Extensible IRC bot written in Python. Easy to use plugin interface
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pyGBot 0.3.0

Licence, copyright and attribution

pyGBot - Versatile IRC Bot
Copyright (C) 2008 Morgan Lokhorst-Blight, Alex Soborov, Paul Rotering

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program.  If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.

Based on pyTBot, (c) 2007 Paul Rotering Licensed under GPLv2

Uses ConfigObj, (c) 2008 Michael Foord and Nicola Larosa Licensed under modified (3 clause) BSD License

Uses "C# Events in Python", (c) 2005 Zoran Isailovski Licensed under MIT License

Simple Disclaimer: THIS IS AN ALPHA RELEASE. It it provided AS-IS, with no warranty or support. If it breaks your computer, it's not our fault.


  • Python >= 2.5
  • Twisted >= 10.0 (including twisted.words)
  • pyOpenSSL (only when enabling SSL)

Getting Started

  1. Decompress the pyGBot archive.
  2. Rename pyGBot.ini.default to pyGBot.ini.
  3. Rename users.ini.default to users.ini.
  4. Open pyGBot.ini and modify the values. These are all of your bot's configuration options. The main options you're interested in to get the bot up and running are host, port, nick and channel.
  5. Execute runpyGBot.py.

Configuring the Auth System

Some commands are limited to authorized users; this prevents just anyone from telling pyGBot to (for example) join or leave a channel. pyGBot has an auth system to control user login and access in order to use moderator- or administrator-level commands. To configure it, you have to do 2 things: set the auth mode in pyGBot.ini, and add users.

  1. pyGBot.ini

    pyGBot has two possible auth modes:

    • pygbot: This mode uses its own username/password system stored in users.ini.
    • nickserv: This mode identifies users by checking to see if they're identified with NickServ, and then checking if they're in users.ini to determine their access level (user, moderator or admin). This is designed for the standard atheme NickServ service.

    In order to configure the mode:

    1. Open pyGBot.ini.
    2. Under the section [Plugins.system.Auth], change the authtype value to either pygbot or nickserv. (Don't add quotation marks around the value).
    3. If the [Plugins.system.Auth] section or authtype value don't exist in the file, create them at the end of the file before doing step #2.
  2. Adding users

    By default, no users are configured with the auth system. To add users:

    1. Run hashpw.py.
    2. Enter the details it asks for. In pygbot auth mode, the username and password are needed for users to log in. In nickserv mode, the username is used to check if a person is identified with NickServ using the same nick as the username you enter (password is not used, but set it to something secure anyway in case you switch to pygbot mode).
    3. If you ever need to remove a user from the system, open users.ini and delete the section corresponding to that user.

Customising with Included or Downloaded Plugins

pyGBot is highly customisable using plugins. Several plugins are included but not enabled, and you can write or download your own plugins.

If you downloaded a plugin and want to install it:

  1. Put all the plugin's files into a directory under the pyGBot/Plugins directory. (Note: If your plugin package contains a Plugin directory already, you're probably supposed to move archive's contents to pyGBot and let it merge the directories together. However, note that we take no responsibility if it overwrites pyGBot's own files or plugins and does something bad!)
  2. Follow the directions for configuring a plugin, below.

To configure a plugin that's included with pyGBot or one you just downloaded and installed:

  1. Open pyGBot.ini.
  2. Find the [Plugins] section. Let's say your plugin's file is in pyGBot/Plugins/example/ExPlugin.py; then add the line example.ExPlugin = to the file (put nothing to the right of the equation sign).
  3. If you want the plugin to automatically activate when you start pyGBot, add the same line to the [Plugins.system.Startup].
  4. If the plugin has some custom commands that work with the system.Commands plugin (i.e. it adds files to pyGBot/Plugins/system/CommandSpec), then you can bind those commands to the names used by IRC users in the [Plugins.system.Commands] section. Let's say one file is DoStuff.py and you want IRC users to type ^stuff to activate the command, add the line stuff = DoStuff. (The ^ prefix can be changed).

Specific plugins may give more specific information about installing and configuring. For the included plugins, their configuration is often commented in the pyGBot.ini file, and sometimes explained in the comments (comments start with #).

Writing Plugins

Detailed documentation on writing plugins is not available (yet! It's coming!). You can take a look at pyGBot/BasePlugin.py, as well as existing plugins in the pyGBot/Plugins directory to see how things are done. What follows is a brief description of the plugin system and a few pointers.

Every plugin must be a class that subclasses BasePlugin. You should override the methods in BasePlugin in order to intercept various IRC events, such as receiving a message in a channel. When a plugin is loaded by pyGBot, the plugin class is instantiated once (calling \_\_init\_\_() in the process), and the plugin instance's methods are called whenever the associated IRC event occurs.

For pyGBot's API, take a look at the first few methods (above loadPlugins()) in the class GBot of pyGBot/core.py, along with Twisted's documentation for the irc.IRCClient class (which GBot subclasses). If methods exist to do the same thing in both GBot and Twisted, use the GBot version. Logging facilities are provided via the log.logger object(pyGBot's log) and log.chat object (IRC chat log), which are both instances of Python's built-in logging module. (Do from pyGBot import log to use them). You can always take a look at other plugins for examples on using the API.

Note that pyGBot will always pass messages to plugins as unicode strings, not 8-bit str strings (refer to the Python 2.x manual). pyGBot can handle both unicode and str strings going back out (for example, when sending a message to a channel).

Command System

The system.Commands plugin provides a set of commands (extensible, of course!) which are single-line calls made by users to enact some immediate response or action. The existing ones are primarily related to controlling the bot (join or part channels, send public message, etc.), but any single-line command could conceivably be implemented here. A few examples of other commands are the ones used to play games, the Seen command (for the features.Seen plugin) and the Wiki command (for the reference.Wiki plugin).

To write your own, start by taking a look at the BaseCommand class in pyGBot/Plugins/system/Commands.py and at the existing commands in pyGBot/Plugins/system/CommandSpec. Like Plugins, Commands need to be a class that subclasses BaseCommand; but unlike Plugins, command classes don't have a persistent instance: when an IRC user calls on a command, the command class is instantiated, its __init__() method is called with the command parameters, and then the instance is discarded.

You can easily write commands that act as a wrapper for a plugin. Doing so avoids the need to check every incoming message yourself to find out if it's intended for your plugin, and makes it easy for users of your plugin to change the name IRC users use to call the command (see the [Plugins.system.Commands] section of pyGBot.ini).



Please use the issue tracker on the homepage to report any problems with the software. For assistance, visit #pyGBot on the subluminal IRC network (irc.subluminal.net, port 6667, SSL port 6697).


  • The pyGBot team