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Reliable Discord-client IRC Daemon (rdircd)


rdircd is a daemon that allows using a personal Discord account through an IRC client.

It translates all private chats and public channels/threads on "discord servers" into channels on an IRC server that it creates and that you can connect to using regular IRC client, instead of a browser or electron app.

"reliable" is in the name because one of the initial goals was to make it confirm message delivery and notify about any issues in that regard, which was somewhat lacking in other similar clients at the time.

There's an IRC channel to talk about the thing - join #rdircd at
IRC URL: ircs:// (github refuses to make ircs:// links)

See also Links section below for rarely-updated list of other alternative clients.

Repository URLs:

Last one has git-notes with todo list and such at the default ref for those.


While I wouldn't call this app a "bot" or "automating standard user accounts" - intent here is not to post any automated messages or scrape anything - pretty sure Discord staff considers all third-party clients to be "bots", and requires them to use special second-class API (see Bot vs User Accounts section in API docs), where every account has to be separately approved by admins on every connected discord server/guild, making it effectively unusable for a random non-admin user.

This app does not present itself as a "bot" and does not use bot-specific endpoints, so using it can result in account termination if discovered.

See also More info on third-party client blocking section below.

You have been warned! :)


  • Reliable outgoing message ordering and delivery, with explicit notifications for detected issues of any kind.

  • Support for both private and public channels, channel ordering, threads, forums, except for creating any new ones of these.

  • Per-server and global catch-all channels to track general activity.

  • Limited translation for using discord user mentions in sent messages, edits and deletions.

  • Configurable local name aliases/renames, outgoing message blocks/replacements, regexp-filtering for received messages.

  • Support for limited runtime reconfiguration via #rdircd.control channel.

  • Simple and consistent discord to irc guild/channel/user name translation.

    None of these will change after reconnection, channel or server reshuffling, etc - translation is mostly deterministic and does not depend on other names.

  • Translation for discord mentions, replies, attachments, stickers and emojis in incoming msgs, other events, basic annotations for some embedded links.

  • Easily accessible backlog via /topic (/t) commands in any channel, e.g. "/t log 2h" to show last 2 hours of backlog or "/t log 2019-01-08" to dump backlog from that point on to the present, fetching in multiple batches if necessary.

  • Messages sent through other means (e.g. browser) will be relayed to irc too, maybe coming from a diff nick though, if irc name doesn't match discord-to-irc nick translation.

  • Full unicode support/use everywhere.

  • IRC protocol is implemented from IRCv3 docs, but doesn't use any non-RFC stuff, so should be compatible with any old clients. Optional TLS wrapping.

  • Extensive protocol and debug logging options, some accessible at runtime via #rdircd.debug channel.

  • Single python3 script that only requires aiohttp module, trivial to run or deploy anywhere.

  • Runs in relatively stable ~40M memory footprint on amd64, which is probably more than e.g. bitlbee-discord, but better than those leaky browser tabs.

  • Easy to tweak and debug without rebuilds, gdb, rust and such.


  • Only user mentions sent from IRC are translated into discord tags (if enabled and with some quirks, see below) - not channels, roles, stickers, components or emojis.

  • No support for sending attachments or embeds of any kind - use WebUI for that, not IRC.

    Discord automatically annotates links though, so posting media is as simple as that.

  • No discord-specific actions beyond all kinds of reading and sending messages to existing channels are supported - i.e. no creating accounts or channels on discord, managing roles, invites, bans, timeouts, etc - use WebUI, Harmony or proper discord bots.

  • Creating new private chats and channel/forum threads is not supported.

    For private chats, it might be even dangerous to support - see More info on third-party client blocking section below for details.

  • Does not track user presence (online, offline, afk, playing game, etc) at all.

  • Does not emit user joins/parts events and handles irc /names in a very simple way, only listing nicks who used the channel since app startup and within irc-names-timeout (1 day by default).

  • Completely ignores all non-text-chat stuff in general (e.g. voice, user profiles, games library, store, friend lists, etc).

  • Discord tracks "read_state" server-side, which is not used here in any way - triggering history replay is only done manually (/t commands in chans), so can sometimes be easy to miss on quiet reconnects.

  • Does not support discord multifactor authentication mode, but manual-token auth can probably work around that - see note on captchas below.

  • Slash commands (for bots) are not supported in any special way, but you can probably still send them, if IRC client will pass these through.

  • Not the most user-friendly thing, though probably same as IRC itself.

  • I only run it on Linux, so it's unlikely to "just work" on OSX/Windows, but idk.

  • Custom ad-hoc implementation of both discord and irc, not benefitting from any kind of exposure and testing on pypi and such wrt compatibility, bugs and corner-cases.

  • Seem to be against Discord guidelines to use it - see WARNING section above for more details.




Simpliest way might be to use package for/from your linux distribution, if it is available.

Currently known distro packages (as of 2020-05-17):

There's also a Dockerfile and docker-compose.yml for running this in a docker/podman or some other OCI-compatible containerized environment.

Should be easy to install one script and its few dependencies manually as well, as described in the rest of this section below.

On debian/ubuntu, installing dependencies can be done with this one command:

# apt install --no-install-recommends python3-minimal python3-aiohttp

Other linux distros likely have similar packages as well, and I'd recommend trying to use these as a first option, so that they get updates and to avoid extra local maintenance burden, and only fallback to installing module(s) via "pip" if that fails.

