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IRCD(8) System Manager's Manual IRCD(8)


ircd - ircd-hybrid: an advanced, lightweight Internet Relay Chat Daemon


[-configfile filename] [-klinefile filename] [-dlinefile filename] [-xlinefile filename] [-resvfile filename] [-logfile filename] [-pidfile filename] [-foreground] [-version] [-help]


ircd is the server (daemon) program for the Internet Relay Chat Program. The ircd is a server in that its function is to "serve" the client program irc(1) and other compatible programs with messages and commands. All commands and user messages are passed directly to the ircd for processing and relaying to other IRC servers.

This is ircd-hybrid, the highly modified (and hopefully improved) variant of the original ircd program by Jarkko Oikarinen.


Specifies the ircd.conf file to be used for this ircd. The option is used to override the default ircd.conf given at compile time. By default, this is "etc/ircd.conf" within the prefix you installed the ircd in.
Specifies the database files to be used for D-lines (host bans), K-lines (hostmask bans), X-lines (gecos bans) and RESVs (jupes) which by default are within the var/lib/ directory of your installation prefix as dline.db, kline.db, xline.db and resv.db.
Specifies an alternative logfile to be used than that specified in include/defaults.h
Specifies the file used by the ircd to store its process ID. The option is used to override the default given at compile time.
Makes ircd run in the foreground.
Makes ircd print its version and exit.
Makes ircd print available options and exit.


If you plan to connect your IRC server to an existing IRC network, you will need to alter your local IRC configuration file (typically named "ircd.conf") so that it will accept and make connections to other IRC servers. This file contains the hostnames, IP addresses and sometimes passwords for connections to other ircds around the world.

The example reference.conf in the etc/ directory documents itself. Read it carefully or you may expose a risk on your network simply by having your ircd running!


It is sufficient to type ircd at the command line to start ircd-hybrid into the background. If you wish to run ircd in the foreground (perhaps for debugging purposes), use the -foreground parameter.

The ircd-hybrid package in your distribution may ship with an rc-script which handles this for you. In Debian, it is /etc/init.d/ircd-hybrid.


# ircd -configfile /usr/share/ircd/ircd.conf -logfile /var/log/ircd.log

Starts ircd with the config file /usr/share/ircd/ircd.conf and with a log file /var/log/ircd.log. It implicitly forks back to the console -- to prevent this, use -foreground.

Many of the above paths are hard-coded at compile time in the include/defaults.h file, so it may be convenient to edit these to suit your needs before you compile the ircd.


(c) 1988,1989 University of Oulu, Computing Center, Finland,

(c) 1988,1989 Department of Information Processing Science, University of Oulu, Finland

(c) 1988-1991 Jarkko Oikarinen

(c) 1997-2022 ircd-hybrid development team

For full COPYRIGHT, see the COPYING file within the IRC source package.


If you find a bug and you have a core file from ircd as a result, use a debugger like gdb(1) to process the core file and send a backtrace to


irc2.8 and earlier: Jarkko Oikarinen, currently

ircd-hybrid: ircd-hybrid development team,

Manual page written by Jeff Trim,, later modified by

Updated by W. Campbell,, Edward Brocklesby,, and highly revised by Joshua Kwan ( for the Debian distribution.

2021-01-01 ircd-hybrid