soju(1) General Commands Manual soju(1)

soju - IRC bouncer

soju [options...]

soju is a user-friendly IRC bouncer. It connects to upstream IRC servers on behalf of the user to provide extra features.

•Multiple separate users sharing the same bouncer, each with their own upstream servers
•Sending the backlog (messages received while the user was disconnected from the bouncer), with per-client buffers

To connect to the bouncer, use the bouncer username and password. To use a client which doesn't support the IRC extension, setup one connection per server configured in soju, and indicate the network name in the username: "<username>/<network>". Then channels can be joined and parted as if you were directly connected to the upstream server.

For per-client history to work on clients which don't support the IRCv3 chathistory extension, clients need to indicate their name. This can be done by adding a "@<client>" suffix to the username.

When joining a channel, the channel will be saved and automatically joined on the next connection. When registering or authenticating with NickServ, the credentials will be saved and automatically used on the next connection if the server supports SASL. When parting a channel with the reason "detach", the channel will be detached instead of being left.

If a network specified in the username doesn't exist, and the network name is a valid hostname, the network will be automatically added.

When all clients are disconnected from the bouncer, the user is automatically marked as away by default.

soju will reload the configuration file, the TLS certificate/key and the MOTD file when it receives the HUP signal. The configuration options listen, db and log cannot be reloaded.

Administrators can broadcast a message to all bouncer users via /notice $<hostname> <text>, or via /notice $* <text> if the connection isn't bound to a particular network. All currently connected bouncer users will receive the message from the special BouncerServ service.

-h, -help

Show help message and quit.

-config <path>

Path to the config file. If unset, a default config file is used.


Enable debug logging (this will leak sensitive information such as passwords).

-listen <uri>

Listening URI (default: ":6697"). Can be specified multiple times.

The config file has one directive per line.


listen ircs://
tls cert.pem key.pem

The following directives are supported:

listen <uri>

Listening URI (default: ":6697").

The following URIs are supported:

[ircs://][host][:port] listens with TLS over TCP (default port if omitted: 6697)
irc+insecure://[host][:port] listens with plain-text over TCP (default port if omitted: 6667)
unix://<path> listens on a Unix domain socket
wss://[host][:port] listens for WebSocket connections over TLS (default port: 443)
ws+insecure://[host][:port] listens for plain-text WebSocket connections (default port: 80)
ident://[host][:port] listens for plain-text ident connections (default port: 113)
http+prometheus://localhost:<port> listens for plain-text HTTP connections and serves Prometheus metrics (host must be "localhost")
http+pprof://localhost:<port> listens for plain-text HTTP connections and serves pprof runtime profiling data (host must be "localhost"). For more information, see: <>.
unix+admin://[path] listens on a Unix domain socket for administrative connections, such as sojuctl (default path: /run/soju/admin)

If the scheme is omitted, "ircs" is assumed. If multiple listen directives are specified, soju will listen on each of them.

hostname <name>

Server hostname (default: system hostname).

This should be set to a fully qualified domain name.

title <title>

Server title. This will be sent as the ISUPPORT NETWORK value when clients don't select a specific network.

tls <cert> <key>

Enable TLS support. The certificate and the key files must be PEM-encoded.

db <driver> <source>

Set the database location for user, network and channel storage. By default, a sqlite3 database is opened in "./soju.db".

Supported drivers:

sqlite3 expects source to be a path to the SQLite file
postgres expects source to be a space-separated list of key=value parameters, e.g. db postgres "host=/run/postgresql dbname=soju". Note that sslmode defaults to require. For more information on connection strings, see: <>.

message-store <driver> [source]

Set the database location for IRC messages. By default, an in-memory message database is used.

Supported drivers:

memory stores messages in memory. For each channel/user, only the latest 4K messages are kept in memory, older messages are discarded. This driver is very basic and doesn't support features such as the chathistory extension and search.
fs stores messages on disk, in the same format as ZNC. source is required and is the root directory path for the database. This on-disk format is lossy: some IRCv3 messages (e.g. TAGMSG) and all message tags are discarded.
db stores messages in the database. A full-text search index is used to speed up search queries.

(log is a deprecated alias for this directive.)

http-origin <patterns...>

List of allowed HTTP origins for WebSocket listeners. The parameters are interpreted as shell patterns, see glob(7).

