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Setting Up the IRC Bridge

Matrix IRC Bridge

The Matrix IRC Bridge is an IRC bridge for Matrix that will pass all IRC messages through to Matrix, and all Matrix messages through to IRC. Please also refer to the bridges' specific documenation for additonal guidance.

For usage of the IRC Bridge via it's bot user see Using the Matrix IRC Bridge documentation.

Installation and Configuration

From the Installer's Integrations page find the IRC Bridge entry, and click Install.This will setup the IRC Bridges' config directory, by default this will be located:


You will initially be taken to the bridges configuration page, for any subsequent edits, the Install button will be replaced with Configure, indicating the bridge is installed.

There are two sections of the Matrix IRC Bridge configuration page, the Bridge.yml section, and a section to Upload a Private Key. We'll start with the latter as it's the simplest of the two, and is referenced in the first.

Upload a Private Key

As the bridge needs to send plaintext passwords to the IRC server, it cannot send a password hash, so those passwords are stored encrypted in the bridge database. When a user specifies a password to use, using the admin room command !storepass passw0rd, the password is encrypted using a RSA PEM-formatted private key. When a connection is made to IRC on behalf of the Matrix user, this password will be sent as the server password (PASS command).

Therefore you will need a Private Key file, by default called passkey.pem:

  • If you have a Private Key file already, simply upload the file using this sections Upload File button, supplying a RSA PEM-formatted private key.

  • If you don't already have one, per the instructions provided in the section itself, you should generate this file by running the following command from within the IRC Bridges' config directory:

    penssl genpkey -out passkey.pem -outform PEM -algorithm RSA -pkeyopt rsa_keygen_bits:2048

The Bridge.yml Section

The Bridge.yml is the complete configuration of the Matrix IRC Bridge. It points to a private key file (Private Key Settings), and both configures the bridges' own settings and functionality (Bridge Settings), and the specific IRC services you want it to connect with (IRC Settings).

Private Key Settings

key_file: passkey.pem

By default this is the first line in the Bridge.yml config, it refers to the file either moved into the IRC Bridges' config directory, or generated in there using openssl. If moved into the directory ensure the file was correctly renamed to passkey.pem.

Bridge Settings

The rest of the configuration sits under the bridged_irc_servers: section:


You'll notice all entries within are initially indented ( ) so all code blocks will include this indentation. Focusing on settings relating to the bridge itself (and not any specific IRC connection) covers everything except the address: and associated parameters: sections, by default found at the end of the Bridge.yml.


If you are using postgres-create-in-cluster you can leave this section as-is, the default ircbridge-postgres / ircbridge / postgres_password values will ensure your setup works correctly.

- postgres_fqdn: ircbridge-postgres
  postgres_user: ircbridge
  postgres_db: ircbridge
  postgres_password: postgres_password

Otherwise you should edit as needed to connect to your existing Postgres setup:

  • postgres_fqdn: Provide the URL to your Postgres setup
  • postgres_user: Provide the user that will be used to connect to the database
  • postgres_db: Provide the database you will connect to
  • postgres_password: Provide the password of the user specified above

You can uncomment the following to use as needed, note if unspecified some of these will default to the advised values, you do not need to uncomment if you are happy with the defaults.

  • postgres_data_path: This can be used to specify the path to the postgres db on the host machine
  • postgres_port: This can be used to specify a non-standard port, this defaults to 5432.
  • postgres_sslmode: This can be used to specify the sslmode for the Postgres connection, this defaults to 'disable', however 'no-verify' and 'verify-full are available options

For example, your Postgres section might instead look like the below:

- postgres_fqdn:
  postgres_user: example-user
  postgres_db: matrixircbridge
  postgres_password: example-password
  # postgres_data_path: "/mnt/data/<bridged>-postgres"
  postgres_port: 2345
  postgres_sslmode: 'verify-full'
IRC Bridge Admins

Within the admins: section you will need to list all the MXID's of your users who should be Admins of the IRC Bridge. You should list one MXID per line using the full MXID formatted like @USERNAME:HOMESERVER

  - ""
  - ""

Provisioning allows you to set specified rules about existing room when bridging those rooms to IRC Channels.

  • enable_provisioning: Set this to true to enable the use of provisioning_rules:
  • provisioning_rules: -> userIds: Use Regex to specifcy which User IDs to check for in existing rooms that are trying to be bridged
    • exempt: List any User IDs you do not want to prevent the bridging of a room, that would otherwise meet the match in conflict:
    • conflict: Specify individual User IDs, or use Regex
  • provisioning_room_limit: Specify the number of channels allowed to be bridged

So the example bridge.yml config below will block the bridging of a room if it has any User IDs within it from the homeserver except, and limit the number of bridged rooms to 50.

  enable_provisioning: true
        - ""
        - "@.*"
  provisioning_room_limit: 50
IRC Ident

If you are using the Ident protocol you can enable it usage with the following config:

  • enable_ident: Set this to true to enable the use of IRC Ident
  • ident_port_type: Specify either 'HostPort' or 'NodePort' depending on your setup
  • ident_port_number: Specify the port number that should be used
  enable_ident: false
  ident_port_type: 'HostPort'
  ident_port_number: 10230

Finally there are a few additional options to configure:

