freenode is dead, long live freenode

After much time in development and testing, the move to ircd-seven is finally complete. The migration took place in the early hours of today, Saturday January 30th 2010.

I would like to express thanks to everyone who has helped us get here — those staff and users who have helped find and squash bugs, those who have done extensive load testing and those who have helped finalising documentation in preparation for the migration earlier today.

In particular I would like to thank the Charybdis development team and the ratbox contributors whose work left us with a brilliant ircd platform to build upon to create the more freenode specific ircd-seven. In no particular order my thanks go to:

dwr, Valery Yatsko <dwr -at- shadowircd.net>
gxti, Michael Tharp <gxti -at- partiallystapled.com>
jilles, Jilles Tjoelker <jilles -at- stack.nl>
nenolod, William Pitcock <nenolod -at- nenolod.net>
AndroSyn, Aaron Sethman <androsyn -at- ratbox.org>
anfl, Lee Hardy <lee -at- leeh.co.uk>
beu, Elfyn McBratney <elfyn.mcbratney -at- gmail.com>
Entrope, Michael Poole <mdpoole -at- trolius.org>
ThaPrince, Jon Christopherson <jon -at- vile.com>
twincest, River Tarnell <river -at- attenuate.org>
w00t, Robin Burchell <surreal.w00t -at- gmail.com>

And for leading the development efforts of ircd-seven, for putting up with my many quirky and often unreasonable requests:
spb, Stephen Bennett <stephen -at- freenode.net>

I’d also like to express my gratitude to the following freenode volunteers for the hard work they’ve put in to make the migration go as smoothly as possible. I’ve been amazed at the initiative and responsibility shown in this last phase. Your help has been invaluable and I feel privileged to work with you:

kloeri, Bryan Østergaard
Lorez, Mike Mattice
Martinp23, Martin Peeks
Md, Marco D’Itri

With the exception of port(s) 7000 and 7070 which are now being used for SSL, all other ports and DNS stay the same as it did prior to migration.

If you are a regular freenode user you will most likely be aware that there’s some user facing changes with the move to ircd-seven (and likely to have been annoyed by my global notices on the subject), you may wish to familiarise yourself with the updated FAQ and glance at some of these earlier ircd-seven related blog posts:

http://blog.freenode.net/2010/01/connecting-to-freenode-using-tor-sasl/

http://blog.freenode.net/2008/11/help-us-test-ircd-seven/

http://blog.freenode.net/2010/01/migration-to-new-ircd/

http://blog.freenode.net/2010/01/ircd-migration…-jan-30th-2010/

Again, thank you for helping out, however small or large your contribution may have been. We are celebrating the migration to ircd-seven with a special fundraiser “Give £7 for seven”. This campaign will end on February 7th 2010, until such time you may read more and donate here. Any donation of £21 or any multiple of £7 over £21 will receive a freenode t-shirt.

To all our users, thank you for using the network, and welcome to seven!

Connecting to freenode using Tor: SASL

With our change of ircd to the all new ircd-seven, we are trialling a new method of allowing users to connect to the network via Tor. This method brings a number of changes:

  • The only Tor hidden service is: the new p4fsi4ockecnea7l.onion.
  • You will need to have a registered and verified NickServ account to connect using Tor. Beyond this, no further steps are necessary.
  • You will need to use a SASL mechanism to identify to the server.

We have collected together scripts for irssi and mirc, while Conspire supports SASL natively. Scripts may be available for other clients in addition.

irssi

Download and install this script (cap_sasl.pl) and, after loading it, configure it using

/sasl set <network> <username> <password> <mechanism>

Supported mechanisms are PLAIN and DH-BLOWFISH.

mirc

A mirc script is available, taken from a forum post by Kyle Travaglini. You can retrieve the source here.

Instructions (adapted from that forum):

  • Place SASL.dll and sasl.mrc into your $mircdir.
  • Load sasl.mrc into your remotes.
  • Press F2 and configure the network, before connecting as usual.

If you have any problems, either pop into #freenode from a non-torified connection or drop an email to support AT freenode.net.

This method of connecting to freenode using Tor supersedes all previous methods, including Tor-GPG. We hope that this method of connecting via Tor will help to make it somewhat more accessible to you!

Migration to ircd-seven.

On the 30th of January, 2010 at around 7:30 UTC, we will be moving to the new ircd-seven.  If you haven’t done so already, now is a great time to look at how this may change things for you and what you may need to do as a result.

We covered a few of the changes in this article earlier, but this post adds a few things.

If you are a tor user, the way you connect will be slightly different.  Connecting via tor will require you use “username:password” in your server password field instead of just “password” as is the case now.

If you currently have an arrangement with freenode to increase your connection count for a business, school, or other organization (also known as an iline), you may need to verify it is still in place after the migration.  While we have moved the majority of these over to the new ircd, some older ilines where we do not have contact information may need to be updated.  If you find yours is missing, join #freenode and look for any freenode staff to further assist you. All staff are voiced on #freenode.

