Adam Caudill

Security Leader, Researcher, Developer, Writer, & Photographer

OpenIRCNet (RandomIRC) Link Policy Draft

This post was imported from an old blog archive, and predates the creation of

Here is a draft update for the linking requirements for the OpenIRC Network, please feel free to review this and post your comments. (This is mainly for the staff of OpenIRC)

Linking to OpenIRCNet #

We are always looking for new servers to add to the family, but linking a new server is a serious matter, as there are a number of issues are involved. To walk you through the process we have prepared this document to assist you.

To begin this process you need to know what we expect from you, both in your time and your server. Your server should meet these basic requirements:

  • Windows NT/2000/XP Pro/2003 or a modern *nix platform
  • A Pentium II 300 or better processor
  • Adequate RAM for the OS + IRCd
  • 1GB of hard-drive space for software & log files
  • A stable & fast connection

The Server #

The server itself is a major factor in linking, does it support the software we use (Unreal IRCd & any addition modules), is it fast enough, is it stable enough? There are many questions, but for most fairly modern systems these will be trivial. Most of our servers are custom built to serve, the operating system, the hardware, the software installed, it’s all about being a IRC server. We highly recommend that you do the same, take a look at your hardware & see if it’s really what’s needed, perhaps you’ll need to consider a few updates before proceeding.

Now don’t let that worry you though, as I said, most fairly modern systems will make it without a question.

The Operating System #

Windows 95/98/Me/XP Home: These platforms make very poor server and will not be linked. We will not be accepting any applications if you run these.

Windows NT/2000/XP Pro/2003: These systems are welcome for consideration, they should be up-to-date with all the latest patches & updates, have a software firewall & anti-virus software properly configured & installed. The systems should be locked down with all unneeded services disabled. The servers time should be synchronized regularly to ensure accuracy. These systems should be servers, not your desktop, stability & uptime are extremely important and thus the server should be dedicated to running the IRCd.

Linux/Unix/Etc: We encourage server operators chose a stable & secure *nix platform for their server due to it’s stability & security. There is an exception though, *if you are not an experiencednix administrator, then don’t waste your time & ours.** The ability to maintain a secure server is critical, and the most common security issue with a *nix server is its administrator.

The Connection #

This is the second most important & second most subjective factor in the process. Your connection is critical to being a good IRC server, we will need trace-route & ping information from the server to several hosts, we will also need a detailed & honest description of your connection. All this will be reviewed before your application will be considered further. Servers accepted prior to Jan 1st 2006 may continue to operate on consumer connections so long as they continue to meet the stability requirements, servers after that date must utilize a commercial connection.

You & Your Staff #

This is the most important factor, once your application has been reviewed, we’ll review you, as a server owner you are an important part of this team, and you’ll carry a great deal of trust. We take this trust very seriously, you’ll be asked about your experience with IRC, experience running a server & the like. Once these interviews are over there will be a series of votes to determine how to proceed.

The Tests #

If you are approved for connection tests & a trial link, you’ll have to go through a series of steps before becoming a normal server on our network. Below is a description of these tests. During the testing period, your server will be quarantined for security reasons.

  • 7 Day Up Time: You will be asked to install the latest version of Unreal IRCd with a supplied conf file, a group of IRCops will connect to the server to monitor it. Once it has passed 7 days of continuous uptime, there will be a vote. If approved you will be asked to perform a bandwidth test.
  • Bandwidth Test: If you pass the first test, you will be asked to setup your server as it will be once the link is approved, once the configuration is completed you will be linked to the network for 7 days to see how your server handles the traffic, if it survives you go on to the next test.
  • Trial Link: In a trial link you will be connect to the network & your server will be included on the DNS balancing, this trial will last for 14 days, as time passes we will solicit feedback from users on your server as well as ping & trace-route stats from various locations. On completion of the trial link there is only 1 test to go.
  • The Final Vote: After all the test are done, there will be a vote to determine if the link should remain, this will include talking to you, your staff, and users. This vote will normally take 2 to 3 days during which you will be removed from the DNS.

After Linking #

All servers must continue to meet these requirements to remain part of the network. Any server that fails to meet these standards will be removed from the load balancing until such time as the issues are corrected. If all issues are not rectified within a reasonable amount of time, the server will be delinked.

Questions? #

Feel free to ask any questions you have in #Help, there is normally a IRCop there who should be able to answer.

Update: This was posted shortly before OpenIRCNet became RandomIRC.

Adam Caudill