Setting up ZNC on Mozilla People for Limechat

I like using LimeChate for my IRC client, but since I don’t have a way to maintain an always on connection I was missing information happening in channels we use for work. My coworkers user IRSSI on their people accounts and ssh in to get the scroll back. Honestly I just don’t like the asthetics of IRSSI and I have invested some time in good themes for LimeChat and getting things just the way I like it. So I dug a bit more and found a bouncer called ZNC and set off to see if I could get it installed.

First I tried to install it directly and that did not work, in fact the commands said they would report my activity to our ops security group (good thing I work with that team). After poking around on our IRC channels I found out znc is already installed on our people accounts for Mozilla and I just needed to get a config. The easiest way to do this is to run “znc -c, –makeconf“; I found the list of commands by doing a znc -? while ssh-ed into my people account.

The interactive setup was pretty easy, if you have setup an IRC client for doing work at mozilla a good deal of the setup is the same. The biggest difference is you have to give the program a port to listen on, and you need to remember that port for configuring your client be it LimeChat or another. Here are some example choices:

What port would you like ZNC to listen on? (1 to 65535): #
Would you like ZNC to listen using SSL? (yes/no) [no]: yes
Would you like ZNC to listen using ipv6? (yes/no) [no]: no
Listen Host (Blank for all ips):

It will then ask you to setup a user, again pretty easy, then it asks about modules but I did not setup any of these as I did not see a use. You will need the info for your irc server in my case irc.mozilla.org, what port it listens on, (6697) and weather it uses ssl (it does) After that it will ask for the channels you want to have it be on. Don’t forget to provide the passwords for password protected channels. Then you can start it up.

The last part of this is setting up your client. you will want to use localhost as your server and the port you setup in your conf and don’t forget to use SSL. You will also need the username and password you setup during your config. The last part of this that took me a while to figure out was that I had to setup an ssh pass for the local host. On my OS X box that looks like this (you can make this a permanent alias for convenience) “ssh -L####:localhost:#### username@people.mozilla.com” where #### is the port you specified in your config and username is your people account username. Once this is done you can connect your client and your off.

I have found that any channels I have joined, not just the ones in my conf do have scrollback and other than the server and ssh redirect irc works exactly like a normal connection directly to the mozilla irc servers. As such I have only setup the znc to join channels that are critical for me and I manage the other channels from my irc client.

Thanks to bwinton, the team on #IT and my coworkers for sending me down this path.

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Posted in Mozilla, Random
4 comments on “Setting up ZNC on Mozilla People for Limechat
  1. btw you may be interested in the Log and Shell modules, as they allow you to quick grepping of channel logs. I’m in a lot of channels so using a high scrollback message count value makes most IRC clients choke. I solve that by using a low (100) value and then grepping the logs using the Shell module if I need older messages.

  2. Justin Lebar says:

    Also have a look at https://github.com/Nephyrin/znc-privreplay/commits/master which lets you reply private messages.

  3. I didn’t know that znc was installed on people, but we should really see if we can centralize it to have one single instance of it listening and supporting multiple users. This is the way I have my personal znc server configured and it works very well.

    • curtisko says:

      The only possible problem I can see with that is for closed password protected channels (like security channels where I need to be). I would have some concern about accidentally leaking information that needs to be protected to keep users safe.

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