Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make my Supybot connect to multiple servers?

Just use the connect command in the Network plugin.

Why does my bot not recognize me or tell me that I don’t have the ‘owner’ capability?

Because you’ve not given it anything to recognize you from!

You’ll need to identify to the bot (help identify to see how that works) or add your hostmask to your user record (help hostmask add to see how that works) for it to know that you’re you.

You may wish to note that hostmask add can accept a password; rather than identify, you can send the command:

hostmask add myOwnerUser [hostmask] myOwnerUserPassword

and the bot will add your current hostmask to your owner user (of course, you should change myOwnerUser and myOwnerUserPassword appropriately for your bot).

For additional ways to identify to your bot, you may want to see Getting Started with Supybot.

What is a hostmask?

Each user on IRC is uniquely identified by a string which we call a hostmask. The IRC RFC refers to it as a prefix. Either way, it consists of a nick, a user, and a host, in the form nick!user@host. If your Supybot complains that something you’ve given to it isn’t a hostmask, make sure that you have those three components and that they’re joined in the appropriate manner.

My bot can’t handle nicks with brackets in them!

It always complains about something not being a valid command, or about spurious or missing right brackets, etc.

You should quote arguments (using double quotes, like this: "foo[bar]") that have brackets in them that you don’t wish to be evaluated as nested commands. Alternatively, you can turn off nested commands by setting supybot.commands.nested to False, or change the brackets that nest commands by setting supybot.commands.nested.brackets to some other value (like <>, which can’t occur in IRC nicks).

I loaded Alias before, how do I move to Aka?

First load both of the plugins, Aka and Alias. Then run aka importaliasdatabase and unload Alias. Now all your aliases should be imported to the Aka plugin.

I added an aka, but it doesn’t work!

Take a look at aka show <aka you added>. If the aka the bot has listed doesn’t match what you’re giving it, chances are you need to quote your aka in order for the brackets not to be evaluated. For instance, if you’re adding an aka to give you a link to your homepage, you need to say:

aka add mylink "format concat [urlquote $1]"

and not:

aka add mylink format concat [urlquote $1]

The first version works; the second version will always return the same url.

What does ‘lobotomized’ mean?

I see this word in commands and in my channels.conf, but I don’t know what it means. What does Supybot mean when it says lobotomized?

A lobotomy is an operation that removes the frontal lobe of the brain, the part that does most of a person’s thinking. To lobotomize a bot is to tell it to stop thinking–thus, a lobotomized bot will not respond to anything said by anyone other than its owner in whichever channels it is lobotomized.

The term is certainly suboptimal, but remains in use because it was historically used by certain other IRC bots, and we wanted to ease the transition to Supybot from those bots by reusing as much terminology as possible.

Is there a way to load all the plugins Supybot has?

No, there isn’t. Even if there were, some plugins conflict with other plugins, so it wouldn’t make much sense to load them. For instance, what would a bot do with Factoids, MoobotFactoids, and Infobot all loaded? Probably just annoy people :)

You can also install user-contributed plugins using the PluginDownloader plugin (load PluginDownloader). The repolist command can list repositories and their contents, and the install command installs plugins.

Is there a command that can tell me what capability another command requires?

No, there isn’t, and there probably never will be.

Commands have the flexibility to check any capabilities they wish to check; while this flexibility is useful, it also makes it hard to guess what capability a certain command requires. We could make a solution that would work in a large majority of cases, but it wouldn’t (and couldn’t!) be absolutely correct in all circumstances, and since we’re anal and we hate doing things halfway, we probably won’t ever add this partial solution.

Why doesn’t Karma seem to work for me?

Karma, by default, doesn’t acknowledge karma updates. If you check the karma of whatever you increased/decreased, you’ll note that your increment or decrement still took place. If you’d rather Karma acknowledge karma updates, change the supybot.plugins.Karma.response configuration variable to “True”.

Why won’t Supybot respond to private messages?

The most likely cause is that your bot has a mode blocking messages from unregistered users. Around Sept. 2005, for example, Freenode added a user mode where registered users could set +R, which blocks private messages from unregistered users. So, the reason you aren’t seeing a response from your Supybot is likely:

  • Your Supybot is not registered with NickServ, you are registered, and you have set the +R user mode for yourself.
  • or: you have registered your Supybot with NickServ, you aren’t registered, and your Supybot has the +R user mode set.

Can users with the admin capability change the configuration?

Currently, no. Feel free to make your case to us as to why a certain configuration variable should only require the admin capability instead of the owner capability, and if we agree with you, we’ll change it for the next release.

How can I make my Supybot log my IRC channel?

To log all the channels your Supybot is in, simply load the ChannelLogger plugin, which is included in the main distribution.

How do I get channel modes when writing a plugin?

I want to know who’s an op in a certain channel, or who’s voiced, or what the modes on the channel are. How do I do that?

Everything you need is kept in a ChannelState object in an IrcState object in the Irc object your plugin is given. To see the ops in a given channel, for instance, you would do this:


To see a dictionary mapping mode chars to values (if any), you would do this:


From there, things should be self-evident.

Can Supybot connect through a proxy server?

Limnoria can connect to specific network using socks proxy, simply set the configuration variable supybot.networks.<network>.socksproxy. For specifying proxy which is used for HTTP requests, set the configuration variable supybot.protocols.http.proxy.

Supybot also works with transparent proxy server helpers like tsocks that are designed to proxy-enable all network applications, and Supybot does work with these.

Why can’t Supybot find the plugin I want to load?

Why does my bot say that ‘No plugin “foo” exists.’ when I try to load the foo plugin?

First, make sure you are typing the plugin name correctly. @load foo may not be the same as @load Foo depending on your Supybot version [1]. If that is not the problem,

[1]Yes, it used to be the same, but then we moved to using directories for plugins instead of a single file. Apparently, that makes a difference to Python.

I’ve found a bug, what do I do?

Submit your bug at our issue tracker.

Is Python installed?

I run Windows, and I’m not sure if Python is installed on my computer. How can I find out for sure?

Python isn’t commonly installed by default on Windows computers. If you don’t see it in your start menu somewhere, it’s probably not installed.

The easiest way to find out if Python is installed is simply to download it and try to install it. If the installer complains, you probably already have it installed. If it doesn’t, well, now you have Python installed.

Can I make Supybot silent, but still working on channel (as titlesnarfer or something)?

With lobotomy, the bot stops doing everything on the channel. If you want it to not reply to commands, but still work as titlesnarfer or similar, you can configure it to not respond to anything.


config supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.chars ""
config supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.nicks ""
config supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.strings ""
config supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.nick False
config supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.nick.atEnd False

Or just for one channel:

config channel #channel supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.chars ""
config channel #channel supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.nicks ""
config channel #channel supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.strings ""
config channel #channel supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.nick False
config channel #channel supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.nick.atEnd False

How to make a connection secure?

First, you should make the bot use SSL for each network:

config supybot.networks.<NETWORK>.ssl on

Then, you must update the server port for the network the bot connects to (this is usually 6697, but some networks use a different one):

config supybot.networks.<NETWORK>.servers

In the previous command, you must of course replace with the hostname of a server of the network. You could either check out the network’s website, or get the current one, with this command:

config supybot.networks.<NETWORK>.servers

How to make Limnoria use Python 3 instead of Python 2?

First, uninstall Limnoria:

sudo python -m pip uninstall limnoria

Or, if you did not install Limnoria as root:

python -m pip uninstall limnoria

Then, follow the install guide. In short, just run this:

sudo python3 -m pip install limnoria --upgrade