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To start using IRC in your web browser, go to and choose a nickname.

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

The main OpenStreetMap channel is ircs:// #osm (SSL, Port 6697, alternative Port: 9999) or irc:// #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

How to use IRC

You can chat on the web at 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 '' 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 using the IRC transport at join the group chat on XMPP.

A more in-depth explanation on how to join IRC channels from your XMPP client can be found here.

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

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.

For example,

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 Reply or Edit.

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[1]. This bridge configuration was requested by OFTC, which cannot handle more than a certain number of connections. This is also true for[2].

Advanced usage (for expert users)

To control the bridge, run !help in the room "OFTC IRC Bridge status". becomes 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.[3] 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's appservice).

If you run your own Matrix server, you can also install your own version of the IRC bridge ( to be independent of central services.

Other chat rooms

In addition to #osm, we have the following IRC chat rooms:

By country: