Default port for IRC via TLS/SSL (hint: it’s 6697)

As some of you might be aware, there has been a push to standardize on a common port for IRC via SSL/TLS. Same as you can reasonably expect any public ircd for plain text connections to listen on port 6667, you should be able to expect any public ircd for IRC via SSL/TLS to listen on port 6697.

All IRC networks, except one, in the global top twenty which offer IRC via SSL/TLS are listening on port 6697 and many smaller networks do, as well. Clients like irssi default to 6697 as do daemons like Charybdis and seven. Similar to how port 6667 is not the only for plain text, 6697 is not intended to be the only one for SSL/TLS, but it’s still nice to have a common standard.

The Internet Draft linked above will not be made into a proper RFC quickly as these things tend to take a lot of time, but for all intents and purposes, 6697 is the canonical port for IRC via SSL/TLS, today.

Update: In case we didn’t make it clear enough (apparently we didn’t): You can still continue to use all other ports we have listened to in the past. But we will start recommending 6697 from now on.

Update2: Yes, we are listening on port 6697 on all our ircds, be they IPv4, IPv6, or .onion.

7 thoughts on “Default port for IRC via TLS/SSL (hint: it’s 6697)

  1. Actually, both 6697 and 6679 are being widely used for IRC-over-SSL. I’m actually surprised that this draft has been published on Oct 10, 2010 as we (my network) have been using it as a standart for more than a year.

  2. Correct. The ID is Informational and not Best Current Practice as the latter would require even more effort and time investment for little to no gain.

    Both are meant as information after the fact, though. I.e. once a broad consensus within a given community is reached, an ID is published to document said consensus.

    I did quite a bit of research to make sure the IRC community at large favored one possibility and then invested even more effort into getting other networks to support 6697, as well.

    Only after that did I publish the ID.

    So yes, your network, whichever that might be, supporting 6697 most likely helped in determining this choice.


    PS: Port 7000 is rather common, as well. But 6697 won.

  3. Well, I’m glad that we’ve been a factor of some kind for this.

    freenode is in it’s best days, but otherwise the IRC protocol is pretty much being abandoned, so it’s nice to see that there are people who still put efforts for improving it. Keep the spirit! :)

  4. The underlying won’t change very much, yes. Still, there are some areas of improvement. For example, we are preparing to support certfp, at the moment.

  5. 9999 is also being offered as an alternative port for a TLS connection by a lot of servers/networks. Would you mind setting that up?


  6. I think it’s unlikely that we will add more ports for now. We do listen on several ones and by going for 6697, we are trying to actually help build consensus, not fragment even more.

  7. Why is verne not listening to 6697/tcp? They only seem to be accepting SSL on 7070/tcp and 7000/tcp.
    Also, why is hubbard, brown and probably others (card?) not accepting connections on 6697/tcp lately?

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