Welcome to OFTC!
The Open and Free Technology Community aims to provide stable and effective collaboration services to members of the community in any part of the world, while closely listening to their needs and desires.
OFTC was founded at the end of 2001 by a group of experienced members of the Open Source and Free Software communities aiming to provide these communities with better communication, development, and support infrastructure.
OFTC is a member project of Software in the Public Interest, a non-profit organization which was founded to help organizations develop and distribute open hardware and software.
You can reach the OFTC IRC network by using a traditional IRC Client of choice, or by the WebChat that we provide. The webchat enables you to connect to the network and chat directly from within your browser.
- ircs://irc.oftc.net:6697 for SSL (alternative port: 9999), IPv4 and IPv6.
- irc://irc.oftc.net:6667 for non-SSL (alternative ports: 6668-6670, 7000), IPv4 and IPv6.
- SSL is supported on all of our servers. The server certificates are signed by the Let’s Encrypt certification authority.
- See CertFP for how to configure client certificate-based NickServ identification.
- If you need to force IPv4, connect to ircs://irc4.oftc.net:6697.
- We offer a WebChat service (also via the boxes at the top of this page).
- Use of Tor is permitted.
We offer IRC services (NickServ, ChanServ) for nick and channel registration.
If you have support requests regarding the operation of the network please stop
#oftc or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome issues and pull requests on
our GitHub projects, especially on the
issue tracking repository.
- 2021 staff election results - thanks to Steve McIntyre (Sledge) and Alexander Færøy (ahf) for running the elections as counters this year.
- We’ve reconfigured our Let’s Encrypt TLS certificates to not use the expired DST Root CA X3, which should resolve issues with some clients and older TLS implementations. Note that if you’re using Android older than 7.1.1, you will no longer be able to connect without manually trusting the Let’s Encrypt CA.
We have now deployed the new verification flow that utilizes hCaptcha instead of Google ReCaptcha. Upon registration, the user receives a link which they can visit in their browser and solve a captcha. Upon successful completion, they will be marked as verified.
Together with this, we have also made the system automatically mark the user as verified on the IRC side, making the old
checkverifyNickServ command no longer necessary.
Should the user need a new link, as they expire after one hour, the new
reverifyNickServ command can come in handy.
The primary purpose of the old ServicesWeb web application was to facilitate verification. With today’s changes, we have decided to discontinue it.
- New Anti-Spam Bot - We have deployed a new anti-spam bot. With your channel op’s permission, it joins your channel, blocks spam messages before the channel sees them, and K-lines the spamming host. Read this page to see if our bot is a good fit for your channel.
- 2020 staff election results - thanks to Steve McIntyre (Sledge), Matt Trout (mst), and Alexander Færøy (ahf) for running the elections as counters this year.
2019 staff election results - thanks to Dan Christensen (opello) and Steve McIntyre (Sledge) for once again running the elections as counters this year.
OFTC chair is now Tom Wesley (tomaw).
- 2018 staff election results - thanks to Alexander Færøy (ahf), Dan Christensen (opello), and Steve McIntyre (Sledge) for once again running the elections as counters this year.
Late yesterday evening (Thursday 28 June 2018) OFTC staff became aware of successful unauthorized access to a number of OFTC user accounts. All evidence points to the unauthorized access being the result of a combination of weak account passwords and an attacker potentially using credential dumps from other online services.
The impact appears to have been limited to channels under the control of the compromised user accounts. OFTC and its services have not been compromised.
Known affected users have had their passwords reset and we will be working with those users to help them regain access. As soon as our review is complete, services will return to normal. If your account was not impacted, please ensure that you are using a strong, unique password for your OFTC account.
- We welcome new staff member Unit193 on board!
- We welcome new staff member pastly on board!
- On May 7th, irc6.oftc.net will no longer include A records. If you are using this DNS name to connect to OFTC from an IPv4-only host, you will want to update your client to use irc.oftc.net.
- tjfontaine is stepping down from NOC and is now an OFTC advisor. rnowak is taking over the role as OFTC ombudsman.
- 2017 staff election results - thanks to Alexander Færøy (ahf), Dan Christensen (opello), and Steve McIntyre (Sledge) for running the elections as counters this year.
- A new user mode (+j) has been added which prevents private messages unless the sender is registered with services or whitelisted by the receiver. If a user has +Gj set, they can only receive messages from registered users who also share a channel. The functionality of +G has not been changed.
- AS6453 is sponsoring a server in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. Thanks!
- We welcome new staff member mcintosh on board!
As of 2017-03-26, NickServ will require nick verification via services.oftc.net for the +R user mode. This affects channels using the +M and +R channel modes.
In other words, make sure to verify your newly registered nickname using the web interface.
