A lot of IRC servers run on Linux and almost all admins will tell you that you must be on Linux to have a good security set up, but these days it is not true and there are many free pieces of software which you can use to run your very own IRC server in Windows. It is just as secure as running the same program in Linux so there is not too much risk of you being hacked through the IRC services you are about to embark upon.
In this article I am going to show you how to use and set up a very typical IRC daemon known as UnrealIRCd. The reason I have chosen this one is because it is secure, reliable and maintained.
The first thing you will need is the installer, which you can get from the UnrealIRCd website. Once you have it go through the usual installation steps to install UnrealIRCd and leave all the defaults alone as that is all we are going to need. You can go back and configure these later if you need to. Once the installation has finished the fun can really begin, you will need to modify the configuration file before you get started. It’s one heck of a long file so be prepared to sit and read through it and configure for at least 30 minutes.
Remember for this next part to replacing “C” and “Program Files” with the actual drive and your program folder respectively if they are not the default. Navigate your file browser into: C:\Program Files\Unreal3.2\doc and copy “example.conf” and paste it into: C:\Program Files\Unreal3.2 (the main directory). Now rename this file from “example.conf” to “unrealircd.conf” then open it in notepad or a similar editor (not Microsoft Word).
Now you can finally get to configuring the file which you can do by following the comments in the configuration file. If you get stuck see this link which is the official help document should hopefully guide you.
Once you have sorted out the configuration file you can start the program up, if you have read through the instructions and configured it correctly it should work, if not it will fail but it will give you something to go and fix. Once it is up, you have an IRC server which you can invite others into, but it is missing one vital thing.
Services are important to any IRC network. The basic services include Nickserv, Chanserv and Operserv which keep hold of your nickname and channel so people can’t use the same ones for malicious intent, and OpserServ makes your life easier by making sure you do not need to go near nasty configuration files again.
That’s all! You now have a fully working IRC server to take on the world and the bigger networks. It should allow at least a few thousand simultaneous users on a home connection as IRC does not take up too much bandwidth. Go ahead and set up some rooms!
If you have any questions or comments on the article please post them in the comments box below and I will do my very best to answer them.