How to Setup ZNC

This guide was originally written for the Lowendspirit community by Jimmy Chen and he was kind enough to let me repost it here. He only asked me to send some money for Médecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors without Borders). Which I gladly did.

If you find something in this guide that you do not understand (probably because of the way Lowendspirit is set up) feel free to post a comment below or signup at the Lowendspirit forums.

What is ZNC

ZNC is an IRC network bouncer or BNC. It can detach the client from the actual IRC server, and also from selected channels. Multiple clients from different locations can connect to a single ZNC account simultaneously and therefore appear under the same nickname on IRC. It supports SSL secured connections and IPv6.

What is IRC?

IRC is a decades old protocol. It has proven itself to be reliable, low latency, and capable in several situations around the world. During the Soviet Coup in 1991, it was used to report during a media blackout. It has been used to conference, and for general chat, across the world from Monaco to North Korea. Even though this technology is old and slowly decaying, it continues to be widely used across the world for communication and chatting.

IRC is one of the very pinnacles of how the Internet was built, and by far, one of the most influential developments in the history of the internet.

So what am I supposed to do?

In this tutorial, we will be assuming you will be running the Debian 7 x32 Minimal template, which you can install by pressing this neat little button on your SolusVM control panel:


So we’ve gone this far. Let’s start on ZNC.

Login as the root user, (or if you’re security conscious, login as a normal user, and then su)

Run the following commands:

Updating repository:

Updating software packages:

You can install ZNC using the following options.

1. Via Source Tarball

If you have the knowledge necessary to setup ZNC or a similar package from source, you can obtain a newer version with better stability and added features.

2. Installing ZNC:

The ZNC in the Wheezy Repository, is somewhat outdated, but it generally is easier to install, and maintain.

Now, you can’t run ZNC as a root user. It just isn’t possible because security is actually a factor in ZNC.
So you’ll need to create a new user called ZNC.

Creating this user, you will be presented with a set of questions.
Simply enter in the desired password twice, and Enter through everything else (unless you wish to set the details for a reason).

Login as znc, assuming you are still root.

And enter into the shell as usual, by submitting your password.

Unfortunately, ZNC doesn’t come with a set of default configuration files, so you’ll need to generate that now.

So run:

From there, it will ask you a series of questions. For the most part, this should be self-explanatory, but we will create some input for certain questions.

You should set this to a IPv4 port, that you are assigned.

Although the default is no, you generally want to be able to connect via SSL, for security reasons. So respond with yes.

Enter here, or signify yes with a response.

You definitely want this, since LowEndSpirit revolves around IPv6.

This should be blank, if possible, unless you want to connect only via a certain IPv6 address.

From this point, you should be presented with a 2 global modules. Choose them at your discretion, using this index of modules as reference.
The general rule of thumb, don’t enable things you don’t need since they have the potential to waste your resources. But I recommend enabling webadmin, which is the second entry.

You will then be presented with the option to create your first username. Do the standard procedure, then respond with yes, to make this user an administrator.


Everything after that will include nicknames, real names, buffer (I recommend 200, assuming you aren’t joining every channel on Freenode) e.g.
You should also have been given a prompt to enable the admin module, which allows you to operate the ZNC Bouncer via the IRC interface. There will be a number of other modules as well, to choose to enable, and as always, use this index of modules to help you decide.

Note that these modules are not global. They apply solely to your user, and your user only. Later on, via the webadmin interface, you can easily disable and enable modules with parameters without issue.

You will then be directed to add your first IRC server.

It’s generally far more easier to conduct everything in the webadmin, which should now be running in the same port as your ZNC bouncer.
Unfortunately, for some odd reason, Webadmin binds itself to the IPv6 interface of your LowEndSprit VPS, when regular IRC does not discriminate.

At this point, you have two options.

1) You operate it by webadmin panel (we will touch upon that in this tutorial)

2) You operate the ZNC server entirely via the IPv4 IRC interface. (admin module)

In order to reach into either options, you will need to now connect to your ZNC Bouncer with an IRC Client. I recommend HexChat, which is derived from the popular IRC client on Linux, XChat.

If you use HexChat, add the ZNC Bouncer to your Network List.


In this prompt, check “Use SSL for all server on this network” and “Accept Invalid SSL Certificate.”
As well, if you wish, uncheck “Use Global User Information,” replacing the username box with the username you have created within ZNC setup.
Also, in the bottom portion of the prompt, put in your “Server Password,” which will be the password that you use with your ZNC account that you have created.

Now that you have entered your bouncer, type in

You will have received a message back as following, ensuring that the admin module works:

You will now be able to access your ZNC webadmin interface at:

If you do not add the https, you will not be able to gain access.

Everything from this point on is self-explanatory. You can add users, change servers, e.g.

PS Please be aware, in order to start your ZNC server in the future, log into your ZNC account and type in

1 comment for “How to Setup ZNC

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