By default, only the request host is authorized. Use this directive to enable cross-origin WebSockets.

accept-proxy-ip <cidr...>

Allow the specified IPs to act as a proxy. Proxys have the ability to overwrite the remote and local connection addresses (via the PROXY protocol, the Forwarded HTTP header field defined in RFC 7239 or the X-Forwarded-* HTTP header fields). The special name "localhost" accepts the loopback addresses and ::1/128.

By default, all IPs are rejected.

max-user-networks <limit>

Maximum number of networks per user. By default, there is no limit.

motd <path>

Path to the MOTD file. The bouncer MOTD is sent to clients which aren't bound to a specific network. By default, no MOTD is sent.

upstream-user-ip <cidr...>

Enable per-user IP addresses. One IPv4 range and/or one IPv6 range can be specified in CIDR notation. One IP address per range will be assigned to each user and will be used as the source address when connecting to an upstream network.

This can be useful to avoid having the whole bouncer banned from an upstream network because of one malicious user.

disable-inactive-user <duration>

Disable inactive users after the specified duration.

A user is inactive when the last downstream connection is closed.

The duration is a positive decimal number followed by the unit "d" (days). For instance, "30d" disables users 30 days after they last disconnect from the bouncer.

enable-user-on-auth true|false

Enable users when they successfully authenticate.

This can be used together with disable-inactive-user to seamlessly disable and re-enable users during lengthy inactivity.

When external authentication is used (e.g. auth oauth2), bouncer users are automatically created after successfull authentication.

auth <driver> ...

Set the authentication method. By default, internal authentication is used.

Supported drivers:

auth internal

Use internal authentication.
auth oauth2 <url>
Use external OAuth 2.0 authentication. The authorization server URL must be provided. The client ID and client secret can be provided as username and password in the URL. The authorization server must support OAuth 2.0 Authorization Server Metadata (RFC 8414) and OAuth 2.0 Token Introspection (RFC 7662).
auth pam
Use PAM authentication.

soju exposes an IRC service called BouncerServ to manage the bouncer. Commands can be sent via regular private messages (/msg BouncerServ <command> [args...]). Commands may be written in full or abbreviated form, for instance network can be abbreviated as net or just n.

Commands are parsed according the POSIX shell rules. In particular, words can be quoted (via double or single quotes) and a backslash escapes the next character.

help [command]

Show a list of commands. If command is specified, show a help message for the command.

network create -addr <addr> [options...]

Connect to a new network at addr. -addr is mandatory.

addr supports several connection types:

[ircs://]<host>[:port] connects with TLS over TCP
irc+insecure://<host>[:port] connects with plain-text TCP
irc+unix:///<path> connects to a Unix socket

For example, to connect to Libera Chat:

net create -addr

Other options are:

-name <name>

Short network name. This will be used instead of addr to refer to the network.

-username <username>

Connect with the specified username. By default, the nickname is used.

-pass <pass>

Connect with the specified server password.

-realname <realname>

Connect with the specified real name. By default, the account's realname is used if set, otherwise the network's nickname is used.

-certfp <fingerprint>

Instead of using certificate authorities to check the server's TLS certificate, check whether the server certificate matches the provided fingerprint. This can be used to connect to servers using self-signed certificates. The fingerprint format is SHA512. An empty string removes any previous fingerprint.

The following command can be used to fetch the certificate fingerprint of an IRC server:

openssl s_client -connect </dev/null 2>/dev/null | openssl x509 -fingerprint -sha512 -noout -in /dev/stdin

-nick <nickname>

Connect with the specified nickname. By default, the account's username is used.

-auto-away true|false

Enable or disable the auto-away feature. If the feature is enabled, the user will be marked as away when all clients are disconnected from the bouncer. By default, auto-away is enabled.

-enabled true|false

Enable or disable the network. If the network is disabled, the bouncer won't connect to it. By default, the network is enabled.

-connect-command <command>

Send the specified quoted string as a raw IRC command right after connecting to the server. This can be used to identify to an account when the server doesn't support SASL.

For instance, to identify with NickServ, the following command can be used:

"PRIVMSG NickServ :IDENTIFY <password>"

The flag can be specified multiple times to send multiple IRC messages. To clear all commands, set it to the empty string.

network update [name] [options...]

Update an existing network. The options are the same as the network create command.

When this command is executed, soju will disconnect and re-connect to the network.

If name is not specified, the current network is updated.

network delete [name]

Disconnect and delete a network.

If name is not specified, the current network is deleted.

network quote [name] <command>

Send a raw IRC line as-is to a network.

