Blog

Updates from the people who run DareNET

Running an IRC Network in 2019: Challenges and Opportunities

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is one of the oldest kids on the block. Its user base has been in decline. The Internet has become increasingly centralized and web-centric; “relevant” chat platforms these days are Discord and Slack. So why should we, in 2019, still bother with a chat network running a protocol created back in the late 80s, early 90s? We have found answers of our own to that ... Read on

Let's Encrypt and SNI

We have fully transitioned to using Let's Encrypt certificates for our IRC servers. This means we no longer sign our certificates using our own Certificate Authority (CA) for client connections. Most IRC clients should have no problem verifying them; however,  you can download the root certificate from LetsEncrypt if need be.

We now also support SNI. For clients that support it, this means the server will offer the appropriate certificate regardless of whether you connect using irc.darenet.org or use the server's darenet.org hostname.

Updates - 2019

Happy New Year! To ring in the new year, we'll be performing several updates across the network. To get us started, we'll be migrating to yeti, our in-house snircd (ircu) fork which has been in the works for awhile. Unfortunately, this means mass restarts across the network, but we think it'll be worth it in the long run. To ensure you're able to reconnect immediately, we suggest always using irc.darenet.org.

Information on some of the notable changes between ircd-darenet2 and yeti can be found here.

A note regarding certificate fingerprints

The new ircd uses SHA-256 as its client certificate fingerprint generation algorithm. This means the old SHA1 certificate fingerprints will no longer work. You can add the new fingerprint to your account by authenticating with your password and using the /msg N ADDCERT command. From that point on, CertFP auth should continue to work as normal.

Happy New Year 2019

The new year is already here for some, and around the corner for others, and by now your social media timelines must be flooded with numerous posts wishing you a happy new year. So out with the old, in with the new. Happy New Year everyone! Do more of what makes you happy in 2019.

IRC turns 30

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) turns 30 years old. Born at Oulu University's Department of Computer Sciences in 1988, Jarkko Oikarinen developed one of the Internet's first real-time messaging services as a summer job side project. It has played a pivotal role in the birth of the Internet's chat culture. Today, 30 years after launch, IRC still has a devoted user base. Here's to wishing IRC another 30 years!

For those feeling nostalgic, the DareNET Archives contains a lot of historical IRC software and documentation -- including some of the very first releases of ircd.