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

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

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

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

December 15th DDoS

We are currently experiencing heavy DDoS against several locations at which some of our servers are hosted. The attack is ongoing and cause a lot of disruption, both to users of the network and unfortunately to projects/companies/individuals whose infrastructure is hosted at the same locations as us. Our sponsors and our sponsors’ upstreams are working hard to try curb the attacks as best they can.

We will try keep this page updated with any significant information as and when we receive it, however, users of the network will also be able to receive (infrequent) status updates via global notice and slightly more frequent updates via wallops for those who have chosen to go +w (/umode +w or /mode yournick +w) will enable wallops in your irc client should you wish to see these. Global notices do not work on a opt-in basis, and are restricted to information we deem important, however for those of you who have absolutely no interest in what’s going on with the network you may /ignore *!*@freenode/staff/* notices in order to prevent global notices from displaying in your client.

We apologise for the inconvenience this no doubt causes for you and your project(s) and we would like to thank you all (in particular, our very generous and dedicated sponsors) for the patience and support while the issues are still ongoing.

December 8 2009 Connectivity Issues and Netsplits

As you are probably aware, we’ve been facing some fairly major splits today as there have been issues between some of our major hubs. We’ve rerouted these and are working on tracing down the cause of any other splits.  Please be aware, our staff are already hard at work on these issues and will resolve them as quickly as possible. Included here are 2 global notices about this matter.
[Global Notice] Hi all, we appear to be having some
connectivity issues with our main US hub, as a result of
this we are temporarily without  services, if this affects
your channel please contact staff in #freenode for
assistance. We’re looking into the issues as we speak. Thank
you for your patience.

[Global Notice] Hi all, we’re having some major issues with
connectivity at the DC hosting one of our hidden hubs, I’m
going to re-route around it,  which will cause about twice
as much noise as the splits already made. Apologies for the

These and other issues are a large part of the reason for the upcoming migration to ircd-seven, and we still need your help in that regard.  We are still in need help testing the new ircd and working out the bugs.  If you would like to help out, have a look at this posting for information on how you can test the new ircd.

Thank you for using freenode, and have a great day!

DCC spam, and how to handle it.

We are aware of the recent DCC spam attempts, and we are working on this issue.  In the meantime, please do not paste the full DCC text you recieve in #freenode (or any other channel) as in many cases it can cause you to appear as a problem yourself.

Instead, feel free to report it by first verifying (using  the /whois command) that the sender is still online, and then reporting the sender in #freenode.  Please be aware that #freenode is a general help channel and we need to keep it clear of general chatter in order to support the many users of freenode.  If you wish to discuss anything other than an immediate support request, please find a more appropriate channel for the topic.

On this topic, please be sure to only accept DCC requests from trusted users and to be cautious about them at all times.  You may wish to consider filtering out the DCC requests using your clients ignore functions, or enabling umode +C to prevent CTCP messages from being received. If you would like help with these topics feel free to stop by #freenode or your clients support channel.

As always, thank you for using freenode.

Testing the nets

We’re in the late stages of testing our new ircd, ircd-seven, which is intended to replace our current hyperion ircd, and we need your help!

While we have been testing it regularly against some basic loads, nothing really replaces users, and we need as many as possible to connect, try it out, and report back with any issues.  Please note that ircd-seven differs from our current software; hyperion — and some bits of behaviour may differ, if your project/channels rely on the use of bots on the production network we encourage you to also test these on the testnet!  We would really like to stress, there are some significant changes in the new ircd so please do test the full functionality of any bots you require at this time, as we’ll be moving forward with this new ircd in the future.

To connet, use for ipv4 or ipv6. Port 9002 listens for regular connections, while 9003 listens for SSL.

We want a lot of traffic, and while we don’t normally encourage it — you are welcome to bring bots and drones en-masse! So bring in the bots, simulate traffic, join your regular channels, talk or spout nonsense. You can find us all in #freenode when you’ve connected to the testnet.

To connect from irssi: “/connect -ssl 9003” for ssl and “/connect 9002” for non-ssl.
To connect from xchat, first open a new tab, then “/server -ssl 9003” for ssl and “/server 9002” for non-ssl.

Thank you for using freenode and for helping us out, and freel free to drop by #freenode on either network to report any issues you might have with the testnet.


Some of you are asking about user and channel modes, many of which will have changed.  You can get a listing of the user and channel modes and what they mean with “help umode” and “help cmode” respectively.  Some clients will allow this directly, using “/help umode” or “/help cmode” but in many you will need to instead use “/quote help umode” or “/quote help cmode”  Some clients also use /raw in place of /quote.

Free as in freenode

Most of you are probably familiar with the various freedoms that are frequently stated, such as freedom of speech or expression.  While freenode does exist to promote communication amongst free and open source projects, it is not an open forum for all to use in any way.

