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Official repository for the ZNC IRC bouncer
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ZNC - An advanced IRC bouncer Build Status

Table of contents

  • Minimal Requirements
  • Optional Requirements
  • Installing ZNC
  • Setting up znc.conf
  • Special config options
  • Using ZNC
  • File Locations
  • ZNC's config file
  • Writing own modules
  • Further infos

Minimal Requirements


  • GNU make
  • pkg-config
  • GCC 4.7 or clang 3.2
  • autoconf and automake (if building from git)

Optional Requirements

SSL/TLS support:

  • openssl 0.9.7d or later
    • try installing openssl-dev, openssl-devel or libssl-dev
    • Mac OS X: OpenSSL from Homebrew is prefered over system
      • use USE_SYSTEM_OPENSSL=true as environment variable to force configure to use the (deprecated) Mac OS X version


  • perl and its bundled libperl
  • SWIG if building from git


  • python and its bundled libpython
  • perl is required
  • Mac OS X: Python from Homebrew is preferred over system version
  • SWIG if building from git


  • This module needs cyrus-sasl2

Character Encodings:

  • To get proper character encoding and charsets install ICU (libicu4-dev)

Installing ZNC

Installation from source code is performed via automake tool chain: Run ./ if building from git first to generate the configure script.

make install

You can use ./configure --help if you want to get a list of options, though the defaults should be suiting most needs.

Setting up znc.conf

Before starting ZNC the first time you need to generate a configuration file in ~/.znc/ by running znc --makeconf.

If you want to connect to ZNC via TLS generate a certificate first by running znc --makepem.

Special config options

When you create your ZNC configuration file via --makeconf, you are asked two questions which might not be easy to understand.

Number of lines to buffer per channel

How many messages should be buffered for each channel. When you connect to ZNC you get a buffer replay for each channel which shows what was said last. This option selects the number of lines this replay should consist of. Increasing this can greatly increase ZNC's memory usage if you are hosting many users. The default value should be fine for most setups.

Would you like to keep buffers after replay?

If this is disabled, you get the buffer playback only once and then it is deleted. If this is enabled, the buffer is not deleted. This may be useful if you regularly use more than one client to connect to ZNC.

Using ZNC

Once you have started ZNC you can connect with your favorite IRC-client to ZNC. You should use username:password as the server password (e.g. /pass user:pass).

Once you are connected you can do /msg *status help for some commands. Every module you have loaded (/msg *status listmods) should additionally provide /msg *modulename help

File Locations

In its data dir (~/.znc is default) ZNC saves most of its data. The only exception are modules and module data, which are saved in <prefix>/lib/znc and <prefix>/share/znc, and the znc binary itself. More modules (e.g. if you install some later) can be saved in <data dir>/modules (-> ~/.znc/modules).

In the datadir are only two files:

  • - The pid of the currently running ZNC instance.
  • znc.pem - This is the server certificate ZNC uses for listening and is created with znc --makepem.

These directories are also in there:

  • configs - Contains znc.conf (ZNC's config file) and backups of older configs.
  • modules - ZNC also looks in here for a module.
  • moddata - Global modules save their settings here. (e.g. webadmin saves the current skin name in here)
  • users - This is per-user data and mainly contains just a moddata directory.

ZNC's config file

This file shouldn't be too hard too understand. An explanation of all the items can be found on the Configuration-Page. Warning: better not to edit config, while ZNC is running.

To rehash the config file, you can send ZNC SIGHUP via pkill -SIGHUP znc or you can login to ZNC and use /msg *status rehash

If you changed some settings while ZNC is running, a simple pkill -SIGUSR1 znc will make ZNC rewrite its config file. Alternatively you can use this: /msg *status saveconfig

Writing own modules

You can write your own modules in either C++, python or perl.

C++ modules are compiled by either saving them in the modules source dir and running make or with the znc-buildmod shell script.

For additional info look in the wiki:

Perl modules are loaded through the global module ModPerl.

Python modules are loaded through the global module ModPython.

Further infos

Please visit or #znc on freenode if you still have questions.

You can get the latest development version with git: git clone git://

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