Nanobot manual

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To run the bot you need to have Ruby installed. Specific plugins may require additional gems
If you have plugins you want to load, take a look a the directory named "plugins" in the same folder where nanobot.rb resides and place your plugin files in there.


To configure your bots settings like the server and nickname, open config.rb in a text editor.
Just a few lines into the file, you will find this block of text:
        def initialize( status, output )
                @nick           = "nanobot"                                     # Bot nickname
                @user           = "nanobot"                                     # IRC username
                @pass           = ""                                            # NickServ password
                @version        = "Nanobot 4"                                   # Version

                @command        = '\!'                                          # Character prefix for commands (escape special chars)

                @server         = ""                          # IPv4 address
                @server6        = ""                         # IPv6 address
                @port           = 6667                                          # Normal port
                @sslport        = 6697                                          # SSL port
                @serverpass = ""                                                # Server connect password
                @connectopt = ""                                                # Extra stuff to send on connect

                @channels       = [ "#bot", "#test" ]                           # Autojoin channel list

                @opers          = [ "" ]                          # Opers list

                @data           = "data"                                        # Data directory
                @plugins        = "plugins"                                     # Plugin directory
                @autoload       = [ "core", "toolbox" ]                         # Plugin autoload list

                @antiflood      = true                                          # Attempt to mitigate people flooding bot with commands
                @floodtime      = 5                                             # Seconds withing which the flood limit is triggered
                @floodcut       = 30                                            # Limit on the number of seconds delay before starting to drop

                @throttle       = true                                          # Throttle output to avoid flooding from the bot

                @autorejoin     = true                                          # Rejoin on kick
                @rejointime     = 3                                             # Time to wait before rejoin (seconds)

                @pingwait       = false                                         # Wait for server's first PING
                @conn_time      = 20                                            # Connect timeout
                @timeout        = 300                                           # IRC timeout

                @use_thread     = true                                          # Prefer threading
                @use_ipv6       = false                                         # Prefer IPv6
                @use_ssl        = true                                          # Prefer SSL
                @verif_ssl      = false                                         # Verify SSL certificate
                @rootcert       = "/etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt"          # Path to openssl root certs (Needed if verify_ssl is enabled)

                @threadfb       = true                                          # Allow fallback to sequential processing when threads aren't available
                @sslfback       = false                                         # Allow fallback to insecure connect when OpenSSL library isn't available

                @status         = status                                        # System object, do not modify
                @output         = output                                        # System object, do not modify
These are the variables that hold the bots configuration, a few of the ones you may want to have a look at are:
nick: This is bots own nickname.
pass: If you've registered the bot's nick with NickServ, put the password here.
command: This is the character commands are prefixed with on IRC. So "@command = '\!'" means on irc you would do things like "!help" and "!version"
server: The server the bot connects to
server6: If the server's IPv6 address is different you can specify that here.
port: The port the bot connect on without SSL
sslport: The port the bot connect on with SSL
channels: List of channels the bot will join when it connects to the server.
opers: Hostnames or hostmasks for bot admins. Note that they must appear as the bot sees them.
Only the hostname should be added. (So if you are someguy! you should add "".)
autoload: The list of plugins that will automatically be loaded when the bot starts up.
All the other values can be tweaked as required but usually this isn't needed.

Starting command

To start the bot simply go into the directory where the nanobot.rb file is located and type:
 ruby nanobot.rb

Commandline options

The following options may be used:

-h or --help  : Print this help and quit.
-s or --ssl  : Enable SSL connections. The default for this setting is held in config.rb's @use_ssl setting.
-4 or --ipv4  : Pick the @server variable as the server to connect to.
-6 or --ipv6  : Pick the @server6 variable as the server to connect to. The default for choosing IPv4 or IPv6 is held in config.rb's @use_ipv6 setting.
-t or --thread  : Enable threading.
-nt or --no-threads: Disable threading. Normally there is no reason to disable threading and doing so breaks some functionality that relies on threads. (Like timered actions, the interactive console, output queuing and input throttling.) The default for choosing threading or not is held in config.rb's @use_thread setting.
-q or --quiet  : Disable normal output. Only errors will be shown
-c or --colour  : Disable coloured output. This may be required for some very old terminals.
-n or --no-console : Disable interactive console.
-p or --printconfig: Show current configuration and quit.
-d or --debug  : Show debug output. Use once to show normal debug messages, twice to show all input and output over the IRC socket and three times to join all threads back to the main thread when they finish, show a stacktrace and quit when a thread crashes.

