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Installing and running ZNC

Installing and running ZNC on your staff VM is easy and highly recommended.

What is ZNC?

ZNC is an IRC bouncer. It keeps you always connected to IRC, and allows you to connect to the bouncer from your desktop client, irssi, phone, etc.

It's handy to avoid constantly disconnecting/reconnecting from IRC. It will also store messages you've missed and replay them when you log in.

It's useful along with OCF's IRC server.

Installing ZNC on your staff VM

  1. sudo apt-get install znc

  2. Create a config file for ZNC. As your user (i.e. not as root), run znc --makeconf. It's pretty safe to accept the defaults (just hit enter), but you'll probably want to enable webadmin.

    The settings I use (everything else I accept defaults):

    ckuehl@raptors:~$ znc --makeconf
    [ ?? ] What port would you like ZNC to listen on? (1025 to 65535): 4095
    
    [ ?? ] Would you like ZNC to listen using SSL? (yes/no) [no]: yes
    [ ?? ] Would you like ZNC to listen using both IPv4 and IPv6? (yes/no) [yes]: no
    
    [ ?? ] Load global module <webadmin>? (yes/no) [no]: yes
    
    [ ** ] Now we need to set up a user...
    [ ** ]
    [ ?? ] Username (AlphaNumeric): ckuehl
    [ ?? ] Enter Password:
    [ ?? ] Confirm Password:
    [ ?? ] Would you like this user to be an admin? (yes/no) [yes]: yes
    [ ?? ] Nick [ckuehl]:
    [ ?? ] Alt Nick [ckuehl_]:
    [ ?? ] Ident [ckuehl]:
    [ ?? ] Real Name [Got ZNC?]: Chris Kuehl
    
    [ ?? ] Load module <chansaver>? (yes/no) [no]: yes
    [ ?? ] Load module <controlpanel>? (yes/no) [no]: yes
    [ ?? ] Load module <perform>? (yes/no) [no]:
    [ ?? ] Load module <webadmin>? (yes/no) [no]: yes
    
    [ ?? ] Would you like to set up a network? (yes/no) [no]: yes
    [ ?? ] Network (e.g. `freenode' or `efnet'): ocf
    
    [ ?? ] Load module <chansaver>? (yes/no) [no]: yes
    [ ?? ] Load module <keepnick>? (yes/no) [no]: yes
    
    [ ** ] -- IRC Servers --
    [ ** ] Only add servers from the same IRC network.
    [ ** ] If a server from the list can't be reached, another server will be used.
    [ ** ]
    [ ?? ] IRC server (host only): irc.ocf.berkeley.edu
    [ ?? ] [irc.ocf.berkeley.edu] Port (1 to 65535) [6667]: 6697
    [ ?? ] [irc.ocf.berkeley.edu] Password (probably empty):
    [ ?? ] Does this server use SSL? (yes/no) [no]: yes
    
    [ ?? ] Would you like to add a channel for ZNC to automatically join? [yes]: yes
    [ ?? ] Channel name: #rebuild
    [ ?? ] Would you like to add another channel? (yes/no) [no]: yes
    [ ?? ] Channel name: #ocf
    
    [ ?? ] Launch ZNC now? (yes/no) [yes]: no
    

    kpengboy's preferences, in addition to most of the above, include:

    [ ?? ] Number of lines to buffer per channel [50]: 200
    [ ?? ] Would you like to clear channel buffers after replay? (yes/no) [yes]: no
    

    and enabling the buffextras module (in webadmin afterwards).

  3. If you accidentally started ZNC at the end of the setup, you should kill it now with pkill znc.

  4. Now we'll set up systemd to supervise ZNC for us.

    Create a file /etc/systemd/system/znc.service with the contents:

    [Unit]
    Description=ZNC - IRC Bouncer
    Requires=nss-user-lookup.target
    After=network-online.target nss-user-lookup.target
    
    [Service]
    User=<YOUR_USER>
    ExecStart=/usr/bin/znc --foreground
    ExecReload=/bin/kill -HUP $MAINPID
    Restart=on-failure
    KillSignal=SIGINT
    SuccessExitStatus=2
    
    [Install]
    WantedBy=multi-user.target
    

    Make sure to change <YOUR_USER> to your username!

  5. Reload systemd and start znc:

    • sudo systemctl daemon-reload
    • sudo systemctl enable znc
    • sudo systemctl start znc

ZNC should now be running (and will start/restart automatically). You can see detailed information with sudo systemctl status znc.

If you enabled webadmin, you can access your server at https://<your_staff_VM>.ocf.berkeley.edu:PORT/. Make sure you use https or you'll get a cryptic "connection reset" message.

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