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About UnrealIRCd

UnrealIRCd is an Open Source IRC Server, serving thousands of networks since 1999. It runs on Linux, OS X and Windows and is currently the most widely deployed IRCd with a market share of over 50%. UnrealIRCd is a highly advanced IRCd with a strong focus on modularity, an advanced and highly configurable configuration file. Key features include SSL, cloaking, its advanced anti-flood and anti-spam systems, swear filtering and module support. We are also particularly proud on our extensive online documentation.

Pick the right branch!

The 3.2.x (stable) series have proven to be very reliable over the past 10(!) years. If you want to run a stable IRCd then download UnrealIRCd 3.2 from, or use the 'master' branch on GitHub (NOTE: this is not the default branch!).

Otherwise, if you want to check out the latest technology and features, don't mind crashing once in a while and want to help us test, then try out 3.4.x (alpha!). On GitHub use the 'unreal34' branch (the default).

If you are just interested in checking out UnrealIRCd for the first time then we recommend you to try 3.2.x and not 3.4.x. UnrealIRCd 3.2.x is full of features as well and is much more stable. Also the documentation for 3.4.x is not up to date which may hinder you getting started.

How to get started

Please consult our excelent online documentation at when setting up the IRCd!

Note: the procedure below is for UnrealIRCd version 3.4.x (not 3.2.x!)

Step 1: Installation


Simply download the UnrealIRCd Windows version from

Compiling UnrealIRCd for Windows yourself is not straightforward and thus not recommended.

*BSD/Linux/OS X

First you must compile the IRCd:

  • Run ./Config
  • Run make
  • Run make install
  • Now change to the directory where you installed UnrealIRCd, e.g. cd /home/xxxx/unrealircd

Step 2: Configuration

Configuration files are stored in the conf/ folder by default (eg: /home/xxxx/unrealircd/conf)

Create a configuration file

If you are new, then you need to create your own configuration file: Copy conf/examples/example.conf to conf/ and call it unrealircd.conf. Then open it in an editor and carefully modify it using the documentation and FAQ as a guide (see below).

Step 3: Booting

Linux/*BSD/OS X

Run ./unrealircd start in the directory where you installed UnrealIRCd.


Start -> All Programs -> UnrealIRCd -> UnrealIRCd

Documentation & FAQ

You can find the documentation online at:

We also have a good FAQ: