Getting Started with Supybot

Introduction

Ok, so you’ve decided to try out Supybot. That’s great! The more people who use Supybot, the more people can submit bugs and help us to make it the best IRC bot in the world :)

You should have already read through our install document (if you had to manually install) before reading any further. Now we’ll give you a whirlwind tour as to how you can get Supybot setup and use Supybot effectively.

Initial Setup

Now that you have Supybot installed, you’ll want to get it running. The first thing you’ll want to do is run supybot-wizard. Before running supybot-wizard, you should be in the directory in which you want your bot-related files to reside. The wizard will walk you through setting up a base config file for your Supybot. Once you’ve completed the wizard, you will have a config file called botname.conf. In order to get the bot running, run supybot botname.conf.

Listing Commands

Ok, so let’s assume your bot connected to the server and joined the channels you told it to join. For now we’ll assume you named your bot ‘supybot’ (you probably didn’t, but it’ll make it much clearer in the examples that follow to assume that you did). We’ll also assume that you told it to join #channel (a nice generic name for a channel, isn’t it? :)) So what do you do with this bot that you just made to join your channel? Try this in the channel:

supybot: list

Replacing ‘supybot’ with the actual name you picked for your bot, of course. Your bot should reply with a list of the plugins it currently has loaded. At least Admin, Channel, Config, Misc, Owner, and User should be there; if you used supybot-wizard to create your configuration file you may have many more plugins loaded. The list command can also be used to list the commands in a given plugin:

supybot: list Misc

will list all the commands in the Misc plugin. If you want to see the help for any command, just use the help command:

supybot: help help
supybot: help list
supybot: help load

Sometimes more than one plugin will have a given command; for instance, the “list” command exists in both the Misc and Config plugins (both loaded by default). List, in this case, defaults to the Misc plugin, but you may want to get the help for the list command in the Config plugin. In that case, you’ll want to give your command like this:

supybot: help config list

Anytime your bot tells you that a given command is defined in several plugins, you’ll want to use this syntax (“plugin command”) to disambiguate which plugin’s command you wish to call. For instance, if you wanted to call the Config plugin’s list command, then you’d need to say:

supybot: config list

Rather than just ‘list’.

Making Supybot Recognize You

For making the bot to identify to services, please see identifying to services.

If you ran the wizard, then it is almost certainly the case that you already added an owner user for yourself. If not, however, you can add one via the handy-dandy ‘supybot-adduser’ script. You’ll want to run it while the bot is not running (otherwise it could overwrite supybot-adduser’s changes to your user database before you get a chance to reload them). Just follow the prompts, and when it asks if you want to give the user any capabilities, say yes and then give yourself the ‘owner’ capability, restart the bot and you’ll be ready to load some plugins!

Now, in order for the bot to recognize you as your owner user, you’ll have to identify with the bot.

Open up a query window in your irc client (‘/query’ should do it; if not, just know that you can’t identify in a channel because it requires sending your password to the bot). Then type this:

help identify

And follow the instructions; the command you send will probably look like this, with ‘myowneruser’ and ‘myuserpassword’ replaced:

identify myowneruser myuserpassword

The bot will tell you that ‘The operation succeeded’ if you got the right name and password. Now that you’re identified, you can do anything that requires any privilege: that includes all the commands in the Owner and Admin plugins, which you may want to take a look at (using the list and help commands, of course). One command in particular that you might want to use (it’s from the User plugin) is the ‘hostmask add’ command: it lets you add a hostmask to your user record so the bot recognizes you by your hostmask instead of requiring you always to identify with it before it recognizes you. Use the ‘help’ command to see how this command works. Here’s how I often use it:

hostmask add myuser [hostmask] mypassword

You may not have seen that ‘[hostmask]’ syntax before. Supybot allows nested commands, which means that any command’s output can be nested as an argument to another command. The hostmask command from the Misc plugin returns the hostmask of a given nick, but if given no arguments, it returns the hostmask of the person giving the command. So the command above adds the hostmask I’m currently using to my user’s list of recognized hostmasks. I’m only required to give mypassword if I’m not already identified with the bot.

It might often be better to specify the hostmask by yourself instead of nesting the hostmask command as the hostmask command gives your exact hostmask of that moment meaning nick!ident@host which means that you will get unidentified if you change your nickname.

I (Mikaela) often specify hostmasks in two other forms depending on the situation which I go through in next subtopics.

Wildcard nick

In case my username and host stay the same or there aren’t bots on same server which could get identified as me to other bots, I use:

user hostmask add myuser *!myident@myhost

I only recommend this if there is ident server configured and the IRC network checks for it.

Host only

In case I am the only one who has the same host (cloaks/vhosts on many networks which have account in them, (for example freenode) or server where no one else has access and no bots share it either), I use:

user hostmask add myuser *!*@mycloak

Mycloak at freenode is usually in format unaffiliated/accountname. You can usually request hostmasks using HostServ, /msg HostServ help, or asking on help channel of your IRC network, in case of freenode that is #freenode. OFTC is exception to this and uses /msg NickServ set cloak on, but whatever your network users, you can ask it on their help channel.

Limnoria

Limnoria has two additional methods to identify. GPG and NickAuth.

GPG

First you must associate your GPG key with your Limnoria account. The gpg add command takes two arguments, key id and key server.

My key is 0x0C207F07B2F32B67 and it’s on keyserver pool.sks-keyservers.net so and now I add it to my bot:

<Mikaela> +gpg add 0x0C207F07B2F32B67 pool.sks-keyservers.net
<Yvzabevn> 1 key imported, 0 unchanged, 0 not imported.

