Please, at least SKIM this document before asking questions. In fact, READ IT if you’ve never successfully set up an Eggdrop bot before.


Make SURE that you select your +n (owner) users wisely. They have 100% access to your bot and account. ONLY GIVE THIS POWER TO SOMEONE YOU TRUST COMPLETELY!

What is Eggdrop?

Eggdrop is the world’s most popular Internet Relay Chat (IRC) bot; it is freely distributable under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Eggdrop is a feature-rich program designed to be easily used and expanded upon by both novice and advanced IRC users on a variety of hardware and software platforms.

An IRC bot is a program that sits on an IRC channel and performs automated tasks while looking just like a normal user on the channel. Some of these functions include protecting the channel from abuse, allowing privileged users to gain op or voice status, logging channel events, providing information, hosting games, etc.

One of the features that makes Eggdrop stand out from other bots is module and Tcl scripting support. With scripts and modules you can make the bot perform almost any task you want. They can do anything: from preventing floods to greeting users and banning advertisers from channels.

You can also link multiple Eggdrop bots together to form a botnet. This can allow bots to op each other securely, control floods efficiently and even link channels across multiple IRC networks. It also allows the Eggdrops share user lists, ban/exempt/invite lists, and ignore lists with other bots if userfile sharing is enabled. This allows users to have the same access on every bot on your botnet. It also allows the bots to distribute tasks such as opping and banning users. See doc/BOTNET for information on setting up a botnet.

Eggdrop is always being improved and adjusted because there are bugs to be fixed and features to be added (if the users demand them and they make actually sense). In fact, it existed for several years as v0.7 - v0.9 before finally going 1.0. This version of Eggdrop is part of the 1.9 tree. A valiant effort has been made to chase down and destroy bugs.

This README file contains information about how to get Eggdrop, command line options for Eggdrop, what you may need to do when upgrading from older versions, a list of frequently asked questions, how to set up a crontab, some boring legal stuff, some basics about git usage and some channels where you might get help with Eggdrop.

How to Get Eggdrop

There are two official methods to download Eggdrop source code. Alternately, Eggdrop also comes as a docker image.


The latest Eggdrop stable source code is always located at You can also download the current stable, previous stable, and development snapshot via FTP at

Git Development Snapshot

Eggdrop development has moved from a CVS-based version control system to git. If you are interested in trying out the VERY LATEST updates to Eggdrop, you may be interested in pulling the most recent code from there. BE WARNED, the development branch of Eggdrop is not to be considered stable and may (haha) have some significant bugs in it.

To obtain Eggdrop via the git repository (hosted by GitHub), you can either clone the repository via git or download a development snapshot.

To clone the repository, simply type:

git clone

Otherwise, you can download the development snapshot as a tar archive from:


You can pull the official Eggdrop Docker image via:

docker pull eggdrop:latest

Additional Eggdrop Docker documentation can be found at

System Pre-Requisites

Before you can compile Eggdrop, Tcl must be installed on your system. Many systems have Tcl installed on them by default (you can check by trying the command “tclsh”; if you are given a ‘%’ for a prompt, it is, and you can type ‘exit’ to exit the Tcl shell. However, Eggdrop also requires the Tcl development header files to be installed. They can often be installed via an OS package manager, usually called something similar to ‘tcl-dev’ for the package name. You can also download Tcl source from

It is also strongly recommended to install openssl (and its development headers) in order to enable SSL/TLS protection of network data. The header files are often called something similar to ‘libssl-dev’.

Quick Startup

Please see the Install file after you finish reading this file.


The upgrade process for Eggdrop is very simple, simply download the new source code and repeat the compile process. You will want to read the NEWS for any new configuration file settings you want to add. Please see Upgrading for full details.

Command Line

Eggdrop has some command line options - not many, because most things should be defined through the config file. However, sometimes you may want to start up the bot in a different mode and the command line options let you do that. Basically, the command line for Eggdrop is:

./eggdrop [options] [config-file]

The options available are:

-t: Don’t background, use terminal. Your console will drop into an

interactive partyline session, similar to a DCC chat with the bot. This is useful for troubleshooting connection issues with the bot.

-c: Don’t background, show channel info. Every 10 seconds your screen

will clear and you will see the current channel status, sort of like “top”.

-m: Create userfile. If you don’t have a userfile, this will make Eggdrop

create one and give owner status to the first person that introduces himself or herself to it. You’ll need to do this when you first set up your bot.

-h: Show help, then quit.

-v: Show version info, then quit.

Most people never use any of the options except -m and you usually only need to use that once.

Auto-starting Eggdrop

Systems go down from time to time, taking your Eggdrop along with it. You may not be not around to restart it manually, so you can instead use features of the operating system to automatically restart Eggdrop should it quit for any reason. Eggdrop comes with an autobotchk shell script that can create either a systemd or crontab entry. The systemd option will monitor your Eggdrop and a) start it when the machine boots and b) restart the Eggdrop if it crashes for any reason. The (older) crontab option will check (by default) every 10 minutes to see if your Eggdrop is still running, and attempt to restart it if it is not.

To auto-generate a systemd job, from the Eggdrop install directory, simply run:

./scripts/autobotchk <Eggdrop config file> -systemd

To auto-geneerate a script to check Eggdrop’s status and run it via a crontab entry, simply run:

./scripts/autobotchk <Eggdrop config file>

This will crontab your bot using the default setup. If you want a list of autobotchk options, type ‘./autobotchk’. A crontab example with options would be:

./scripts/autobotchk <Eggdrop config file> -noemail -5

This would setup crontab to run the botchk every 5 minutes and not send you an email saying that it restarted your bot.


We’re trying to keep the documentation up to date. If you feel that anything is missing here or that anything should be added, etc, please create an issue, or better yet a pull request, at Thank you!

Obtaining Help

You can obtain help with Eggdrop in the following IRC channels:

  • Libera Chat - #eggdrop (official channel), #eggheads (development discussion)

  • DALnet - #eggdrop

  • EFnet - #egghelp

  • IRCnet - #eggdrop

  • QuakeNet -

  • Undernet - #eggdrop

If you plan to ask questions in any of the above channels, you should be familiar with and follow IRC etiquette:

  • Don’t type using CAPITAL letters, colors or bold.

  • Don’t use “!” and “?” excessively.

  • Don’t /msg people without their permission.

  • Don’t repeat or paste more than 4 lines of text to the channel.

  • Don’t ask to ask- just state your question, along with any relevant details and error messages

Copyright (C) 1997 Robey Pointer Copyright (C) 1999 - 2023 Eggheads Development Team