The purpose and goals of freenode are simple, but often misunderstood.  Freenode is a privately operated special purpose irc network, aimed at improving communication between developers, and users, and others interested in free and open source software.  These people and their ability to communicate efficiently are our primary concern and focus.  The “free” in freenode in intended to indicate this goal, and our commitment to providing a collaboration platform for those with an interest in free and open source software, rather than “freedom of speech or expression”.

As a private network, we do reserve the right to limit the sort of content allowed on freenode.  Some of things considered on and offtopic are outlined here.

Hopefully this clears up a little about what the “free” in freenode actually stands for (and what we do, as well). is an open source event aggregation site created by the Peer Directed Projects Center, the nonprofit organization the operates freenode.  Our goal with this new site is to make it easy to find open source events near you, that interest you.  Many of us have missed events that were right around the corner because we didn’t know about them until it was way too late.

As we grow this site we’ll be adding new and interesting ways to monitor open source events, so keep an eye on it.

New freenode webchat (and why to use it)

As of today we have disabled access to the freenode irc network via mibbit.  While there are numerous reasons for this, it ultimately comes down to the ability to prevent abuse via this client.  We allow connections from many types of web gateways, and such connections require a certain amount of trust and communication between the server operators and the gateway operators.  While we have tried to maintain a good working relationship with anyone who wishes to provide access to freenode and are lucky that most of our users and projects are very friendly and communicative, we have found it difficult to maintain open communications with mibbit.  This has resulted in a large amount of staff time being spent on managing abuse coming from mibbit, disrupting service for other mibbit users and reducing the quality of the network.  Sadly, we feel that this is ultimately not beneficial to mibbit users or the network as a whole.

We apologize to those who used mibbit for the inconvenience this has caused, and for the need to find a new client or method to connect to freenode.

In response to this, we have implemented our own web gateway at  The webchat runs qwebirc package which was developed for and extensively used by quakenet. We’d like to extend our thanks to Chris “slug” Porter and the rest of the team for making it available.

Some of the features of qwebirc can be found here.

Our new webchat facility also makes it easy to add to your own site.  To do this, just click on the menu icon on the top left corner where you will find an “add webchat to your site” option.  You will be taken through an easy wizard to get this going and get the webchat on your very own site!

freenode Network Services Cleanup and Changes.

As announced previously, we have recently (as of Thursday, June 10th) pruned our nickserv and chanserv databases.  We also performed some additional updates and modifications.  While the most obvious change of this will be that any nicks older than 60 days have been dropped, there have been some additional changes implemented as well.  In addition, we have added a new webchat service for users who wish to irc from behind a firewall disallowing a more direct connection.  You can try it out here!

First, we have made a modification to make it easier to identify, as long as your client supports a server password.  Previously, users were able to identify by using a registered nick and sending the password for that registered nick as their server password.   You can also now identify on connect regardless of nick by providing both your account name and password, as follow: “/connect 6667 :mquin uwhY8wgzWw22-zXs.M39p.”  This will identify you upon connection.

As a result of this change, we have removed the requirement to group an alternate nick before requesting an unaffiliated cloak.  The requirements for a cloak are outlined here.

Group Contacts are welcome to check in with us within the next 4 weeks to resolve any issues that may have arisen as a result of the pruning.   If you are a group contact, and have any issues as a result of this maintenance, feel free to drop in to #freenode and ask for assistance.

As always, thank you for using freenode, and have a great day!

Free-as-in-Node episode 5 released!

Episode 5 of Free-as-in-Node is now available and ready to abduct even more of your time, now with even more ginger!  Listen in for some details on Ubuntu-1 from Stuart “aquarius” Langridge in Pimp My Project.  Ubuntu-1 sounds like an amazing new project.  Stuart gives us a tip to take a look at Ubuntu-1 without the wait, and gives us a few details on what he is up to and whats going on at Canonical.  He tells us about the ayatana mailing list, where discussion takes place on the interface and looks of Ubuntu.  We also find out about the new telepathic user interface Stuart is going to deliver to us… personally.

Christel tells us about the time travel fund, and the organization behind it.  For only $10 YOU too can sign up to be whisked away into time.  You’ll get it back with interest when they come back to take you away.  For $20 you can even go back to pick up your dead relatives.   Christel unfortunately vanished moments after signing up.

In this weeks political rant we hear about expenses filed by members of parliament for all sorts of things, from replacing light bulbs to pipes under their personal tennis courts.  It seems members of parliament are making use of this to furnish their homes, feed their families, and all sorts of other things. None of this is illegal, but is that because the people doing it are the ones making the laws?  Going on we hear all about the political views around the table and Christel hugging the queen.

Further on, we listen to the crew chatting about the way the world has changed and whats different now from the era of our grandparents.  No more leaving the door unlocked and coming home to tea.  Is the world more evil today than it was?

All in all, a much deeper episode delving into all sorts of things, and very entertaining.  Head on over to to listen in!