On any arbitrary distro with python (python3) installed, using pip/venv to install aiohttp module (and its deps) to unprivileged "rdircd" user's home dir might work (which is also used to run rdircd in the next example below), but ignore this if you've already installed it via OS package manager or such:

root # useradd -m rdircd
root # su - rdircd

## Option 1: use venv to install dependencies into "_venv" dir

rdircd % python3 -m venv _venv
rdircd % ./_venv/bin/pip install aiohttp

## Option 2: install pip (if missing) and use it directly

rdircd % python3 -m ensurepip --user
rdircd % python3 -m pip install --user aiohttp

After requirements above are installed, script itself can be fetched from this repository and run like this:

## Ignore "useradd" if you've already created a user when running "pip" above
root # useradd -m rdircd
root # su - rdircd

## If using "venv" install example above - load its env vars
# Or alternatively run script via "./_venv/bin/python rdircd ..." command line
rdircd % source ./_venv/bin/activate

rdircd % curl > rdircd
rdircd % chmod +x rdircd

rdircd % ./rdircd --help test if it runs...

rdircd % ./rdircd --conf-dump-defaults
 ...for a full list of all supported options with some comments...
rdircd % nano rdircd.ini
 ...see below for configuration file info/example...

rdircd % ./rdircd --debug -c rdircd.ini
 ...drop --debug and use init system for a regular daemon...

For setting up daemon/script to run on OS boot, rdircd.service systemd unit file can be used in most Linux environments (edit ExecStart= options and paths there), or otherwise probably via init.d script, or maybe in "screen" session as a last resort ad-hoc option. Make sure it runs as e.g. "rdircd" user created in snippet above, not as root.

Setup and actual usage

Create configuration file with discord and ircd auth credentials in ~/.rdircd.ini (see all --conf* opts wrt these):

password = hunter2

email =
password = discord-password

Note: IRC password can be omitted, but make sure to firewall that port from everything in the system then (or maybe do it anyway).

If you set password though, maybe do not use IRC password= option like above, and use password-hash= and -H/--conf-pw-scrypt to generate it instead. Either way, make sure to use that password when configuring connection to this server in the IRC client as well.

Start rdircd daemon: ./rdircd --debug

Connect IRC client to "localhost:6667" - default listen/bind host and port.

(see ./rdircd --conf-dump-defaults or corresponding CLI -i/--irc-bind / -s/--irc-tls-pem-file options for binding on different host/port and TLS socket wrapping, for non-localhost connections)

Run /list to see channels for all joined discord servers/guilds:

Channel           Users Topic
-------           ----- -----
#rdircd.control       1  rdircd: control channel, type "help" for more info
#rdircd.debug         1  rdircd: debug logging channel, read-only
#rdircd.monitor       1  rdircd: read-only catch-all channel with messages from everywhere
#rdircd.leftover      1  rdircd: read-only channel for any discord messages in channels ...
#rdircd.monitor.jvpp  1  rdircd: read-only catch-all channel for discord [ Server-A ]
#rdircd.leftover.jvpp 1  rdircd: read-only msgs for non-joined channels of discord [ Server-A ]
...     1  me: private chat - SomeUser   3  me: private chat - some-other-user, another-user, user3
#jvpp.announcements   1  Server-A: Please keep this channel unmuted            1  Server-A:
#jvpp.rules           1  Server-A:
#jvpp.welcome         1  Server-A: Mute unless you like notification spam
#axsd.intro           1  Server-B: Server info and welcomes.
#axsd.offtopic        1  Server-B: Anything goes. Civility is expected.

Notes on information here:

  • Short base64 channel prefix is a persistent id of the discord guild that it belongs to.
  • Full guild name (e.g. "Server-A") is used as a prefix for every channel topic.
  • "#me." is a prefix of discord @me guild, where all private channels are.
  • #rdircd.control and #rdircd.debug are special channels, send "help" there for more info.
  • There's #rdircd.monitor catch-all channel and guild-specific ones (see notes below).
  • #rdircd.leftover channels are like #rdircd.monitor, but skip msgs from already-joined channels.
  • Public IRC channel users are transient and only listed/counted if they sent something to a channel, as discord has no concept of "joining" for publics.
  • Everything in that /list and everything used to talk through this app are IRC channels (with #, that you /join), it doesn't use /q or /msg pretty much anywhere.
  • Channels always list at least 1 user, to avoid clients hiding ones with 0.

/j #axsd.offtopic (/join) as you'd do with regular IRC to start shitposting there. Channels joins/parts in IRC side do not affect discord in any way.

Run /topic (often works as /t) irc-command to show more info on channel-specific commands, e.g. /t log to fetch and replay backlog starting from last event before last rdircd shutdown, /t log list to list all activity timestamps that rdircd tracks, or /t log 2h to fetch/dump channel log for/from specific time(stamp/span) (iso8601 or a simple relative format).

Daemon control/config commands are available in #rdircd.control channel, #rdircd.debug chan can be used to tweak various logging and inspect daemon state and protocols more closely, send "help" there to list available commands.

For broad outline of various supported configuration settings, see rdircd.defaults.ini file (output of ./rdircd --conf-dump-defaults), and more on particular uses of those below.

Misc Feature Info

Notes on various optional and less obvious features are collected here.
See "Usage" section for a more general information.

Multiple Config Files

Multiple ini files can be specified with -c option, overriding each other in sequence.

Last one will be updated wrt [state], token= and similar runtime stuff, as well as any values set via #rdircd.control channel commands, so it can be useful to specify persistent config with auth and options, and separate (initially empty) one for such dynamic state.

E.g. ./rdircd -c config.ini -c state.ini will do that.
--conf-dump can be added to print resulting ini assembled from all these.
--conf-dump-defaults flag can be used to list all options and their defaults.

Frequent state timestamp updates are done in-place (small fixed-length values), but checking ctime before writes, so should be safe to edit any of these files manually anytime anyway.