  • logging_level: This specifies how detailed the logs should be for the bridge, by default this is info, but error, warn and debug are available.
    • You can see the bridge logs using kubectl logs IRC_POD_NAME -n element-onprem
  • enable_presence: Set to true if presence is required.
    • This should be kept as false if presence is disabled on the homeserver to avoid excess traffic.
  • drop_matrix_messages_after_seconds: Specify after how many seconds the bridge should drop Matrix messages, by default this is 0 meaning no messages will be dropped.
    • If the bridge is down for a while, the homeserver will attempt to send all missed events on reconnection. These events may be hours old, which can be confusing to IRC users if they are then bridged. This option allows these old messages to be dropped.
    • CAUTION: This is a very coarse heuristic. Federated homeservers may have different clock times which may be old enough to cause all events from the homeserver to be dropped.
  • bot_username: Specify the Matrix User ID of the the bridge bot that will faciliate the creation of rooms and can be messaged by admins to perform commands.
  • rmau_limit: Set this to the maximum number of remote monthly active users that you would like to allow in a bridged IRC room.
  • users_prefix: Specifiy the prefix to be used on the Matrix User IDs created for users who are communicating via IRC.
  • alias_prefix: Specifiy the prefix to be used on room aliases when created via the !join command.

The defaults are usually best left as-is unless a specific need requires changing these, however for troubleshooting purposes, switching logging_level to debug can help identify issues with the bridge.

  logging_level: debug
  enable_presence: false
  drop_matrix_messages_after_seconds: 0
  bot_username: "ircbridgebot"
  rmau_limit: 100
  users_prefix: "irc_"
  alias_prefix: "irc_"
Advanced Additional Configuration

You can find more advanced configuration options by checking the config.yaml sample provided on the Matrix IRC Bridge repository.

You can ignore the servers: block as config in that section should be added under the parameters: section associated with address: that will be setup per the below section. If you copy any config, ensure the identation is correct, as above, all entries within are initially indented ( ), so they are under the bridged_irc_servers: section.

IRC Settings

The final section of Bridge.yml, here you specify the IRC network(s) you want the bridge to connect with, this is done using address: and parameter: formatted like so:

  • address: Specify your desired IRC Network

Aside from the address of the IRC Network, everything is configured within the parameters: section, and so is initially indented , all code blocks will include this indentation.

Required IRC Network Configuration

At a minimum, you will need to specify the name: of your IRC Network, as well as some details for the bots configuration on the IRC side of the connection.

  • name: The server name to show on the bridge.
  • botConfig:
    • enabled: Keep this set as true
    • nick: Specify the nickname of the bot user within IRC
    • username: Specify the username of the bot user within IRC
    • password: Optionally specify the password of the bot to give to NickServ or IRC Server for this nick. You can generate this by using the pwgen 32 1 command
    • joinChannelsIfNoUsers: Set to false to prevent the bot from joining channels even if there are no Matrix users on the other side of the bridge, this defaults to true so doesn't need to be specified unless false is required.
    name: "Example IRC"
      enabled: true
      nick: "MatrixBot"
      username: "matrixbot"
      password: "some_password"

There are some additional configuration lines you may wish to make use of, as these are not required, if unspecified some of these will default to the advised values. You do not need to include any of these if you are happy with the defaults.

  • additionalAddresses: Specify any additional addresses to connect to that can be used for load balancing between IRCDs
    • Specify each additional address within the [] as comma-separated values, for example:
      • [ "", "" ]
  • onlyAdditionalAddresses: Set to true to exclusively use additional addresses to connect to servers while reserving the main address for identification purposes, this defaults to false
  • port: Specify the exact port to use for the IRC connection
  • ssl: Set to true to require the use SSL, this defaults to false
  • sslselfsign: Set to true if the IRC network is using a self-signed certificate, this defaults to false
  • sasl: Set to true should the connection attempt to identify via SASL, this defaults to false
  • allowExpiredCerts: Set to true to allow expired certificates when connecting to the IRC server, this defaults to false
  • botConfig:
    • joinChannelsIfNoUsers: Set to false to prevent the bot from joining channels even if there are no Matrix users on the other side of the bridge, this defaults to true so doesn't need to be specified unless false is required.

If you end up needing any of these additional configuration options, your parameters: section may look like the below example:

    name: "Example IRC"
    additionalAddresses: [ "" ]
    onlyAdditionalAddresses: false
    port: 6697
      # Whether to use SSL or not. Default: false.
    ssl: true
      # Whether or not IRC server is using a self-signed cert or not providing CA Chain
    sslselfsign: false
      # Should the connection attempt to identify via SASL (if a server or user password is given)
      # If false, this will use PASS instead. If SASL fails, we do not fallback to PASS.
    sasl: false
      # Whether to allow expired certs when connecting to the IRC server.
      # Usually this should be off. Default: false.
    allowExpiredCerts: false
      enabled: true
      nick: "MatrixBot"
      username: "matrixbot"
      password: "some_password"
      joinChannelsIfNoUsers: true

Deploying the IRC Bridge

Once you have make the required changes to your Bridge.yml configuration, make sure you find and click the Save button at the bottom of the IRC Bridge configuration page to ensure your changes are updated.

You will then need to re-Deploy for any changes to take effect, as above ensure all changes made are saved then click Deploy.

Connecting to the Bridge

  1. From Element, send a DM to the bridge bot /msg @ircbridgebot:element.local where element.local is you servers domain name
  2. Send the bridge !whois to see if you can get logged in to the IRC network