IRCv3.2 `webirc` Extension

Published on , 339 words, 2 minutes to read

This document does not describe a new IRCv3 standard. It is designed to document how the existing WEBIRC mechanism works so there is a specification to test things against. This is known to be implemented by all major IRC daemons as of the time of this writing.

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.


The WEBIRC verb allows a connecting IRC client to spoof its origin IP address so that a user connecting via a gateway of some kind may have accountability for their actions and bans against them do not affect unintended users of said gateway.

This protocol verb must be sent before the initial NICK and USER handshake and may be advertised as the client capability webirc. The remote server may send a pre-connection NOTICE clarifying that the user has their specified IP address and reverse DNS. Gateway implementors must not let the user set their own IP address as part of connection negotiations.


The WEBIRC verb must be used as such:

WEBIRC <password> <client ident> <client reverse DNS> <client IP address>

Access to WEBIRC must be protected by a password to prevent abuse. If the password the client gives fails, the IRC daemon should disconnect the client with an appropriate error message. IRC daemon authors should also restruct the use of the WEBIRC verb to a specific IP address and may force the use of a specific identd reply.

Example Session

>> WEBIRC snowflower Mibbit
>> NICK mib_4002
>> USER Mibbit x x : AJAX IRC Client
<< :hostname.domain.tld 001 mib_4002 :Welcome to ShadowNET mib_4002!


In order for this to be secure, the relay server must be trusted by the IRC server. A remote server may kill off clients that fail the password and host check, but this is not required.

This was recovered from an old backup of my site data on 2019-04-12.

Facts and circumstances may have changed since publication. Please contact me before jumping to conclusions if something seems wrong or unclear.