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A lightweight IRC framework.

Project description


Python 3.4+ Available on PyPI. License: MIT

A simple IRC client framework.

To install miniirc, simply run pip3 install miniirc as root.


irc = miniirc.IRC(ip, port, nick, channels = None, *, ssl = None, ident = None, realname = None, persist = True, debug = False, ns_identity = None, auto_connect = True, ircv3_caps = set(), quit_message  = 'I grew sick and died.', ping_interval = 60, verify_ssl = True)
Parameter Description
ip The IP/hostname of the IRC server to connect to.
port The port to connect to.
nick The nickname of the bot.
channels The channels to join on connect.
ssl Enable TLS/SSL. If None, TLS/SSL is disabled unless the port is 6697.
ident The ident to use, defaults to nick.
realname The realname to use, defaults to nick as well.
persist Whether to automatically reconnect.
debug Enables debug mode, prints all IRC messages. This can also be a file-like object (with write mode enabled) if you want debug messages to be written into a file instead of being printed to stdout, or a function (for example logging.debug).
ns_identity The NickServ account to use (<user> <password>). This can be a tuple or list since miniirc v1.2.0, however for backwards compatibility it should probably be a string.
auto_connect Runs .connect() straight away.
ircv3_caps A set() of additional IRCv3 capabilities to request. SASL is auto-added if ns_identity is specified.
connect_modes A mode string (for example '+B') of UMODEs to set when connected.
quit_message Sets the default quit message. This can be modified per-quit with irc.disconnect().
ping_interval If no packets are sent or received for this amount of seconds, miniirc will send a PING, and if no reply is sent, after the same timeout, miniirc will attempt to reconnect. Set to None to disable.
verify_ssl Verifies TLS/SSL certificates. Disabling this is not recommended. If you have trouble with certificate verification, try running pip3 install certifi first.


Function Description
change_parser(parser = ...) See the message parser section for documentation.
connect() Connects to the IRC server if not already connected.
ctcp(target, *msg, reply=False, tags=None) Sends a CTCP request or reply to target.
debug(...) Debug, calls print(...) if debug mode is on.
disconnect(msg = ..., *, auto_reconnect = False) Disconnects from the IRC server. auto_reconnect will be overriden by self.persist if set to True.
Handler(...) An event handler, see Handlers for more info.
me(target, *msg, tags=None) Sends a /me (CTCP ACTION) to target.
msg(target, *msg, tags=None) Sends a PRIVMSG to target.
notice(target, *msg, tags=None) Sends a NOTICE to target.
quote(*msg, force=None, tags=None) Sends a raw message to IRC, use force=True to send while disconnected. Do not send multiple commands in one irc.quote(), as the newlines will be stripped and it will be sent as one command. The tags parameter optionally allows you to add a dict with IRCv3 client tags (all starting in +), and will not be sent to IRC servers that do not support client tags.


These variables should not be changed outside

Variable Description
isupport New in 1.1.0. A dict with values (not necessarily strings) from ISUPPORT messages sent to the client.
msglen New in 1.1.0. The maximum length (in bytes) of messages (including \r\n). This is automatically changed if the server supports the capability.
nick The current nickname.


Handlers are @-rules called in their own thread when their respective IRC event(s) is/are received. Handlers may be global (@miniirc.handler) or local (@miniirc.IRC().handler) to a certain IRC connection. New handlers are added to existing IRC connections automatically since miniirc 0.3.2.

The basic syntax for a handler is as followed, where *events is a list of events (PRIVMSG, NOTICE, etc) are called.

import miniirc
def handler(irc, hostmask, args):
    # irc:      An 'IRC' object.
    # hostmask: A 'hostmask' object.
    # args:     A list containing the arguments sent to the command.
    #             Everything following the first `:` in the command
    #             is put into one item (args[-1]).

Hostmask object

Hostmasks are tuples with the format ('user', 'ident', 'hostname'). If ident and hostname aren't sent from the server, they will be filled in with the previous value. If a command is received without a hostmask, all the hostmask parameters will be set to the name of the command.

Making existing functions handlers

You can make existing functions handlers (for example class instance methods) with irc.Handler(*events)(handler_function). You probably don't want to use miniirc.Handler for class instance methods, as this will create a handler that gets triggered for every IRC object.

You can also add multiple handlers of the same type easily:

add_handler = irc.Handler('PRIVMSG')

This is useful if you want to create a Bot (or Client) class and add class-specific handlers without creating global process-wide handlers or creating a wrapper function for every class instance.

IRCv3 support

IRCv3 tags

If you want your handler to support IRCv3 message tags, you need to add ircv3 = True to the Handler at-rule. You will need to add a tags parameter to your function after hostmask. IRCv3 tags are sent to the handlers as dicts, with values of either strings or True.

