proxy
  • WSS_URL (default wss://localhost:3000/chat) Websocket secure URL if you are running it behind some proxy

You can read about .env file here


  • Basic GIF support
  • Basic nick support
  • Channel (join/leave/list-members) support
  • Markdown support
  • Message history on group join


  • Refactor frontend using hyperapp
  • Scrollable history
  • Unit tests
  • Introduce admin panel with:
    • Reserved alias authorization
    • IP limiting/banning
    • Fixed alias with passwords