Once upon a time there was only one major ircd daemon available for serving IRC networks. The original ircd was developed and used jointly by the pre-eminent IRC networks. The server code evolved normally until v2.8.10 when the Undernet network split off and began to work on development of its own. This resulted in the current Undernet IRC Daemon (now at v2.10.05), which is being developed by the UnderNet Coder Committee. Another major IRC network, Dalnet, slowly drifted from the original code as well. Dalnet now has its own development team maintaining the DreamForge IRC Daemon (now at v4.9.7). Like the other two networks, the largest IRC network, EFnet, also branched off with its own IRC Daemon (not reviewed here but available from the EFnet FTP site).
Perhaps the most popular IRC Unix server today is IRCD (not to be confused with the original ircd which is no longer being developed). Like the other IRC Daemons, IRCD is based on ircd but has also diverged from it in several ways since the v2.8.10 release. IRCD is the primary server used by another of the large IRC networks, IRCnet. While it doesn’t implement the TimeStamp Protocol like the Undernet IRC Daemon and Dalnet’s DreamForge Daemon, it does support nickname and channel delay. IRCD also supports compression of server-to-server links and services. Like the other two daemons, IRCD has a port available for Windows 95/NT, making it more than just a Unix-based solution.
Once upon a time there was only one major ircd daemon available for serving IRC networks. The original ircd was developed and used jointly by the pre-eminent IRC networks. The server code evolved normally until v2.8.10 when the Undernet network split off and began to work on development of its own. This resulted in the current Undernet IRC Daemon (now at v2.10.05), which is being developed by the UnderNet Coder Committee.
The Undernet IRC Daemon has been developed since the v2.8.10 release of the originial ircd with several key changes and improvements in mind. First, the Undernet development has been aimed at fixing all IRC-protocol flaws that can result in an anarachy of Channel Takeovers. Key to solving the Channel Takeover problem for the Undernet IRC Daemon has been the implementation of the TimeStamp Protocol for solving NetRiding and Nick collisions and the SILENCE command for resolving Private Flooding issues. Additionally, the Undernet IRC Daemon has focused on resolving problems related to bandwidth usage during net.junctions (version u2.9.x) and fixing desync bugs and further decreasing bandwidth usage (version u2.10.x).
Dalnet’s DreamForge IRC Daemon will only work if you are setting up the server on the Dalnet network (i.e. you can’t host the server on EFnet or one of the other IRC networks). The daemon is now at version 4.9.5 for Unix and a Windows 95/NT port is also available (now at v4.4.13). The DreamForge daemon has focused on eliminating inefficiencies and bugs in the original ircd and has also added support for Klines, the SILENCE command, and rule-based connects (allows administrators to specify under what conditions connections should not be allowed). Finally, the server has also implemented several performance enhancements and privacy fixes to WHO, WHOIS, TRACE, and STATS functions.
Pros: Excellent performance, stable and reliable (used on the largest IRC networks)
Cons: Difficult to configure and administer, especially for beginning developers; minimal help
Versions Reviewed: Unix – v2.10.10. Windows 95/NT – v2.10.02
Date of Review: 5/7/99
Last Updated: 3/29/00
Reviewed by: Forrest Stroud