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Much OSGeo related communication happens in IRC (Internet Relay Chat), an instant messaging protocol. Lots of general information on IRC is available in Wikipedia.


IRC requires IRC client software. There are a wide variety of clients available:

Desktop IRC clients

Browser IRC plugins

  • Chrome has several IRC apps/extensions, including CIRC
  • The ChatZilla client is available for Firefox users on all platforms. (not supported as of Firefox Quantum version in 2017)

Web based IRC

IRC uses a TCP/IP port which is often blocked in environments with strictly managed internet access. In these environments it is still possible to use http based clients such as:

Matrix bridges

Many IRC channels are also bridged to Matrix rooms

IRC ops may find the following document useful to make life easier for Matrix users:


The primary OSGeo channel is #osgeo on the network. Generally speaking you would connect to and then issue the "/join #osgeo" command or possibly follow the irc:// URL.

Other channels of interest:



Local Chapters





Due to spam the FreeNode channels now require you to identify a nickname with the "NickServ" bot before you are able to post any messages.


  • Don't ask to ask, just go ahead and ask your question.
  • Don't paste large chunks of text into IRC channels. If you want to present a code or configuration file snippet to others to look at use a "pasting service" like or to host the snippet, and then paste the url to it into the IRC channel.
  • If you want the attention of a particular person, include their nick in the message and they will generally be alerted (flashed, bell rung, etc).
  • Give folks a while to respond. They are usually multi-tasking and might not look at IRC for a while.
  • If an active conversation is going on, wait for a lull to raise a different topic (a minute of inactivity for instance)


Many popular OSGeo related channels are logged. The #osgeo channel logs are at:

Other logs may also be found under:<add project name>

Some channels (ie. #mapserver and #osgeo) are also logged on IRSeek (, an IRC search engine.

Administration and Ops

The "osgeo" group on freenode now has Mateusz, Angelos, jmckenna, and strk as primary contacts and co-founder of all of the currently registered channels [1]:


See also