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IRC bot - full featured, yet extensible and customizable

Project description tests Ruff Code style: Black

pmxbot is bot for IRC and Slack written in Python. Originally built for internal use at YouGov, it’s been sanitized and set free upon the world. You can find out more details on the project website.


pmxbot listens to commands prefixed by a ‘!’ If it’s a command, it knows it will reply, take an action, etc. It can search the web, store quotes you, track karma, make decisions, and do just about anything else you could want. It stores logs and quotes and karma in either a sqlite or MongoDB database, and there’s a web interface for reviewing the logs and karma.


pmxbot will respond to things you say if it detects words and phrases it’s been told to recognize. For example, mention sql on rails.


pmxbot requires Python 3. It also requires a few python packages as defined in Some optional dependencies are installed with extras:

  • mongodb: Enable MongoDB persistence (instead of sqlite).

  • irc: IRC bot client.

  • slack: Slack bot client.

  • viewer: Enable the web viewer application.


pmxbot includes a test suite that does some functional tests written against the Python IRC server and quite a few unit tests as well. Install tox and run tox to invoke the tests.


Configuration is based on very easy YAML files. Check out config.yaml in the source tree for an example.


Once you’ve setup a config file, you just need to call pmxbot config.yaml and it will join and connect. We recommend running pmxbot under your favorite process supervisor to make it automatically restart if it crashes (or terminates due to a planned restart).

Custom Features

Setuptools Entry Points Plugin

pmxbot provides an extension mechanism for adding commands, and uses this mechanism even for its own built-in commands.

To create a setuptools entry point plugin, package your modules using the setuptools tradition and install it alongside pmxbot. Your package should define an entry point in the group pmxbot_handlers by including something similar to the following in the package’s

entry_points = {
    'pmxbot_handlers': [
        'plugin name = pmxbot.mymodule',

During startup, pmxbot will load pmxbot.mymodule. plugin name can be anything, but should be a name suitable to identify the plugin (and it will be displayed during pmxbot startup).

Note that the pmxbot package is a namespace package, and you’re welcome to use that namespace for your plugin (e.g. pmxbot.nsfw).

If your plugin requires any initialization, specify an initialization function (or class method) in the entry point. For example:

'plugin name = pmxbot.mymodule:initialize_func'

On startup, pmxbot will call initialize_func with no parameters.

Within the script you’ll want to import the decorator(s) you need to use with:

from pmxbot.core import command, contains, regexp, execdelay, execat`.

You’ll then decorate each function with the appropriate line so pmxbot registers it.

A command (!g) gets the @command decorator:

@command(aliases=('tt', 'tear', 'cry'))
def tinytear(rest):
  "I cry a tiny tear for you."
  if rest:
    return "/me sheds a single tear for %s" % rest
    return "/me sits and cries as a single tear slowly trickles down its cheek"

A response (when someone says something) uses the @contains decorator:

def yay_sor():'sql on rails', 1)
  return "Only 76,417 lines..."

Each handler may solicit any of the following parameters:

  • channel (the channel in which the message occurred)

  • nick (the nickname that triggered the command or behavior)

  • rest (any text after the command)

A more complicated response (when you want to extract data from a message) uses the @regexp decorator:

@regexp("jira", r"(?<![a-zA-Z0-9/])(OPS|LIB|SALES|UX|GENERAL|SUPPORT)-\d\d+")
def jira(client, event, channel, nick, match):
    return "" %

For an example of how to implement a setuptools-based plugin, see one of the many examples in the pmxbot project itself or one of the popular third-party projects:

Web Interface

pmxbot includes a web server for allowing users to view the logs, read the help, and check karma. You specify the host, port, base path, logo, title, etc with the same YAML config file. Just run like pmxbotweb config.yaml and it will start up. Like pmxbot, use of a supervisor is recommended to restart the process following termination.

pmxbot as a Slack bot (native)

To use pmxbot as a Slack bot, install with pmxbot[slack], and set slack token in your config to the token from your Bot User. Easy, peasy.

pmxbot as a Slack bot (IRC)

As Slack provides an IRC interface, it’s easy to configure pmxbot for use in Slack. Here’s how:

  1. Install with pmxbot[irc].

  2. Enable the IRC Gateway <>.

  3. Create an e-mail for the bot.

  4. Create the account for the bot in Slack and activate its account.

  5. Log into Slack using that new account and get the IRC gateway password <> for that account.

  6. Configure the pmxbot as you would for an IRC server, but use these settings for the connection:

    message rate limit: 2.5 password: <gateway password> server_host: <team name> server_port: 6667

    The rate limit is necessary because Slack will kick the bot if it issues more than 25 messages in 10 seconds, so throttling it to 2.5 messages per second avoids hitting the limit.

  7. Consider leaving ‘log_channels’ and ‘other_channels’ empty, especially if relying on Slack logging. Slack will automatically re-join pmxbot to any channels to which it has been /invited.

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