A little IRC bot that when asked nicely will tell you the names of the open cards in a list on a Trello board
Latest commit 81abbb7 Feb 4, 2015 @oisin Update LICENSE.txt



This is a simple IRC bot written using cinch. The motivation for writing this was so that people using the dublinjs IRC channel could address the bot to get a list of the current ideas for Javascript subject matter talks that are stored as cards in a Trello board.

This incarnation is generalized a little, and it can serve as a (simple) general purpose IRC bot that will communicate with Trello. Configuration of API key and secret, channel name and URLs are driven thru ENV.

All you need to access is your developer key, providing the board is public. Trellobot uses the Trello API Ruby wrapper for this purpose. Trellobot has the capability to add cards to lists on a Trello board.

Trellobot understands the following commands:

  1. help - Displays help.
  2. lists - List all available lists on the board.
  3. sync - Resyncs cache with the board.
  4. card add this is a card - creates a new card named: 'this is a card' on a list defined in the TRELLO_ADD_CARDS_LIST env variable or if it's not present on a list named To Do
  5. card comment this is a comment on card - creates the comment 'this is a comment on card ' on the card with short id equal to
  6. card move to Doing - moves the card with short id equal to to the list Doing
  7. card add member joe - assign joe to the card with short id equal to .
  8. cards joe - return all cards assigned to joe
  9. card view joe@email.com - sends an email to joe@email.com with the content of the card with short id equal to

Anything else it interprets as the name of a list on the target board that has been configured. If you send a private message containing quit, accompanied by a passphrase, then Trellobot will disconnect from the server (and exit). Depending on how you have it deployed, it may very well respawn at that point, for example if you run it as a Heroku dyno.

Environment Vars

Trellobot has quite a few env vars that is uses. Some of these are optional:

TRELLO_API_KEYYour Trello developer API key
TRELLO_API_SECRETYour Trello developer API secret
TRELLO_API_ACCESS_TOKEN_KEYYour Trello API access token key
TRELLO_BOARD_IDThe ID for your board
TRELLO_BOT_CHANNELThe channel that trellobot should join - form is #channel - don't forget quotes for shell protection!
TRELLO_BOT_SERVERThe server the trellobot should connect to, defaults to irc.freenode.net
TRELLO_BOT_NAMEThe name the trellobot should use, defaults to trellobot
TRELLO_BOT_QUIT_CODE Passcode to cause trellobot to quit - defaults to empty
TRELLO_BOT_SERVER_USE_SSL If ssl is required set this variable to "true" if not, do not set it at all. Optional
TRELLO_BOT_SERVER_SSL_PORT If ssl is used set this variable to the port number that should be used. If not provided will default to 6697. Optional
TRELLO_ADD_CARDS_LIST All cards are added at creation time to a default list. Set this variable to the name of this list, otherwise it will default to To Do
TRELLO_MAIL_ADDRESS Address of the mail server used to send the cards
TRELLO_MAIL_PORT Port of the mail server used to send the cards
TRELLO_MAIL_AUTHENTICATION Type of authentication of the mail server used to send the cards
TRELLO_MAIL_USERNAME Username in the mail server used to send the cards
TRELLO_MAIL_PASSWORD Password for the username in the mail server used to send the cards
TRELLO_MAIL_ENABLE_STARTTLS_AUTO Set to true if the mail server uses tls, false otherwise

Where do I get an API key and API secret?

Log in as a Trello user and visit this URL to get a key and secret allocated: https://trello.com/1/appKey/generate

Where do I get an API Access Token Key?

You will need an access token to use ruby-trello 0.3.0 or higher, which trellobo depends on. To get it, you'll need to go to this URL:


At the end of this process, You'll be told to give some key to the app, this is what you want to put in the TRELLO_API_ACCESS_TOKEN_KEY

Where do I get the BOARD ID for my board?

The simplest way to get the id of your board is to

  1. Browse to it on the trello website
  2. Observe the URL; it should look something like https://trello.com/board/welcome-board/4e6a8095efa69909ba007382
  3. The id of your board is the 24-digit hex number at the end of the URL. In this case, it's 4e6a8095efa69909ba007382

Initially, I used the magic of curl for this particular job of discovery. The Trello API covers a lot, as you can read in the beta docs and sometimes it's not immediately obvious where to grab on to find a particular piece of information.

If you know your username, you can list all your boards, with their ids. You then use the id to get API URL of the board. In this example, I'm listing all public boards of the dublinjavascript member and limiting the data returned on the boards to just the name field (nice idea on the filtering guys) of the board. The id comes back for free, of course.

61%  curl https://api.trello.com/1/members/dublinjavascript?key=TRELLO_API_KEY\&boards=public\&board_fields=name
    "id": _the id of the member_,
    "fullName": "Dublin JavaScript",
    "username": "dublinjavascript",
    "gravatar": _the gravatar id for the profile pic_,
    "bio": "",
    "url": "https://trello.com/dublinjavascript",
    "boards": [
        "id": "4f05b412cf33c09c016a90df",           ---- this is what you want
        "name": "Dublin Javascript Talks"

The boards[0]['id'] up there is the piece you are looking for - put this into the TRELLO_BOARD_ID environment variable.


I've seen one weirdness on Heroku where a dyno running Trellobot appeared to disappear off into the dyno grid and keep running, even after it was stopped. This resulted in duplicate bots on the channel. After a couple of days the zombie bot disappeared of its own accord.

Pull Requests

Pull requests are welcome :)


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