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:

  • 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, and a web front end at services.oftc.net.

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.


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.