Now I can get token to sign so I can identify:

<Guest45020> +gpg gettoken
<Yvzabevn> Your token is: {03640620-97ea-4fdf-b0c3-ce8fb62f2dc5}. Please sign it with your GPG key, paste it somewhere, and call the 'auth' command with the URL to the (raw) file containing the signature.

Then I follow the instructions and sign my token in terminal:

echo "{03640620-97ea-4fdf-b0c3-ce8fb62f2dc5}"|gpg --clearsign|curl -F 'sprunge=<-' http://sprunge.us

Note that I sent the output to curl with flags to directly send the clearsigned content to sprunge.us pastebin. Curl should be installed on most of distributions and comes with msysgit. If you remove the curl part, you get the output to terminal and can pastebin it to any pastebin of your choice. Sprunge.us has only plain text and is easy so I used it in this example.

And last I give the bot link to the plain text signature:

<Guest45020> +gpg auth http://sprunge.us/DUdd
<Yvzabevn> You are now authenticated as Mikaela.

NickAuth

This requires you to load the NickAuth plugin (see next section of this page for loading plugins).

NickAuth allows you to identify to the bot using your NickServ account. First I add my NickServ account name which I can see with “/whois Mikaela Mikaela” (because my current nick is Mikaela). It gives me something like:

[Mikaela] is logged in as Mikaela

Now I tell the bot add my NickServ account Mikaela to my bot user on freenode. The syntax is [<network>] <bot-username> <NickServ-account>:

<Mikaela> +nickauth nick add freenode Mikaela Mikaela
<Yvzabevn> OK.

Next time when I identify to NickServ I will get identified automatically if the bot sees that I was identified when I joined. This requires server to support extended-join and WHOX. Most of modern networks support them, but if your bot is using some bouncer, it might not support them.

Automatic identification doesn’t work always even when it’s supported, but when it fails, I can always use the NickAuth Auth command to identify to the bot:

<Guest45020> +whoami
<Yvzabevn> I don't recognize you. You can messsage me either of these two commands: "user identify <username> <password>" to log in or "user register <username> <password>" to register.
<Guest45020> +nickauth auth
<Yvzabevn> You are now authenticated as Mikaela.

Loading Plugins

Let’s take a look at loading other plugins. If you didn’t use supybot-wizard, though, you might do well to try it before playing around with loading plugins yourself: each plugin has its own configure function that the wizard uses to setup the appropriate registry entries if the plugin requires any.

If you do want to play around with loading plugins, you’re going to need to have the owner capability.

Remember earlier when I told you to try help load? That’s the very command you’ll be using. Basically, if you want to load, say, the Games plugin, then load Games. Simple, right? If you need a list of the plugins you can load, you’ll have to list the directory the plugins are in (using whatever command is appropriate for your operating system, either ‘ls’ or ‘dir’).

Understanding the help syntax

The syntax of a command describes how to run a command. The syntax is given by the help command. Some examples:

help [<plugin>] [<command>]

This is the help of command-plugin-help.

The chevrons mean you have to replace <plugin> and <command> by a plugin name and a command name.

The brackets mean the argument they wrap is optional.

So, the fellowing commands are correct:

help
help PluginName
help PluginName CommandName
help CommandName
ping takes no arguments

This is the help for command-misc-ping.

I think it is clear enough.

join <channel> [<key>]

This is the help for command-admin-join.

It requires a channel name, and the channel key is optional.

This two commands are ok:

join #limnoria
join #limnoria MySecretKey
utilities last <text> [<text> ...]

This is the help for command-utilities-last. By the way, there is another last command in the Misc plugin, which doesn’t do the same thing, that’s why you need to give the plugin name.

You have to give at least one argument, but you can give as many as you wish.

Getting More From Your Supybot

Another command you might find yourself needing somewhat often is the ‘more’ command. The IRC protocol limits messages to 512 bytes, 60 or so of which must be devoted to some bookkeeping. Sometimes, however, Supybot wants to send a message that’s longer than that. What it does, then, is break it into “chunks” and send the first one, following it with (X more messages) where X is how many more chunks there are. To get to these chunks, use the more command. One way to try is to look at the default value of supybot.replies.genericNoCapability – it’s so long that it’ll stretch across two messages:

<jemfinch|lambda> $config default
                  supybot.replies.genericNoCapability
<lambdaman> jemfinch|lambda: You're missing some capability
            you need. This could be because you actually
            possess the anti-capability for the capability
            that's required of you, or because the channel
            provides that anti-capability by default, or
            because the global capabilities include that
            anti-capability. Or, it could be because the
            channel or the global defaultAllow is set to
            False, meaning (1 more message)
<jemfinch|lambda> $more
<lambdaman> jemfinch|lambda: that no commands are allowed
            unless explicitly in your capabilities. Either
            way, you can't do what you want to do.

So basically, the bot keeps, for each person it sees, a list of “chunks” which are “released” one at a time by the more command. In fact, you can even get the more chunks for another user: if you want to see another chunk in the last command jemfinch gave, for instance, you would just say more jemfinch after which, his “chunks” now belong to you. So, you would just need to say more to continue seeing chunks from jemfinch’s initial command.

Final Word

You should now have a solid foundation for using Supybot. You can use the list command to see what plugins your bot has loaded and what commands are in those plugins; you can use the ‘help’ command to see how to use a specific command, and you can use the ‘more’ command to continue a long response from the bot. With these three commands, you should have a strong basis with which to discover the rest of the features of Supybot!

Do be sure to read our other documentation and make use of the resources we provide for assistance; this website and, of course, #supybot on irc.freenode.net if you run into any trouble!