If you are currently using dircbot, be aware that dircbot will be replaced along with the ircd as it has technical issues that make it unusable on the new ircd.  Dircbots functionality will instead be included in the freenode utility bot “eir.” Documentation for the replacement is available here.

To mention one last time a few things:

  • Usermode +u is no longer present. You are able to join more channels without it.
  • Channel mode +R is no longer present. “/mode #channel +q $~a” will have the same effect. If you find, post-migration, that your channel which was previously +R no longer has that mode, please check your quiets list: “/mode #channel +q”
  • SSL will be on ports 7000 and 7070. You can grab the root ca certificate here.
  • Post-migration, ChanServ may be in some channels she normally does not inhabit. This will be a hang-over from the mode transfer, and will be temporary until services is restarted.

Finally, if you are interested in supporting the pdpc and freenode, have a look here for a special fundraiser we’re running along with the ircd-seven launch.

Thanks everyone, and we’ll see you on the other side.

Javascript spam

You may have noticed some unusual amounts of spam over the past few days, which has had an impact on a number of channels.  This spam is the result of some malicious javascript being distributed on a number of webpages which causes visitors to these pages to make a connection to freenode and send spam.  While we are doing what we can to mitigate the spam, we would ask that you take a careful look at any unusual sites or URLs you might visit in the near future to be sure you are not being tricked into visiting such a site.

If you have been banned from the network after clicking on one of these links, please email [email protected] with your internet-routeable IP address. Visit http://myip.dk/ and include both the IP address and hostname provided on this site.  It’s also helpful if you let us know what nick you were using at the time.  We will address these requests as quickly as possible, but please be patient.

It is of course never a good idea to visit a link that’s not from a trusted source.  If you must do so, look into using a browser with limited or no scripting support (wget from the command line is a great solution here on linux, as is links) or using something like no-script for firefox.

If you run a channel on freenode, you might want to consider setting +R to prevent unregistered users from sending to the channel as the spambots described here will not be registered.  If you do so please consider being proactive about contacting unregistered users joining your channel to ensure they get the help they need, and feel free to send them to #freenode so network staff can help them register.

For users, now is an excellent time to register your nickname and setup your client to auto-identify.  You can find information about registering here.  Configuring your client to auto-identify varies depending on the client, but one easy way is setting up your client to send the nickserv password as your server password. Most clients have an option for this.

It is also worth noting we will be moving to a new ircd in just 13 more days, as described here.  This new ircd provides a number of exciting new capabilities including improved capability to deal with spam of all kinds, including this most recent type which is entirely mitigated by improvements in seven.

ircd Migration Sat Jan 30th 2010

In the coming weeks, we will be migrating freenode to our new ircd, ircd-seven.  Presently, freenode uses hyperion and efforts have been underway for some time move us off this platform for reasons of stability and functionality.  We are now almost there.

As users please be aware that during the migration all clients will be temporarily disconnected and will need to reconnect in order to move over to the new servers. For most of you this will happen as the old servers are shut down.

Please Note: While we will copy over channel modes and topics for registered channels (there will be no changes to the services database, all nick and channel settings with services will stay the same) we are unable to do so for channels NOT registered with ChanServ. If your project utilises non-registered channels for whatever reason, please make note of the topics and modes so you can make a manual transfer of these yourselves. For more information on registering a channel, see this post.

If you operate a channel on freenode and have any concerns, feel free to stop by #freenode to discuss any issues you might have.  If you run any channel utility bots, you may want to test them on the current testnet.  More information can be found here.

Important Changes

There are several significant changes users should be aware of in ircd-seven:

Channel quiets are no longer a modified version of bans but are now on their own list, queried with “mode #channel q”, and as such do not appear on the normal banlist.

After the migration, we will have ssl access available on the production network.

Identifying upon connection works as before but there are two new ways to do so: specifying username:password in the server password field will allow you to login to a specific account, and SASL authentication is also available.  Using SASL varies by client and is not supported in all clients.

The CAP command:

A brief summary:

  • The CAP LS command will list all client capabilities that are available to the client.
  • The CAP REQ :<cap1> <cap2> <...> command can be used to request one or more capabilities. The response to this will be either CAP ACK :<cap> <...>, or CAP NAK :<cap> <...>, depending on whether the request was successful.
  • A CAP name token can be prefixed by - to disable that capability. This was not available with hyperion’s CAPAB command.
  • CAP negotiation can take place either during connection and registration (as is required for SASL), or afterwards, to enable identify-msg.

For those implementing support for it, a full specification is at http://www.leeh.co.uk/draft-mitchell-irc-capabilities-02.html.

The IDENTIFY-MSG capability still exists but there is a new way to activate it.  It is now part of the CAP mechanism.   A script for irssi that understands both hyperion’s and seven’s identify-msg capability is available at http://adipose.attenuate.org/~stephen/ircd-seven/format_identify.pl.

The n= and i= prefixes are not used, instead ~ is prefixed to a non-identd username as is common in most other ircds.

For further information on changes that might impact you please visit http://freenode.net/seven-for-hyperion-users.html

As always, thank you for using freenode, and see you on the other side!