Short and long options may be interchanged.

 ruby nanobot.rb --ssl -d --debug
This would start the bot with Secure Socket Layers, and it's 2nd most verbose level of debugging.

Built in bot commands

By itself the bot only has the bare essential commands required to operate. Most of the common others are implemented in the 'core' plugin. How the commands are called is defiled by the @command setting in config.rb. Here we will assume '\!' is set.

!quit message Instruct the bot to quit. The quit message may be specified, if omitted a default one is used.
!load plugin Load a plugin.
!unload plugin Unload a plugin.
!reload plugin Shortcut to unload and load a plugin.
!autoload Loads all modules in the @autoload list. Normally you don't need to use this command as it is executed automatically when the bot starts.
!loaded Show the list of currently loaded plugins.
!available Show the list of all plugins in the plugins directory.

Command parsing order

The order of looking for looking for a command is as follows:

Internal commands => Core plugin => Other plugins function => Other plugins main

(In reality it will first resolve aliases but we will look at that in the Aliases plugin section later.)


!load demo

Will find there is a 'load' function internally and use that

!kick user

Will look for an internal command 'kick' but find none, then continue to look for a 'kick' in the core plugin and there find a function to execute.

!demo function

Will look for but not find a 'demo' function either internally or in the core and then proceed to look for a plugin called 'demo', find that and sees that it indeed has a function called 'function' which it can execute.

!demo arguments

Much the same as the previous except it will find there is no function called 'arguments' in the demo plugin. It then looks for a 'main' function in the demo plugin and executes that with 'arguments' as the function arguments to 'main'.


Loading a plugin will give your bot the added functionality from this plugin. To call functions from a plugin you can use the following syntax:

!plugin_name function_name arguments list

This means the bot will look in plugins/plugin_name.rb for a function called function_name that it can call with the options arguments list. Some functions will be called automatically in the event of certain actions:

initialize: This function gets called when the plugin is loaded into memory and an instance is created of the class.
main: This is the function that gets called when the plugin is called without any function name. For example just !plugin_name.
unload: Called just before the module is unloaded or reloaded in order to do any required cleanup.
messaged: When someone sends any message the bot receives.
noticed: When someone sends a notice the bot receives.
joined: When a user joins a channel the bot is on.
parted: When a user parts a channel the bot is on.
kicked: When a user is kicked from a channel the bot is on.
quited: When a user quits from a channel the bot is on.
servermsg: When the bot receives an IRC server message for which some parsing exists.
miscservermsg: When the bot receives an IRC server message for which no parsing exists.
misc: When the bot receives something from the IRC socket that it has no idea what to do with.
help: Can be called manually but may also be called by the help plugin. (More on this later.)

Core plugin

The core plugin is a special case. It contains many common IRC bot commands. Use !help core to get the full list. The reason it is special is that it is always the first plugin to be checked for the existence of a command and it does not need to be called as !core function. Functions in the core may be called directly with !function.

Help plugin

This plugin contains the help for the core plugin but can also attempt to locate any help function in a loaded plugin. For example !help demo would look for the help function in the demo plugin and execute that. This means that !help demo and !demo help will effectively have the same result.

Aliases plugin

This is another special plugin. It has no functions that can be called directly but instead contains a list of aliases to make calling certain commands more convenient. For example you may find that !demo function is an extremely popular command, you can specify an alias that would make it possible to use the command !func as a shorthand for !demo function. You would simply add

"func"  => "demo function",

to the @alias list in the aliases plugin. Whenever the bot then receives a command starting with !func it will internally rewrite this to !demo function.
Make sure aliases are still unique! if you use something as an alias that is not unique you can introduce a conflict. For example if you use just f as an alias for demo function it will pick up anything starting with an f. So a command !foo bar would be rewritten to demo functionoo bar. Clearly this is not what our intention for the alias was.
The alias processing is the very first action done on any command received. This makes it an extremely powerful feature but it also means it can be fairly serious if you introduce any conflicts. You could even break the !unload command if you added something like 'un' as an alias, meaning you would no longer be able to unload the aliases plugin. (Technically you can use reload to load a fixed version of aliases, but you see when an alias should be unique.)

All other plugins

Since there's far too many plugins and lots of new ones are created all the time I, won't be writing manuals on all of them here. If you need information about a plugin look at it's help function first of all (!pluginname help is almost always available. ) Besides that you may look at the plugin file itself. The first few lines are normally some comments that tell you want the plugin does and any other special information that applies to it.