Sending SIGHUP to the script or "reload" command in control-channel should load and apply values from all config files in the same order. Note that such operation won't reset any values missing in files to their defaults, only apply stuff explicitly set there on top of the current config.

Channel Commands

In special channels like #rdircd.control and #rdircd.debug: send "h" or "help".
All discord channels - send "/t" or "/topic".

#rdircd.monitor and #rdircd.leftover channels

#rdircd.monitor can be used to see activity from all connected servers - gets all messages, prefixed by the relevant irc channel name.

#rdircd.monitor.guild (where "guild" is a hash or alias, see above) is a similar catch-all channels for specific discord server/guild. can be useful, for example, to monitor any private chats and messages for discord account (see also Auto-joining channels example).

#rdircd.leftover and similar #rdircd.leftover.guild channels are like monitor channels, but skip messages from any channels that IRC client have JOIN-ed, including e.g. /join hiding that "game-x" discord msgs from global catch-all #rdircd.leftover, but not counting #rdircd.monitor channels (i.e. joining them doesn't affect "leftover" ones in any way).

Configuration file also has [unmonitor] section for an optional list of channel-names to ignore in monitor/leftover channels, for example:

# All filters are applied to channel names and are case-insensitive
Ignore this particular "bot-commands" channel =
skip forum threads in "game-X" guild =*
"wordle" threads in any guild (and chans ending in .wordle) = glob:*.wordle
Don't show threads in any forum-like channels = re:^[^.]+\.(forum|discuss)\.=.*

Keys (as in part before "=") in such config section are ignored, and can be anything, e.g. comments explaining the patterns (like in example above), while values are either exact channel names (with discord prefix, optional #-prefix), or a "glob:"/"re:"-prefixed glob / regexp pattern (shell-like globs or python regexps), written as <some-key/comment> = glob:<wildcard-pattern> or <some-key/comment> = re:<regexp-pattern> lines - see examples just above.

Channel names matched by those filters will be dropped from monitor-channels, so this can be used to define a list of spammy things that you don't care about and don't want to see even there.

"unmonitor" (or "um") command in #rdircd.control can add/remove such filters on-the-fly anytime.

Messages in monitor-channels are limited to specific length/lines, to avoid excessive flooding by long and/or multi-line msgs. "len-monitor" and "len-monitor-lines" parameters under "[irc]" config section can be used to control these limits, see "./rdircd --conf-dump-defaults" output for their default values. There are also options to change name format of monitor channels.

People's names on discord

On IRC, everyone has one name, but that's not the case with Discord, where each user can have following names:

  • login - discord "username", uniquely identifying every user.
  • display - "display name" set by the user in discord account settings, not unique.
  • nick - server and friend "nicknames", set in discord server settings, not always by you.

login is closest concept to IRC nicknames, as it's globally-unique, consistent, short, ascii-only, and can be used by setting name-preference-order = login option in [discord] section (not the default).

Official discord clients display other names first, which is why name-preference-order option defaults to nick display login value, which uses discord/friend-specific nicknames first, if any, falling back to free-form name that user set in account settings, and their login name otherwise.

Other things in fancy user-set nicknames that IRC doesn't allow also get replaced with common unicode characters, spaces with "·" middle-dots for example, or <> common irc-nick brackets with ◄► unicode arrows. Long Discord nicks are truncated.

There are no IRC notifications about users changing their discord-specific display/nick-names at the moment, and they don't have to be unique, which might make it hard to tell who-is-who, if they keep changing nicks for whatever reason.

All this is configurable via ini file settings (or in #rdircd.control channel), so if it gets too silly and maddening, set name-preference-order = login to use unique consistent IRC-friendly nicks for everyone instead.

IRC /who command or /topic info can help translating between these names, for example /t info john1234 can be used to print info for that name/login in the channel buffer, which should include all users with partial match of that name on that specific discord, while /who command searches all joined discords.

Local Name Aliases

(more like "renames" than "aliases", as old names don't continue to work for these)

Can be defined in the config file to replace hash-based discord prefixes or server channel names with something more readable/memorable or meaningful to you:

guild.jvpp = game-x
guild.sn3y = log-bot
guild.sn3y.chan-fmt = logs/{name}.log
chan.some-long-and-weird-name = weird
chan.@710035588048224269 = general-subs

This should:

  • Turn e.g. into - lettersoup guild-id to more meaningful prefix. This will apply to all channels in that discord - "guild" renames.

  • Change format for channel names of "sn3y" discord from something like #sn3y.debug to #logs/debug.log - changing of channel name format.

    Format template uses python str.format syntax with "name" (channel name) and "prefix" (guild prefix - will be "log-bot" in this example) values. Default format is {prefix}.{name}.

    This format option does not affect monitor/leftover channel name(s) (e.g. #rdircd.monitor.log-bot or - see "chan-monitor-guild" and "chan-leftover-guild" options under [irc] section for changing that.

  • Rename that long channel to have a shorter name (retaining guild prefix) - "chan" renames.

    Note that this affects all guilds where such channel name exists, and source name should be in irc format, same as in /list, and is rfc1459-casemapped (same as on irc).

  • Rename channel with id=710035588048224269 to "memes" (retaining guild prefix) - "chan" renames using @channel-id spec.

    That long discord channel identifier (also called "snowflake") can be found by typing /t info topic-command in corresponding irc channel, and can be used to refer to that specific channel, i.e. renaming this one #general on this one discord server instead of renaming all #general channels everywhere.

    This is especially useful when two channels have same exact name within same discord, and normally will be assigned .<id-hash> non-descriptive suffixes.

Currently only listed types of renaming are implemented, for discord prefixes and channels, but there are also options under [irc] section to set names for system/monitor/leftover and private-chat channels - "chan-sys", "chan-private", "chan-monitor" and such (see "./rdircd --conf-dump-defaults" output).

