Chat - p2p IRC (darkirc & weechat)

For the purpose of a quick and instant chat or communication which is 100% anonymous and if chosen private, especially for coordination of smaller groups (or committees - read governance), we use ircd - a peer-to-peer IRC chat, built by DarkFi. ircd supports group chats (open and private) as well as DMs.

Weechat is a client most use (runs the chat in terminal), although other IRC clients will work as well.

If the setup is done from scratch, also make sure to install git.

sudo apt install git

  • Clone DarkFi repository.

git clone

cd darkfi


Note: This installation guide is for Linux based on Debian. For other OS, check here to see which dependencies are needed.

Open your terminal and navigate to the directory where Darkfi repository will be cloned and follow the steps below.

  • Begin by installing rustup & cargo.
curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf | sh

Compile & install ircd

  • In DarkFi folder, compile darkirc.

make BINS="darkirc"

Note: If there is an error when compiling, it's likely because dependecies are missing. If this happens, go to DarkFi docs and install each dependency separately like so "sudo apt install make", "sudo apt install gcc" etcetera.

Run darkirc

  • While in darkfi folder --> The following command starts darkirc daemon, the chat works only when this daemon is running, don't turn it off.
  • The first time runnning ./darkirc a configuration file will be created. It is located in '.config/darkfi'. Open it ie. with vim in terminal.
vim .config/darkfi/darkirc_config.toml
  • In the configuration file there is also information how to generate secrets for new chat room ("IRC channel settings") and create key for dm's ("Contact settings"). After changes have been made in the configuration file, darkirc deamon need to be restarted.

Install, start & configure weechat

  • Open a new tab in terminal.

  • Install weechat & dependencies.

sudo apt-get install -y git make jq vim weechat libssl-dev

sudo apt-get install weechat-curses weechat-plugins

  • In case libssl-dev returned error run:

sudo apt-get install libmpg123-dev

  • Open a new terminal window and start Weechat:

Connect weechat to the ircd daemon, save and restart the client. To do this, in Weechat prompt line enter these commands:

/server add darkirc localhost/6667 -autoconnect




Start Weechat


Weechat commands

Weechat allows for a wide range of custom configuration, see Weechat documentation. Few useful commands are listed below.

Change nick:

/nick {NEW_NAME}

Quit chat room


Quit Weechat


See help


Change chat rooms by alt + arrow up/down or alt + channel_number

Join an unencrypted channel

To add and open a public channel on darkirc, such as #new_channel, just add it to autojoin line in the config file. LunarDAOs public channel is '#lunardao'.

autojoin = [....<existing_channels>..., "#lunardao"]
  • #lunardao is a public channel, which means it is unencrypted and therefore no secret is needed. Anyone can join an see the content. Adding the channel like this is enough.

Restart darkirc daemon (restart after any config changes). The channel shall appear automatically in the weechat.

Join an encrypted channel

Generate secret for a new channel

In case of starting a new private channel, a secret must be generated.

  1. Generate a secret for a new secret channel, enter in terminal: darkirc --gen-secret
  2. Add the secret and a name of channel of your choice to your config file (read below).
  3. Share this secret and the exact name of the channel PRIVATELY with others who are to be included in/invited to the channel.

Add an encrypted channel to ircd

  1. Include the name of the channel and the secret to the config file (~/.config/darkfi/darkirc_config.toml):
secret = "{secret_string}"  
topic = "the purpose of the channel
  1. add the "#nameofthesecretchannel" to the autojoin [] line just like with public channels above.
  2. Save the config file and restart darkirc - the channels will appear in the weechat client.

Direct messages

To DM with someone on ircd:

  1. Generate a key-pair using darkirc --gen-chacha-keypair.
    NEVER share your private key!

Possibly keys can be shared to a file using

ircd --gen-keypair -o ~/some_dir/filename
  1. Add a line to darkirc_config.toml:
  1. Share the pub key with others you want to chat with.
  2. Add a contact of a user to DM with to the darkirc_config.toml:
dm_chacha_public = "the_pub_key_sent_by_the_contact" 
  1. Save the config and restart darkirc.
  2. To add this contact in the weechat client, enter /query {same_name_as_in_the_config}. Name appears in the contact list.
    • Note: However users may change their nicks often, the /query {name} command reads the {name} added per contact to darkirc_config.toml. The daemon reads the pub_key associated with the {name} saved (aligning with the counterpartys private_key in their config). (Can be understood as a contact list in a phone.)
  3. Both of the users interested to DM must add the other ones pub key to the config as a contact, save and restart darkirc.

Meeting bot

LunarDAO deployed the to moderate the community meetings. Type following commands to use the bot.

See the meeting agenda.


Add a topic to the agenda.

!topic {YOUR TOPIC}

Start a meeting


Move to the next topic


End meeting.


darkirc on tor

Here are steps to set up a Tor-enabled darkirc node.