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.

Connection Details:

We offer IRC services (NickServ, ChanServ) for nick and channel registration.

If you have support requests regarding the operation of the network please stop by #oftc or email support@oftc.net. We welcome issues and pull requests on our GitHub projects, especially on the issue tracking repository.


March 2024

  • 2023 staff election results - thanks to Steve McIntyre (Sledge), Alexander Færøy (ahf), and Pierre-Elliott Bécue (peb) for running the elections as counters this year.

October 2023

  • 2022 staff election results - They’re a year late, but 2022 election results have been posted. Thanks to Steve McIntyre (Sledge), Alexander Færøy (ahf), and Pierre-Elliott Bécue (peb) for running the elections as counters this year.

October 2022

  • OFTC wants to upgrade the services in use to the Atheme variant. One user visible change will be the uniqueness of SSL cert fingerprints for accounts. If you are using SSL CertFP to identify to your accounts, please review the fingerprints associated with your account(s) and ensure that they are not duplicated between your accounts. This only applies if you have multiple separate accounts using the same fingerprint. Linked/grouped nicks are only a single account.

    We intend to remove any remaining duplicate fingerprint entries on 2022-11-22. The removal algorithm will delete duplicates from all but the most recently used account.

January 2022

November 2021

  • 2021 staff election results - thanks to Steve McIntyre (Sledge) and Alexander Færøy (ahf) for running the elections as counters this year.

October 2021

September 2021

  • 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 checkverify NickServ command no longer necessary.

    Should the user need a new link, as they expire after one hour, the new reverify NickServ 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.

June 2021

  • 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.

May 2021

  • Privacy Policy updates - New accounts now have the flag PRIVATE turned on by default, all old accounts have this flag turned on forcefully ONCE as of now. This means that the mail address used for registration is no longer visible by default to other users, only IRCOps.

    We have also updated our privacy policy to include more details on which data is visible to who (including other users).

October 2020

  • 2020 staff election results - thanks to Steve McIntyre (Sledge), Matt Trout (mst), and Alexander Færøy (ahf) for running the elections as counters this year.

November 2019

  • 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).

March 2019

  • We have updated our Privacy Policy to mention that we scan connecting hosts for known vulnerabilities and open proxies, and that we use the EFnet RBL. This was erroneously omitted previously.

November 2018

  • 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.

June 2018

  • 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!

May 2018

  • OFTC has a Privacy Policy now. Please review it for anything that you might not like. Feedback is welcome on #oftc and via support@oftc.net.

April 2018

  • 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.

November 2017

  • 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.

July 2017

  • 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.

June 2017

  • AS6453 is sponsoring a server in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. Thanks!

May 2017

  • We welcome new staff member mcintosh on board!

March 2017

  • 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.

January 2017

  • 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.

December 2016

  • 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 support@oftc.net to get that removed as well.

November 2016

  • 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.

October 2016

September 2016

  • 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 .

July 2016

  • 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.

April 2016

  • 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 support@oftc.net 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.)

March 2016

  • 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.

February 2016

  • The OFTC website www.oftc.net finally supports SSL, a long-requested feature.

November 2015

  • OFTC congratulates our founding member and advisor cdlu on winning a seat in the Canadian Parliament!

October 2014

May 2014

April 2014

  • The OFTC IRC servers were not affected by the OpenSSL heartbleed bug.

October 2013

March 2013

  • 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.

November 2012

  • 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.

January 2012

  • 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.

November 2011

October 2010

May 2010

  • 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

April 2010

  • We have two new staff members, welcome aboard mwalling and youam!

October 2009

  • The 2009 staff election is now over and counted. You can review the staff changes on the Staff page.