Set chan-monitor-guild = {prefix} there for example, to have #game-x channel be catch-all for all messages in that discord, without default long #rdircd.monitor.* prefix.

Private messages and friends

Discord private messages create and get posted to channels in "me" server/guild, same as they do in discord webui, and can be interacted with in the same way as any other guild/channels (list, join/part, send/recv msgs, etc).

Join (or #rdircd.monitor, see above) to get all new msgs/chats there, as well as relationship change notifications (friend requests/adds/removes) as notices.

Accepting friend requests and adding/removing these can be done via regular discord webui and is not implemented in this client in any special way.

See also Auto-joining channels section below for an easy way to pop-up new private chats in the IRC client via invites.

Discord channel threads / forums

"Threads" is a Discord feature, allowing non-admin users to create transient ad-hoc sub-channels anytime for specific topic, which are auto-removed ("archived") after a relatively-short inactivity timeout (like a day).

Discord "forum" channels are basically channels, where people can only create and talk in theads, with listing of those replacing default channel chatter.

All non-archived threads should be shown in rdircd channel list as a regular IRC channels, with names like #gg.general.=vot5.lets·discuss·stuff, extending parent chan name with thread id tag ("=vot5" in this example) and a possibly-truncated thread name (see "thread-chan-name-len" config option).

There are several options for how to see and interact with threads from the parent channel (mostly in [discord] section, see --conf-dump-defaults output):

thread-chan-name-len = 30

thread-id-prefix = =
thread-msgs-in-parent-chan = yes
thread-msgs-in-parent-chan-monitor = no
thread-msgs-in-parent-chan-full-prefix = no
thread-redirect-prefixed-responses-from-parent-chan = yes

But even with all these disabled, a simple notice should be sent to the channel when threads are started, so that one won't miss them entirely.

There's no support for creating new threads from IRC, unarchiving old ones or otherwise managing these, and joining thread channel in IRC doesn't actually "join thread" in Discord UI (pining it under channel name), but posting anything there should do that automatically.

Auto-joining channels

"chan-auto-join-re" setting in "[irc]" section allows to specify regexp to match channel name (without # prefix) to auto-join when any messages appear in them.

For example, to auto-join any #me.* channels (direct messages), following regular expression value (python "re" syntax) can be used:

chan-auto-join-re = ^me\.
Or to have irc client auto-join all channels, use chan-auto-join-re = .
Empty value for this option (default) will match nothing.

This can be used as an alternative to tracking new stuff via #rdircd.monitor/leftover channels.

This regexp can be tweaked at runtime using "set" command in #rdircd.control channel, same as any other values, to e.g. temporary enable/disable this feature for specific discords or channels.

Discord user mentions

These are @username tags on discord, designed to alert someone to direct-ish message.

With default config, when you see e.g. <Galaxy🌌·Brain> Hi! and want to reply highlighting them, sending Hey @galaxy and welcome should probably work. Can also use their full irc nick, to be sure.

How it works: if rdircd matches msg-mention-re regexp conf-option against something in a message being sent (e.g. @galaxy @-mention above), that'd be treated as a "mention", which is either uniquely-matched and translated into a discord mention in the sent message, or returns an error notice (with nicks that match that mention ambiguously, if any).

Default value for it should look like this:

msg-mention-re = (?:^|\s)(@)(?P<nick>[^\s,;@+]+)

Which would match any word-like space- or punctuation-separated @nick mention in sent lines.

Regexp (python "re" syntax) must have named "nick" group with nick/username lookup string, which will be replaced by discord mention tag, and all other capturing groups (i.e. ones without ?:) will be stripped (like @ in above regexp).

Default regexp above should still allow to send e.g. \@something to appear non-highlighted in webapp (and without \ due to markdown), as it won't be matched by (?:^|\s) part due to that backslash prefix.

As another example, to have classic irc-style highlights at the start of the line, regexp like this one can be used:

msg-mention-re = ^(?P<nick>[^\s,;@+]+)(: )

And should translate e.g. mk-fg: some msg into @mk-fg some msg (with @-part being mention-tag). Trailing space is included in regexp there to avoid matching URL links.

To ID specific discord user, "nick" group will be used in following ways:

  • Case-insensitive match against all recent guild-related irc names (message authors, reactions, private channel users, etc). user-mention-cache-timeout config option controls "recent" timeout.
  • Lookup unique name completion by prefix, same as discord does in webui for auto-completion after @ is typed.
  • If no cached or unique match found - error notice will be issued and message not sent.

Such strict behavior is designed to avoid any unintentional mis-translations, and highlighting wrong person should generally only be possible via misspelling.

Related msg-mention-re-ignore option (regexp to match against full capture of pattern above) can also be used to skip some non-mention things from being treated as such, that'd otherwise be picked-up by first regexp, stripping capturing groups from them too, which can be used to e.g. undo escaping.

Set msg-mention-re to an empty value to disable all this translation entirely.

Note that discord user lists can be quite massive (10K+ users), are not split by channel, and are not intended to be pre-fetched by the client, only queried for completions or visible parts, which doesn't map well to irc, hence all this magic.

Quick edits/deletes for just-sent messages

Similar to Discord user mentions above, there's a special regexp-option that matches commands to be interpreted as edit or removal of last message sent to this channel.

Default regexps look something like this (check --conf-dump-defaults jic):

msg-edit-re = ^\s*s(?P<sep>[/|:])(?P<aaa>.*)(?P=sep)(?P<bbb>.*)(?P=sep)\s*$
msg-del-re = ^\s*//del\s*$

They match sed/perl/irc-like follow-up amendment lines like s/spam/ham/, and //del line, which will never be sent to discord, only used as internal commands.