Since version 0.3.8, miniirc will automatically un-escape IRCv3 tag values.

import miniirc
@miniirc.Handler(*events, ircv3 = True)
def handler(irc, hostmask, tags, args):

IRCv3 capabilities

You can handle IRCv3 capabilities before connecting using a handler. You must use force = True on any irc.quote() called here, as when this is called, miniirc has not yet connected.

import miniirc
@miniirc.Handler('IRCv3 my-cap-name')
def handler(irc, hostmask, args):
    # Process the capability here

    # IRCv3.2 capabilities:
    #   args = ['my-cap-name', 'IRCv3.2-parameters']

    # IRCv3.1 capabilities:
    #   args = ['my-cap-name']

    # Remove the capability from the processing list.
    irc.finish_negotiation(args[0]) # This can also be 'my-cap-name'.

Custom message parsers

If the IRC server you are connecting to supports a non-standard message syntax, you can create custom message parsers. These are called with the raw message (as a str) and can either return None to ignore the message or a 4-tuple (cmd, hostmask, tags, args) that will then be sent on to the handlers. The items in this 4-tuple should be the same type as the items expected by handlers (and cmd should be a string).

Message parser example

This message parser makes the normal parser allow ~ as an IRCv3 tag prefix character.

import miniirc

def my_message_parser(msg):
    if msg.startswith('~'):
        msg = '@' + msg[1:]
    return miniirc.ircv3_message_parser(msg)

Changing message parsers

To change message parsers, you can use irc.change_parser(func = ...). If func is not specified, it will default to the built-in parser. You can only change message parsers on-the-fly (for example in an IRCv3 CAP handler). If you need to change message parsers before connecting, you can disable auto_connect and change it then.

irc = miniirc.IRC(..., auto_connect = False)

Handling multiple events

New in version 1.3.0.

If you want to handle multiple events and/or be able to get the name of the event being triggered, you can use irc.CmdHandler. This will pass an extra command argument to the handler function (between irc and hostmask), containing a string with the command name (such as PRIVMSG).

Catch-all handlers

Please do not use these unless there is no other alternative.

If you want to handle every event, you can use catch-all handlers. To create these, you can call irc.CmdHandler() without any parameters. Note that this handler will be called many times while connecting (and once connected).

You cannot call irc.Handler() without parameters.


import miniirc

@miniirc.Handler('PRIVMSG', 'NOTICE')
def handler(irc, hostmask, args):
    print(hostmask[0], 'sent a message to', args[0], 'with content', args[1])
    # nickname sent a message to #channel with content :Hello, world!

@miniirc.CmdHandler('PRIVMSG', 'NOTICE')
def cmdhandler(irc, command, hostmask, args):
    print(hostmask[0], 'sent a', command, 'to', args[0], 'with content',
    # nickname sent a PRIVMSG to #channel with content :Hello, world!

This will print a line whenever the bot gets a PRIVMSG or NOTICE.

Misc functions

miniirc provides the following helper functions:

Name Description
miniirc.get_ca_certs() Runs certifi.where() if certifi is installed, otherwise returns None.
miniirc.ircv3_message_parser(msg) The default IRCv2/IRCv3 message parser, returns cmd, hostmask, tags, args.
miniirc.ver A tuple containing version information.
miniirc.version The CTCP VERSION reply, can be changed.

The version numbering system should be similar to SemVer, however backwards compatibility is preserved where possible when major releases change. Patch version numbers can and will increase quickly, as miniirc is (at the time of writing this) under active development.

Python version support

  • Python 2 does not work and will (probably) never work with miniirc. If you MUST use Python 2, you can use the (probably outdated and bug-filled) python2 branch.
  • Python 3.3 and below probably won't work, and fixes will not be added unless they are very trivial.
  • Python 3.4 is not tested as thoroughly, however should work (and does with version 1.2.3).
  • Python 3.5 and above should work with the latest stable version of miniirc.

If there is a bug/error in Python 3.4 or newer (or a very trivial fix for Python 3.3), please open an issue or pull request on GitHub or GitLab.

Working examples/implementations

Here is a list of some (open-source) bots using miniirc, in alphabetial order:

  • irc-rss-feed-bot - Posts RSS entry titles and shortened URLs to IRC channels. Python 3.7+
  • irc-url-title-bot - Gets webpage titles from URLs posted in IRC channels. Python 3.7+
  • lurklite - A generic configurable IRC bot. GitHub link.
  • stdinbot - A very simple bot that dumps stdin to an IRC channel. GitHub link.

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