IRC Logging Bot

Implement logging for your favorite IRC channels.

This article is in response to a request by Ryan Jung. Request your own article.

One of the disadvantages of using IRC over another chat medium is the lack of logging while you aren’t connected to the server. In this article, I will describe the process I used to implement logging for my favorite IRC channels.

The Environment

Pierc is my choice of logging bot for this article. It logs the contents of IRC channels to a MySQL instance, and presents an easy to use web interface.

We will need to install the following packages on Fedora to get started:

yum install httpd mysql mysql-server php php-mysql MySQL-python

Make sure you configure httpd and mysql to start on boot:

chkconfig httpd on
chkconfig mysqld on

Finally, we will need to setup an unprivileged user for pierc to run under:

useradd pierc
passwd pierc

Login as the pierc user, and let’s begin the configuration.

Pierc Logger

Installation and configuration instructions for Pierc can be found here. I’m going to run through them at a higher level here.

  1. Create a database for pierc to use. Create a limited user with full permissions on this new database, and jot down the account details for future reference.
  2. Obtain the latest copy and unpack this in the pierc user’s home directory.
  3. Copy the example configuration files (irc_config and mysql_config) and fill in the appropriate values.
  4. Populate the database with the necessary tables by running the following command:

Pierc Web Interface

The downloaded package also includes a web folder that contains all the files necessary for the web interface. Copy this to your Apache Document Root. You will need to copy the config.php.example file to config.php and then modify the necessary values to connect to the MySQL database.

Start Pierc

Start a tmux or screen session, and run the following command to start Pierc. You can then detach from your tmux or screen session, and Pierc will continue to run.


You should see a new user join your IRC channels. This user will have the name you configured in irc_config.txt as nick:. That’s your new bot, happily logging all the channel’s messages to the database server. Browse to your server’s web interface, and you should see the logs appear. Good Work!