(s|/some/path|/other/path| and s:cat /dev/input/mouse0 | hexdump:hexdump </dev/input/mouse0: syntaxes are also allowed by default edit-regexp, just like with sed, for easier handling of common stuff like paths, which can have these chars in them)

Both commands matched by these operate on last message sent by rdircd to the same discord channel, with //del simply removing that last message, and edit running python re.sub() (PCRE-like) regexp-replacement function on it.

"msg-edit-re" regexp option value matching sed-like command must have named "aaa" and "bbb" groups in it, which will be used as pattern and replacement args to re.sub(), respectively.

If edit doesn't seem to alter last-sent message in any way, it gets discarded, and also generates IRC notice response, to signal that replacement didn't work.

Successful edit/deletion should also be signaled as usual by discord, with "[edit]" or such prefix (configurable under "[irc]" section).

Any older-than-last messages can be edited through Discord WebUI - this client only tracks last one for easy quick follow-up oops-fixes, nothing more than that.

@silent messages and other such flags

Somewhat similar to quick edits/deletes above, "msg-flag-silent-re" option is there to match/remove "@silent" prefix in messages (by default), which disables sending discord push notifications for it, same as with the official client.

That and similar message flags on incoming messages are not represented in any way, as they don't seem to be relevant for an irc client anyway.

Custom replacements/blocks in outgoing messages

Config can have a [send-replacements] section to block or regexp-replace parts of messages sent (by you) from IRC on per-discord basis.

This can be used to add discord-specific tags, unicode shorthands, emojis, stickers, block/replace specific links or maybe even words/language before proxying msg to discord.

Here's how it can look in the ini file(s):


*.unicode-smiley = (^| ):\)( |$) -> \1😀\2
*.twitter-to-nitter = ^(https?://)((mobile|www)\.)?twitter\.com(/.*)?$ -> \\4

guildx.never-mention-rust! = (?i)\brust\b -> <block!>
guildx.localize-color-word = \bcolor(ed|i\S+)\b -> colour\1

Where each key has the form of discord-prefix> "." comment, with a special * prefix to apply rule to all discords, while values are regexp " -> " <replacement_or_action with one special <block!> action-value to block sending msg with error-notice on regexp match. "comment" part of the key can be any arbitrary unique string.

So when sending e.g. test :) msg on IRC, discord will get test 😀.

Same as with other regex-using options, regexps have python "re" module syntax, applied via re.sub() function, using raw strings from config value as-is, without any special escapes or interpretations.

Replacements are applied in the same order as specified, but with * keys preceding per-discord ones, and before processing to add discord tags, so anything like @username that can normally be typed in messages can be used there too.

#rdircd.control channel has "repl" command to edit these rules on-the-fly.

Custom filtering for all received messages

If you join #rdircd.monitor channel, see - for example - a message like this:

<helper-bot> #pub.welcomes :: Welcome!

...and think "don't want to see messages like that again!" - config files' "[recv-regexp-filters]" section or corresponding "rx" command in #rdircd.control channel can help.

Depending on what "messages like that" means, here are some ways to filter those out:

discard msgs from this bot = ^<helper-bot>
ignore all msgs in that channel of that discord = ^\S+ #pub\.welcomes ::
drop all msgs from "pub" discord = ^\S+ #pub\.
no messages from #welcomes channels of any discord pls = ^\S+ #\w+\.welcomes ::
never see "Welcome!" message-text again!!! = ^\S+ #\S+ :: Welcome!$
some combination of the above = (?i)^<helper-bot> #\w+\.welcomes ::

(tweak e.g. last example on for more hands-on understanding)

Lines in that section have the usual <key> = <regexp> form, where <key> part can be anything (e.g. comment to explain regexp, like in examples above), and <regexp> value is a regular expression to match against the message in <user> :: message text format like that helper-bot msg presented above, and same as can be seen in monitor-channels.

Any message received from discord will be matched against all regexps in order, stopping and discarding the message everywhere on first (any) match. So it might be a good idea to write as precise patterns as possible, to avoid them matching anything else and dropping unrelated messages accidentally.

Same as with some other conf options, basic knowledge of regular expressions might be needed to use such filters - here's a link to nice tutorial on those (though there are 100s of such tutorials on the web).

Particular regexps here use PCRE-like python re syntax, with re.DOTALL flag set (. matches newlines in multiline messages). I'd also recommend commonly adding (?i) case-insensitive-match flag, as IRC nicks and channel names ignore character case and can be displayed in misleading/inprecise ways in the client.

More random examples of recv-regexp-filters, incl. more advanced CNF weirdness:

disregard wordle thread there = ^\S+ #pub\.general\.=w8mk\.wordle ::
ignore "wordle" threads everywhere = ^\S+ #\S+\.=\w{4}\.wordle ::
activity-level bots are annoying = (?i) advanced to level \d+[ !]

;; Advanced stuff: connect multiple regexps via CNF logic (Conjunctive Normal Form)
;; If key starts with "∧ " (conjunction symbol), it's AND'ed with previous regexp
;; ¬ (negation) in that prefix inverts the logic, so e.g. "∧¬ ..." is "and not ..."
;; Disjunction (∨) is the default behavior and doesn't need the (implied) prefix
;; Any complex logical expression can be converted to such CNF form -
;;  - use calculators like

Drop welcome msgs in welcome-chans = (?i)^\S+ #\w+\.\S*welcome\S* :: .*\bwelcome\b.*
∧ but only if they have an exclaimation mark in them somewhere = :: .*!
∧¬ and not from this specific "lut" discord-prefix = ^\S+ #lut\.

Most channels here are not relevant = ^\S+ #myc\.
∧¬ except these ones = ^\S+ #myc\.(announcements|changelog|forum)[. ]
∨ but skip github CI logs there = ^<github> #myc\.

Pretty much anything can be matched with clever regexps, so CNF-logic stuff like in last examples is seldom useful, but might still be simplier than expressing arbitrary ordering or negation in regexps.

Lookup Discord IDs

Mostly useful for debugging - /who command can resolve specified ID (e.g. channel_id from protocol logs) to a channel/user/guild info:

  • /who #123456 - find/describe channel with id=123456.
  • /who %123456 - server/guild id info.
  • /who @123456 - user id lookup.

All above ID values are unique across Discord service within their type.

  • /who @John·Mastodon - user IRC nick or name/login lookup.

    Queries all joined discords for that name, and can return multiple results for same or similar non-unique names. Can be useful to check exact nick/display/login names corresponding to an IRC name, or other user info.

Results of all these commands should be dumped into a server buffer (not into channels), regardless of where they were issued from.

Channel name disambiguation

Discord name translation is "mostly" deterministic due to one exception - channels with same (casemapped) IRC name within same server/guild, which discord allows for.

When there is a conflict, chan names are suffixed by .<id-hash> (see chan-dedup-* config options), to allow using both channels through IRC. Renaming conflicting channels on Discord will rename IRC chans to remove no-longer-necessary suffixes as well. Such renames affect thread-channels too.

Note that when channels are renamed (including name conflicts), IRC notice lines about it are always issued in affected channels, and any relevant monitor/leftover channels, topic should be changed to reflect that old-name channel is no longer useful, and posting msgs there should emit immediate warnings about it.

WARNING :: Session/auth rejected unexpectedly - disabling connection

This should happen by default when discord gateway responds with op=9 "invalid session" event to an authentication attempt, not reconnecting after that, as presumably it'd fail in the same way anyway.

This would normally mean that authentication with the discord server has failed, but on (quite frequent) discord service disruptions, gateway also returns that opcode for all logins after some timeout, presumably using it as a fallback when failing to access auth backends.

This can get annoying fast, as one'd have to manually force reconnection when discord itself is in limbo.

If auth data is supposed to be correct, can be fixed by setting ws-reconnect-on-auth-fail = yes option in [discord] ini section, which will force client to keep reconnecting regardless.

Captcha-solving is required to login for some reason

Don't know why or when it happens, but was reported by some users in this and other similar discord clients - see issue-1 here and links in there.

Fix is same as with bitlbee-discord - login via browser, maybe from the same IP Address, and put auth token extracted from this browser into configuration ini file's [auth] section, e.g.:

token = ...

See "Usage" in README of bitlbee-discord (scroll down on that link) for how to extract this token from various browsers.

Note that you can use multiple configuration files (see -c/--conf option) to specify this token via separate file, generated in whatever fashion, in addition to main one.

Extra token-manual = yes option can be added in that section to never try to request, update or refresh this token automatically in any way. Dunno if this option is needed, or if such captcha-login is only required once, and later automatic token requests/updates might work (maybe leave note on issue-1 if you'll test it one way or the other).

Never encountered this problem myself so far.

Almost every message I see are reacts by people :(

There is an ini file option for this:

; disable-reactions: disables all "--- reacts" messages
disable-reactions = no

Flip that to "yes" in config to disable all those, or alternatively they can be blocked in a more fine-grained way in the IRC client, or regexp filters in #rdircd.control channel.

There's a bunch of other similar tweaks that can be useful in there too.

Debugging anything strange, unknown or unexpected

Most likely source of that should be missing handling for some new/uncommon discord events, or maybe a bug in the code somewhere - either can be reported as a github issue.

To get more information on the issue (so that report won't be unhelpful "don't work"), following things can be monitored and/or enabled:

  • Standard error stream (stderr) of the script when problem occurs and whether it crashes (unlikely).

    If rdircd is run as a systemd service, e.g. journalctl -au rdircd should normally capture its output, but there are other ways to enable logs listed just below.

    rdircd shouldn't normally ever crash, as it handles any errors within its own loop and just reconnects or whatever, but obviously bugs happen - there gotta be some python traceback printed to stderr on these.

  • Find a way to reproduce the issue.

    When something weird happens, it's most useful to check whether it can be traced to some specific discord and event there (e.g. some new feature being used), or something specific you did at the time, and check whether same thing happens again on repeating that.

    That's very useful to know, as then problem can be reproduced with any kind of extra logging and debugging aids enabled until it's perfectly clear what's going on there, or maybe how to avoid it, if fixing is not an option atm.

  • Join #rdircd.debug channel - any warnings/errors should be logged there.

    Send "help" (or "h") msg to it to see a bunch of extra controls over it.

    Sending "level debug" (or "d") there for example will enable verbose debug logging to that channel (can be disabled again via "level warning"/"w"), but it might be easier to use log files for that - see below.

  • Enable debug and protocol logs to files.

    In any loaded rdircd ini file(s), add [debug] section with options like these:

    log-file = /var/log/rdircd/debug.log
    proto-log-shared = no
    proto-log-file = /var/log/rdircd/proto.log

    /var/log/rdircd dir in this example should be created and accessible only to running rdircd and ideally nothing else, e.g. creating it as: install -m700 -o rdircd -d /var/log/rdircd

    Such opts should enable those auto-rotating log files, which will have a lot of very information about everything happening with the daemon at any time.

    Both of these can also be enabled/controlled and/or queried at runtime from #rdircd.debug chan.

    proto-log-shared option (defaults to "yes") and be used to send discord/irc protocol logging to same log-file or #rdircd.debug channel, but it might be easier to have two separate logs, as in example above.

