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#ZNC - An advanced IRC bouncer

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 (try gmake if make fails)
  • GCC 4 or later

Optional Requirements

SSL support:

  • openssl 0.9.7d or later (try installing openssl-dev, openssl-devel or libssl-dev)


  • This needs perl and its bundled libperl


  • This needs perl(!) and python's bundled libpython


  • This module needs cyrus-sasl2

Installing ZNC

If you are building from git, you will need to run ./autogen.sh first to produce the configure script. Note that this requires automake and gettext to be installed.

Installation is done with the ./configure ; make ; make install commands.

You can use ./configure --help if you want to get a list of options, though the defaults should be suiting most needs. After you compiled it with make (or gmake if make doesn't work) you can install it with make install.

Setting up znc.conf

For setting up a configuration file in ~/.znc you can simply do znc --makeconf or ./znc --makeconf for in-place execution.

If you are using SSL you should do 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 is only one file:

  • 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. Use the webadmin and controlpanel modules instead.

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 /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 http://znc.in/ or #znc on freenode if you still have questions.

You can get the latest development version with git: git clone https://github.com/znc/znc.git --recursive