cat to IRC


Build Status

A reimplementation of irccat, the original ChatOps tool, in Go.

irccat lets you easily send events to IRC channels from scripts and other applications.


Download the latest release from Github, put the example config in /etc/irccat.json or the local directory and customise it, and run!

## TCP → IRC Just cat a string to the TCP port - it’ll be sent to the first channel defined in your channel list:

echo "Hello world" | nc irccat-host 12345

Or specify a channel or nickname to send to:

echo "#channel Hello world" | nc irccat-host 12345
echo "@nick Hello world" | nc irccat-host 12345

You can also send to multiple recipients at once:

echo "#channel,@nick Hello world | nc irccat-host 12345

And set a channel topic:

echo "%TOPIC #channel Channel topic" | nc irccat-host 12345

IRC formatting is supported (see a full list of codes):

echo "Status is%GREEN OK %NORMAL" | nc irccat-host 12345


There’s a similar HTTP endpoint for sending messages. You can use curl in lieu of netcat, with “-d @-” to read POST data from stdin, like so:

echo "Hello world" | curl -d @- http://irccat-host/send

Everything that works via netcat also works by POST to /send.

There are also endpoints which support app-specific webhooks, currently:

  • Grafana alerts can be sent to /grafana. They will be sent to the channel defined in http.listeners.grafana.

More HTTP listeners welcome!

Note that there is (currently) no authentication on the HTTP endpoints, so you should make sure you firewall them from the world.

IRC → Shell

You can use irccat to execute commands from IRC:

?commandname string of arguments

This will call your commands.handler script, with the following environment variables:

  • IRCCAT_COMMAND: The name of the command, without the preceding ? (“commandname” in this example)
  • IRCCAT_ARGS: The arguments provided (“string of arguments” in this example)
  • IRCCAT_NICK: Nickname of the calling user
  • IRCCAT_USER: Username of the calling user
  • IRCCAT_HOST: Hostname of the calling user
  • IRCCAT_CHANNEL: Channel the command was issued in (may be blank if issued in PM)
  • IRCCAT_RESPOND_TO: The nick or channel that the STDOUT of the command will be sent to
  • IRCCAT_RAW: The raw IRC line received

The command handler’s STDOUT will be sent back to the nick or channel where the command was issued.

An example python command handler, which dispatches commands to individual shell scripts, can be found in examples/

irccat will only recognise commands from users in private message if the user is joined to commands.auth_channel defined in the config.

Full list of differences from RJ/irccat

  • Supports TLS connections to IRC servers.
  • HTTP endpoint handlers.
  • Doesn’t support !join, !part commands, but does automatically reload the config and join new channels.
  • Arguments are passed as environment variables to the command handler script, rather than as a single argument.

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