If name is not specified, the command is sent to the current network.

network status

Show a list of saved networks and their current status.

channel status [options...]

Show a list of saved channels and their current status.


-network <name>

Only show channels for the specified network. By default, only the channels in the current network are displayed.

channel update <name> [options...]

Update the options of an existing channel.

Options are:

-detached true|false

Attach or detach this channel.

A detached channel is joined but is hidden by the bouncer. This is useful to e.g. collect logs and highlights in low-interest or high-traffic channels.

-relay-detached <mode>

Set when to relay messages from detached channels to the user with a BouncerServ NOTICE.

Modes are:


Relay any message from this channel when detached.


Relay only messages mentioning you when detached.


Don't relay any messages from this channel when detached.


Currently same as highlight. This is the default behaviour.

-reattach-on <mode>

Set when to automatically reattach to detached channels.

Modes are:


Reattach to this channel when any message is received.


Reattach to this channel when any message mentioning you is received.


Never automatically reattach to this channel.


Currently same as none. This is the default behaviour.

-detach-after <duration>

Automatically detach this channel after the specified duration has elapsed without receving any message corresponding to -detach-on.

Example duration values: 1h30m, 30s, 2.5h.

Setting this value to 0 will disable this behaviour, i.e. this channel will never be automatically detached. This is the default behaviour.

-detach-on <mode>

Set when to reset the auto-detach timer used by -detach-after, causing it to wait again for the auto-detach duration timer before detaching. Joining, reattaching, sending a message, or changing any channel option will reset the timer, in addition to the messages specified by the mode.

Modes are:


Receiving any message from this channel will reset the auto-detach timer.


Receiving any message mentioning you from this channel will reset the auto-detach timer.


Receiving messages from this channel will not reset the auto-detach timer. Sending messages or joining the channel will still reset the timer.


Currently same as message. This is the default behaviour.

channel delete <name>

Leave and forget a channel.

certfp generate [options...]

Generate self-signed certificate and use it for authentication (via SASL EXTERNAL).

Generates a 3072-bit RSA private key by default.

Options are:

-network <name>

Select a network. By default, the current network is selected, if any.

-key-type <type>

Private key algorithm to use. Valid values are: rsa, ecdsa and ed25519. ecdsa uses the NIST P-521 curve.

-bits <bits>

Size of RSA key to generate. Ignored for other key types.

certfp fingerprint [options...]

Show SHA-1 and SHA-256 fingerprints for the certificate currently used with the network.

Options are:

-network <name>

Select a network. By default, the current network is selected, if any.

sasl status [options...]

Show current SASL status.

Options are:

-network <name>

Select a network. By default, the current network is selected, if any.

sasl set-plain [options...] <username> <password>

Set SASL PLAIN credentials.

Options are:

-network <name>

Select a network. By default, the current network is selected, if any.

sasl reset [options...]

Disable SASL authentication and remove stored credentials.

Options are:

-network <name>

Select a network. By default, the current network is selected, if any.

user status

Show a list of users on this server. Only admins can query this information.

user create -username <username> -password <password> [options...]

Create a new soju user. Only admin users can create new accounts. The -username and -password flags are mandatory.

Options are:

-username <username>

The bouncer username. This cannot be changed after the user has been created.

-password <password>

The bouncer password.


Disable password authentication. The user will be unable to login.

-admin true|false

Make the new user an administrator.

-nick <nick>

Set the user's nickname. This is used as a fallback if there is no nickname set for a network.

-realname <realname>

Set the user's realname. This is used as a fallback if there is no realname set for a network.

-enabled true|false

Enable or disable the user. If the user is disabled, the bouncer will not connect to any of their networks, and downstream connections will be immediately closed. By default, users are enabled.

user update [username] [options...]

Update a user. The options are the same as the user create command.

If username is omitted, the current user is updated. Only admins can update other users.

Not all flags are valid in all contexts:

•The -username flag is never valid, usernames are immutable.
•The -nick and -realname flag are only valid when updating the current user.
•The -admin and -enabled flags are only valid when updating another user.

user delete <username> [confirmation token]

Delete a soju user.

Only admins can delete other users.

user run <username> <command...>

Execute a command as another user.

Only admins can use this command.

server status

Show some bouncer statistics. Only admins can query this information.

server notice <message>

Broadcast a notice. All currently connected bouncer users will receive the message from the special BouncerServ service. Only admins can broadcast a notice.

Maintained by Simon Ser <>, who is assisted by other open-source contributors. For more information about soju development, see <>.