    Log file size and rotation count can be set via log-file-size, log-file-count, proto-log-file-size, proto-log-file-count options - run rdircd --conf-dump-defaults to see all those and their default values (rdircd.defaults.ini has some recent-ish copy too).

    When running with protocol logs repeatedly or over long time, proto-log-filter-ws option can be handy to filter-out spammy uninteresting events there, like GUILD_MEMBER_LIST_UPDATE.

    Note that these files will contain all sorts of sensitive information - from auth data to all chats and contacts - so should probably not be posted or shared freely on the internet in-full or as-is, but can definitely help to identify/fix any problems.

  • Running /version IRC-command should at least print something like host 351 mk-fg 22.05.1 rdircd rdircd discord-to-irc bridge on the first line, which is definitely useful to report, if it's not the latest one in this git repo.

Generally if an issue is easy to reproduce (e.g. "I send message X anywhere and get this error"), it can be reported without digging much deeper for more info, as presumably anyone debugging it should be able to do that as well, but maybe info above can still be helpful to identify any of the more non-obvious problems, or maybe give an idea where to look at for fixing or working around these.

Random tips and tricks

Some cool configurations mentioned in #rdircd on IRC and such.

Simplier DM and monitor channel names

Normally rdircd uses these long strange "#rdircd.monitor" channel name templates, as well as unnecessary "" prefixes, instead of this:


Use these lines in any loaded ini config file to make it work like that:

chan-monitor = rdircd
chan-monitor-guild = {prefix}
chan-private = {names}

[renames] = DMs = @{name}

What these options do, in the same order: rename "#rdircd.monitor" to "#rdircd", set names for all discord-specific monitor channels to just "{prefix}" (e.g. "#dm" or "#minecraft"), set private-chat channels to use people's name(s) without "chat." prefix, rename default "me" guild (private chats) to "DMs", use simplier @ + name format for any channels there.

Defaults are that way to try to be more explicit and descriptive, but once you know what all these channels are for, can easily rename them to something shorter/nicer and more convenient for yourself.

Change message edit/embed/attachment prefixes to shorter emojis

When message is edited, you normally get something like [edit] new msg text, but it can be ✍️ new msg text or 📝 new msg text instead:

prefix-edit = 📝 \
prefix-embed = 📎.{} \
prefix-attachment = 🖼️ \
prefix-uis = ⚙️ \
prefix-call = 📞 \

Note the "space and backslash" at the end in these options, which is to preserve trailing spaces in values, from both text editors that strip those and configuration file parser (which ignores any leading/trailing spaces, unless punctuated by backslash). prefix-embed option value needs {} placeholder for where to put its short id/tag.

Alternatively, set-command like set irc-prefix-edit '✍️ ' can be used in #rdircd.control to configure and tweak this stuff on-the-fly (or -s/--save into config too).


Other third-party Discord clients that I'm aware of atm (2023-05-23), in no particular order.

Other lists of clients, maybe better-maintained than this one:

IRC-translation clients (like this one):

Graphical UI (GUI) clients:

  • Pidgin + purple-discord - popular cross-platform IM client
  • gtkcord4 - Go/GTK4 client, which also works on linuxy phones
  • Ripcord - cross-platform proprietary shareware client, also supports slack

Terminal UI (TUI, ncurses) clients:

  • discordo - relatively new but popular client written in Go.
  • 6cord - Go client, seem to be deprecated atm in favor of gtkcord
  • Cordless - fairly mature Go TUI client, abandoned after discord blocking dev's acc
  • weechat-discord - Weechat terminal IRC client plugin to connect to Discord

Web UI (in-browser) clients/mods (often further extended by plugins):

  • BetterDiscord and its BandagedBD fork - alternative in-browser web interface/client
  • Powercord - privacy and client extension oriented mod/framework
  • Replugged - "big and slow"
  • Vencord - "cutest Discord client mod"
  • Shelter - stability and maintainability focus
  • ... many-many more of these around, though note that browser client mods are explicitly against ToS, not just guidelines.

Command-line clients:

  • Harmony - tool for discord account manipulation - e.g. create, change settings, accept invites, etc

Not an exhaustive list by any means, they seem to be popping-up and closing down pretty fast, and I don't really keep track of those in any meaningful way.

If you know of other maintained clients (or better yet a list of those), maybe drop a link into irc channel, repo issues or wherever - would be nice to add it here, for anyone looking for alternatives.

More info on third-party client blocking

As mentioned in the "WARNING" section above, Bot vs User Accounts section in API docs seem to prohibit people using third-party clients, same as Discord Community Guidelines. Also maybe against their Discord Developer Terms of Service, but dunno if those apply if you're just using the alt-client.

I did ask discord staff for clarification on the matter, and got this response around Nov 2020:

Is third-party discord client that uses same API as webapp, that does not have any kind of meaningful automation beyond what official discord app has, will be considered a "self-bot" or "user-bot"?

I.e. are absolutely all third-party clients not using Bot API in violation of discord ToS, period?

Or does that "self-bot" or "user-bot" language applies only to a specific sub-class of clients that are intended to automate client/user behavior, beyond just allowing a person to connect and chat on discord normally?

Discord does not allow any form of third party client, and using a client like this can result in your account being disabled. Our API documentation explicitly states that a bot account is required to use our API: "Automating normal user accounts (generally called "self-bots") outside of the OAuth2/bot API is forbidden, and can result in an account termination if found."

Another thing you might want to keep in mind, is that apparently it's also considered to be responsibility of discord admins to enforce its Terms of Service, or - presumably - be at risk of whole guild/community being shut down.

Got clarification on this issue in the same email (Nov 2020):

Are discord server admins under obligation to not just follow discord Terms of Service themselves (obviously), but also enforce them within the server to the best of their knowledge?

