IRC is real-time chat. It's one of several contact channels used by the OpenStreetMap community. Real-time chat can be a great way to ask a quick question about mapping or some more technical matter, or just to get to know some fellow OpenStreetMap enthusiasts.
#osm on oftc.net
The main OpenStreetMap channel is ircs://irc.oftc.net:6697 #osm (SSL, Port 6697, alternative Port: 9999) or irc://irc.oftc.net:6667 #osm (non-SSL, Port: 6667, alternative Ports: 6668-6670, 7000) other chat rooms are listed below, but #osm is fine for most purposes, and has the most people on it. More Info about OFTC at https://www.oftc.net/.
How to use IRC
You can chat on the web at https://irc.openstreetmap.org. Simply pick a nickname (no spaces) and click 'Login'. It can take a few seconds to log in. You should see some mess with a '***' prefix.
- Wait a few more seconds to see if you're interrupting any conversation, and then type in the box at the bottom.
- In general avoid introductory formalities ("Hello!", "Can I ask a question?"), but plunge straight in with what you want to know or ask ("Dont ask to ask").
- If there is no immediate answer or seemingly no traffic in the channel we recommend to wait up to 15 minutes or try it again at a different time of day.
- Normal IRC commands work here (e.g. you can set a nickname with "/nick" etc.).
Another in-browser IRC client is Webchat.
Desktop IRC clients are compared at Wikipedia. You will need to input 'irc.oftc.net' as the IRC server, and '#osm' as the channel. IRC communicates over a special port number which may be blocked by your office firewall.
If you want to establish a connection with SSL, use Port 6697.
How to join IRC channels from an XMPP client
You can use public IRC transports to connect to IRC channels via your XMPP client.
The general syntax for the MUC address is
For example, to join the
#osm channel on
irc.oftc.net using the IRC transport at
join the group chat
#firstname.lastname@example.org on XMPP.
How to join IRC channels from a Matrix client
A Matrix client, for example Element (formerly known as Riot), can access IRC channels. The magic is done by the IRC bridge hosted on matrix.org.
You stay in an IRC room until you exit from it explicitly. In other words, Matrix works as a bouncer. Turn off the computer, turn it on, and read the chat logs that were sent from IRC in the meantime.
- to join
#osm, enter the channel name
- to join
#osm-deventer the channel name
Quoting a message in a reply, or editing a sent message, looks ugly to the IRC users. Typing the target user name is enough, please avoid clicking
30 days of inactivity will cause a kick on all rooms that are bridged to OFTC. Reading messages in any OFTC-bridged room, while the read receipts are enabled, counts as activity. This bridge configuration was requested by OFTC, which cannot handle more than a certain number of connections. This is also true for libera.chat.
Advanced usage (for expert users)
To control the bridge, run
!help in the room "OFTC IRC Bridge status".
my_username[m] on OFTC by default.
Registration is not required in the OpenStreetMap channels and you can skip registration entirely. If you do want to register, mind that OFTC is an exception among the Matrix-to-IRC bridges. After registering on the IRC side, you usually do
!storepass in Matrix, so that the bridge can auto-login whenever it reconnects for any reason (netsplit, etc).
!storepass uses SASL, which OFTC does not support. So, whenever the bridge reconnects, you need to identify by hand with
Nickserv IDENTIFY. For more information, here are the issue reports for OFTC and for Matrix.
For advanced configuration (custom nickname, ...) adapt this guidance to OFTC (mostly applies as-is, but some things are different, for example it is "OFTC IRC Bridge status" rather than libera.chat's appservice).
If you run your own Matrix server, you can also install your own version of the IRC bridge (https://github.com/matrix-org/matrix-appservice-irc) to be independent of central matrix.org services.
Other chat rooms
In addition to #osm, we have the following IRC chat rooms:
- irc.oftc.net #osmcommunity: for people belonging to Local Chapters, or interested in establishing a Local Chapter. More info on OSMF wiki
- Bridged to #osmcommunity:matrix.org
- Bridged to Telegram room OSM-community-building
- irc.oftc.net #osm-dev : More technical, developer chat
- irc.oftc.net #hot : Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team chat
- irc.oftc.net #josm : JOSM chat
- irc.oftc.net #geo : More general GIS chit-chat
- irc.oftc.net #osm-nominatim : Nominatim specific chat / support
- irc.oftc.net #OpenRailwayMap : OpenRailwayMap specific chat
- irc.oftc.net #osm-infrastructure : Infrastructure mapping (Power, Telecoms, Oil, etc.)
- irc.freenode.org #openstreetmap : another English channel (in addition to the irc.oftc.net #osm general OSM channel)
- irc.libera.chat #wikimedia-interactive : channel for wikipedia/wikidata in conjunction with osm
- irc.oftc.net #osm-ar : Argentinian OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-asia : Asian OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-au : Australian OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-at : Austrian OSM channel bridged to #osm-at:matrix.org
- irc.tut.by #osm : Belarussian OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osmbe : Belgian OSM channel bridged to #osmbe:matrix.org
- irc.freenode.net #osm-ba : Bosnian and Herzegovinian OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-br : Brazilian OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-gb : British OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-ca : Canadian OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-zh : Chinese OSM channel
- irc.libera.chat #openstreetmapcz : Czech Republic OSM channel linked with Jabber, Matrix and Telegram
- irc.oftc.net #osm-dk : Danish OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-nl : Dutch OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-ESeSA : East-Southeast-South Asia OSM channel - web
- irc.oftc.net #osm-fi : Finnish OSM channel
- IRCNet #osm-fi : Finnish OSM channel - Accessible via Matrix, IRC and Telegram
- irc.oftc.net #osm-fr : French OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-de : German OSM channel bridged to #osm-de:matrix.org
- irc.oftc.net #osm-gr : Greek OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-hu : Hungarian OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-ie : Irish OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-il : Israelian OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-it : Italian OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-ja : Japanese OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-ke : Kenyan OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-kr : Korean OSM channel - web
- irc.oftc.net #osm-latam : Latino-American OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-lu : Luxembourgish OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-lo : Lao OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-lt : Lithuanian OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-lv : Latvian OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-ni : Nicaraguan OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-no : Norwegian OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-pe : Peruvian OSM
- irc.oftc.net #osm-pl : Polish OSM channel (Have a Quick Question? Click!) (appear on dead, use matrix too)
- irc.oftc.net #osm-pt : Portuguese OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-ru : Russian OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-rs : Serbian OSM channel
irc.ircnet.com #freemap.sk: Slovak OSM/Freemap channel (Use Jabber/GTalk conference room)
- irc.oftc.net #osm-es : Spanish OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm.se : Swedish OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-ch : Swiss OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-tw : Taiwanese OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-tr : Turkish OSM channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-us : US-American channel
- irc.oftc.net #osm-ve : Venezuelan OSM channel