On January 8th, the EFnet RBL domain had expired, and the domain was subsequently taken over by a domain spam^Wparker. They went on to return A responses for all blacklist queries, which made our IRC services cloak all incoming connections as coming in over Tor. While investigating the cause of the problem, services were restarted, which suddenly made (almost) all existing connections to be cloaked as Tor connections as well, and as an unfortunate side effect, also akilled a 3-digit number of connections.
We have disabled the use of EFnet RBL for now, and will work on putting sanity checks in place in services which should reject the non-RBL responses so this incident should not repeat itself. Sorry for the trouble.
There are still users connected who are wrongly cloaked as being on Tor. Symptoms are being unable to join (or talk in) channels that have banned Tor users. To fix, reconnect, or “/msg nickserv set cloak on/off” to toggle the personalized cloaks which will override the Tor cloaks.
OFTC is using DroneBL (and EFnet RBL) to automatically block incoming IRC connections from hosts known to be compromised. Starting last week, DroneBL is now enforced in the firewalls. Previously affected connections were rejected on the IRC level with a “This host is infected” akill message; these connections will now receive a TCP RST.
If you have trouble connecting, check DroneBL’s IP lookup form. Once the DroneBL listing is removed, you should be able to connect again. If you keep receiving an akill message, contact email@example.com to get that removed as well.
- OFTC’s ircservices have a web interface at services.oftc.net.
- New NickServ accounts now require verification through the services web interface to use the generic user cloaks.
- We have completed the upgrade to oftc-hybrid 1.7.
- OFTC now supports modern DHE and ECDHE cipher suites to offer perfect forward secrecy for SSL/TLS connections. Thanks to Alexander Færøy for the patches!
- NickServ’s AJOIN feature is now fully available again.
- We welcome new staff member dwfreed on board!
- The minimum length of acceptable nicknames for registration in NickServ has been lowered to 2 characters. Previously the minimum length was 3 characters.
- In self-referential news, news items are now also available as Atom/RSS feed .
OFTC is now featuring full DNSSEC support. Both the oftc.net and geo.oftc.net zones are signed and verifiable from the DNS root. Additionally, TLSA (aka DANE) records allow verification of the individual SSL certificate fingerprints of our IRC servers.
On related news, our old oftcdns load-balancing for IRC servers based on Python Twisted has been replaced by a newer implemetation based on bind9 and dynamic DNS updates.
- Adding new AJOIN channels via NickServ is currently disabled. The current implementation allows to circumvent channel bans. AJOIN will be reenabled once this is fixed.
We have completed the move to SSL certificates issued by the Let’s Encrypt project. These certificates should remove the need for users to manually install any CA certificate files. Please drop by on #oftc or mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any troubles with the new certificates.
OFTC would like to thank Software in the Public Interest for providing us with certificate services over the last years, when non-commercial SSL certificates were a scarce resource.
Update 2016-04-19: Users who have hard-coded paths to CA files in their client config will need to update or remove that config. Especially irssi users are hit by this problem. Removing ssl_cafile from ~/.irssi/config (but leaving ssl_verify in place) should fix it. (Note that /reconnect does not use the new config, use /reload /disconnect /connect instead.)
The CA used to sign our IRC server certificates, SPI, has been removed from Debian’s (and other’s) ca-certificates package. This means users will now be seeing “self-signed certificate in certificate chain” errors or experiencing similar problems with SSL connections.
We are moving to Let’s Encrypt certificates, but have yet to complete testing our processes.
To work around the problem until we have new certificates, manually import the spi-cacert.crt certificate into your system’s or IRC client’s trust store.
- The OFTC website www.oftc.net finally supports SSL, a long-requested feature.
- OFTC congratulates our founding member and advisor cdlu on winning a seat in the Canadian Parliament!
- OFTC has a new logo!
- The OFTC IRC servers were not affected by the OpenSSL heartbleed bug.
- The 2013 staff election is now over and counted.
- A webchat has been lurking in the shadows for some time, and is now being announced to the world at large. Visit WebChat for more information.
- On November 26th, OFTC enabled automatic cloaking for those who wish to use it, please see UserCloaks for more information and caveats.
- The 2012 staff election is now over and counted. You can review the staff changes on the Staff page.
- On January 18th, a bug in anti-spambot software we are using mistakenly kicked a large number of legitimate users from the network. The bug has been fixed, and we apologize for the inconvenience caused.
- The 2011 staff election is now over and counted. You can review the staff changes on the Staff page.
- The 2010 staff election is now over and counted. You can review the staff changes on the Staff page.
- oftc-ircservices-1.4.0 has been released, this includes the much anticipated GroupServ module to make it easy for groups to manage multiple channel access lists with centralized group management
- We have two new staff members, welcome aboard mwalling and youam!
- The 2009 staff election is now over and counted. You can review the staff changes on the Staff page.