Remote includes

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Remote includes are a great way to share your configuration settings between servers.

You simply put your (shared) configuration files on a secure location, like a trusted web server. IRC servers will then fetch the configuration from there when they boot or the configuration is /REHASH'ed.

Later on you can change the configuration file on the web server and just run /REHASH -all on IRC. All IRC servers on your network will then reload the configuration, including your changes.


In the example below we will assume you have a website called

Create and password-protect a HTTP directory[edit]

Note: operations below are executed on the shell and assume shell access. You may possibly achieve the same via an admin panel like cPanel and SCP/SFTP.

  • SSH to your www shell, go to the WWW directory and create a directory to store the configuration files:
irc@system:~$ cd public_html
irc@system:~/public_html$ mkdir conf
irc@system:~/public_html$ cd conf
  • Create an .htaccess file
irc@system:~/public_html/conf$ nano .htaccess

Put in that file the following (change the path where needed!):

AuthType Basic
AuthName "restricted test"
AuthUserFile /home/irc/public_html/conf/.htpasswd
require valid-user
  • Create a .htpasswd file with the appropriate password
irc@system:~/public_html/conf$ htpasswd -c /home/irc/public_html/conf/.htpasswd restricted
New password:
Re-type new password:
Adding password for user 'restricted'
  • Create or upload a file called opers.conf in this ~/public_html/conf/ directory.

Use remote includes to fetch the conf[edit]

This is simple, you just write down the URL in the include directive. In our example that would be like this:

HTTPS is best, but requires your site to have HTTPS enabled:

include "";

Nginx tips[edit]

If you use nginx rather than apache as webserver, the way to configure the location is:

location ~* ^/conf/*$ {
   auth_basic "Remote configuration";
   auth_basic_user_file /home/irc/public_html/conf/.htpasswd;

What if your web server is down[edit]

When UnrealIRCd can't load a remote include it will used a "cache copy" (stored in the cache/ subdirectory in UnrealIRCd). A cached copy is always available, unless you are including the URL for the first time.

This way, you can safely use remote includes. Even if there's an outage at your web server, your IRC servers will still be able to boot or REHASH. (Many years ago this wasn't the case and an outage of the web servers would cause a really problematic situation)