I.e. if discord server admin knows that some user is in violation of the ToS, are they considered to be under obligation to either report them to discord staff or take action to remove (ban) them from the server?

Should failing to do so (i.e. not taking action on known ToS violation) result in discord server (and maybe admins' account) termination or some similar punitive action, according to current discord ToS or internal policies?

Server owners and admin are responsible for moderating their servers in accordance with our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. If content that violates our Terms or Guidelines is posted in your server, it is your responsibility to moderate it appropriately.

So unless something changes or I misread discord staff position, using this client can get your discord account terminated, and discord admins seem to have responsibility to ban/report its usage, if they are aware of it.

Few other datapoints and anecdotes on the subject:

  • Don't think Discord's "Terms of Service" document explicitly covers third-party client usage, but "Discord Community Guidelines" kinda does, if you consider this client to be "self-bot" or "user-bot" at least.

    Only thing that matters in practice is likely the actual staff and specific server admins' position and actions on this matter, as of course it's a private platform/communities and everything is up to their discretion.

  • Unrelated to this client, one person received following warning (2020-01-30) after being reported (by another user) for mentioning that they're using BetterDiscord (which is/was mostly just a custom css theme at the time, afaik):

  • In September 2021 there was a bunch of issues with people using different third-party clients being asked to reset their passwords daily due to "suspicious activity", raised here in issue-18 (check out other links there too), which seem to have gone away within a week.

    At least one person in that issue thread also reported being asked for phone account verification for roughly same reason about a week after that, so maybe "suspicious activity" triggering for 3p clients haven't really gone away.

  • Cordless client developer's acc apparently got blocked for ToS violation when initiating private chats. This client doesn't have such functionality, but maybe one should be more careful with private chats anyway, as that seem to be a major spam vector, so is more likely to be heavily-monitored, I think.

  • In the #rdircd IRC channel, a person mentioned that their discord account got some anti-spam mechanism enabled on it, disallowing to log-in without providing a phone number and SMS challenge (and services like Google Voice don't work there), immediately after they've initiated private chat with someone in Ripcord client.

    "I contacted support at the time and they just responded that they can't undo the phone number requirement once it has been engaged"

    It also seems like Ripcord currently might be trying to mimic official client way more closely than rdircd script here does (where latter even sends "client"/"User-Agent" fields as "rdircd" and appears that way under Devices in User Settings webui), and such similarity might look like Terms of Service violation to Discord (modifying official client), instead of Community Guidelines violation (third-party client), but obviously it's just a guess on my part as to whether it matters.

There are also some HN comments clarifying Discord staff position in a thread here, though none of the above should probably be taken as definitive, since third-party and even support staff's responses can be wrong/misleading or outdated, and such treatment can likely change anytime and in any direction, without explicit indication.

API and Implementation Notes

Note: only using this API here, only going by public info, can be wrong, and would appreciate any updates/suggestions/corrections via open issues.

Last updated: 2023-05-23

  • Discord API docs don't seem to cover "full-featured client" use-case, because such use of its API is explicitly not supported, against their rules/guidelines, and presumably has repercussions if discovered.

    See WARNING section above for more details.

  • Discord API protocol changes between version, which are documented on Change Log page of the API docs.

    Code has API number hardcoded as DiscordSession.api_ver, which has to be bumped there manually after updating it to handle new features as necessary.

  • Auth uses undocumented /api/auth/login endpoint for getting "token" value for email/password, which is not OAuth2 token and is usable for all other endpoints (e.g. POST URLs, Gateway, etc) without any prefix in HTTP Authorization header.

    Found it being used in other clients, and dunno if there's any other way to authorize non-bot on e.g. Gateway websocket - only documented auth is OAuth2, and it doesn't seem to allow that.

    Being apparently undocumented and available since the beginning, guess it might be heavily deprecated by now and go away at any point in the future.

  • There are some unofficial docs for officially-undocumented APIs and quirks:

  • Sent message delivery confirmation is done by matching unique "nonce" value in MESSAGE_CREATE event from gateway websocket with one sent out to REST API.

    All messages are sent out in strict sequence (via one queue), with synchronous waiting on confirmation, aborting whole queue if first one fails to be delivered, with notices for each failed/discarded msg.

    This is done to ensure that all messages either arrive in the same strict order they've been sent or not posted at all.

  • Fetching list of users for discord channel or even guild does not seem to be well-supported or intended by the API design.

    There are multiple opcodes that allow doing that in a limited way, none of which work well for large discords (e.g. 10k+ users).

    request_guild_members (8) doesn't return any results, request_sync (12) doesn't work, request_sync_chan (14) can be used to request small slice of the list, but only one at a time (disconnects on concurrent requests).

    Latter is intended to only keep part of userlist that is visible synced in the client, doesn't support proper paging through whole thing, and only gets updates for last-requested part with indexes in it - basically "I'm in this guild/channel, what should I see?" request from the client.

  • Some events on gateway websocket are undocumented, maybe due to lag of docs behind implementation, or due to them not being deemed that useful to bots, idk.

  • Discord allows channels (and probably users) to have exactly same name, which is not a big deal for users (due to one-way translation), but have to be disambiguated for channels.

  • Gateway websocket can use zlib compression, which makes inspecting protocol in browser devtools a bit inconvenient. helper script in this repo can be used to decompress/decode websocket messages saved from chromium-engine browser devtools (pass -h/--help option for info on how to do it).

  • Adding support for initiating private chats might be a bad idea, as Cordless dev apparently got banned for that, as these seem to be main spam vector, so more monitoring and anomaly detection is likely done there, leading to higher risk for users.


Reliable personal discord-client to irc-server translation daemon








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