Last revised: May 5, 2021


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, info about the mailing list (a great place to ask questions and a good place to report bugs), some basics about git usage and some channels where you might get help with Eggdrop.


Before you can compile Eggdrop, you need to have Tcl installed on your system. Most systems should have Tcl on them by now - you can check by trying the command “tclsh”. If it works, you will be given a “%” prompt and you can type “exit” to exit the program. This means Tcl is installed on your system. If tclsh doesn’t load, then Tcl probably isn’t on your system, and you will need to install it. The website to download Tcl is and most OS distros have a binary installation available. If installing via an OS package manager, make sure to install the development library as well, usually called something similar to ‘tcl-dev’.

Currently, the 1.9 tree of Eggdrop is developed at You can get the latest STABLE version of Eggdrop from the following url:

You might try for help and information.

Git Usage

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. The Eggheads Development Team will in NO WAY take any responsibility for whatever might happen to you or your shell if you use the development branch of Eggdrop!

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:

Quick Startup

Please, see the INSTALL file after you finish reading this file.



First of all, why are you still running pre-1.3?!


We can’t stress this enough. If you are upgrading and you have even a slight possibility of downgrading again later, you will HAVE to back up your userfile or you will lose it. v1.3 of Eggdrop radically changed a lot of things.

There are many major changes between v0.9, v1.0, v1.1 and v1.8, so PAY ATTENTION to this part if you have a v0.9, 1.0 or 1.1 bot currently. If you’re just starting out, you can skip this section.

If you run share bots, you will need to upgrade them all at the same time because of the new userfile format. Older bots will be able to link in, but will not get or send a userfile. MAKE A NEW CONFIG FILE from the example; there are some radical changes.

If you are upgrading from 0.9/1.0 to 1.9, just redo the whole thing. Absolutely everything has changed, including the userfile and config file formats.

If you are upgrading from 1.1/1.2 to 1.9, you will likely want to redo the config file, as much has changed. BACK UP! You will need to run ‘tclsh scripts/weed/<userfile> c’ to convert your userfile from v3 (1.1/1.2) to v4 (1.3/1.4/1.5/1.6/1.8/1.9).

UPGRADING FROM AN OLDER 1.3/1.4/1.5/1.6/1.8 TO A 1.9 VERSION

If you followed the INSTALL file and did a ‘make install’ (or ‘make install DEST=”path”’) after ‘make’, this will be pretty easy. Just upload the new eggdrop-1.9.x.tar.gz file to your home dir on your shell, gunzip and untar it, and type ‘cd ~/eggdrop-1.9.x’. Next, type ‘./configure’, ‘make config’ or ‘make iconfig’, then ‘make’. Then, kill the bot (‘.die’ on the partyline) and ‘make install’ to the same directory your bot is currently in. After that, you can just restart your bot. You may wish to delete the old Eggdrop executable and modules as well, especially if you have limited disk space.

You should read through the new eggdrop.conf file for all of the new options in Eggdrop 1.9.x. You can copy and paste any of these settings into you current conf file if you do not want to use the default settings.

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:

-n: Don’t background. Normally, Eggdrop will move itself into the
background when you start it up, meaning you’ll get another shell prompt and you can do other things while the bot is running. With -n, you won’t return to the shell prompt until the bot exits (which won’t normally happen until it’s killed). By default, -n will send all log entries to the console.
-nt: Don’t background, use terminal. This is just like -n, except that
instead of seeing log entries, your console will simulate a DCC chat with the bot.
-nc: Don’t background, show channel info. This is just like -n, except
that instead of seeing log entries, 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.

Setting up a Crontab

Eggdrop has become more stable with time, thanks mostly to people reporting bug details and helping find places where it crashes. However, there are still a -few- places where things aren’t perfect. Few, if any, things in life are.

Also, most systems go down from time to time. These things cause your bot to disappear from IRC and you have to restart it.

Eggdrop comes with a shell script as scripts/botchk that will help keep the bot online. It will make the machine check every ten minutes to make sure your bot is still running. To use it, you have to add a line to your crontab. First, edit ‘botchk’ and change the directory and command line parameters so that it will be able to start up your bot. Then, add this line to your crontab:

0,10,20,30,40,50 * * * * /home/mydir/botchk

If you don’t want to get emails from cron, use this:

0,10,20,30,40,50 * * * * /home/mydir/botchk >/dev/null 2>&1

Naturally, you need to change the path to the correct path for botchk. If you’ve never used crontab before, here is a simple way to add that line:

  1. Create a new file called ‘mycron’ and put the above line into it;
  2. From your shell prompt, type ‘% crontab mycron’.

That will create a new crontab entry for you with a line that runs botchk every ten minutes. Botchk will then restart the bot when necessary (and send you email informing you).

Setting up a Crontab using autobotchk

Included with your Eggdrop is an Eggdrop utility called ‘autobotchk’. Using autobotchk is probably the fastest way of creating your botchk and crontabbing it with just a few required steps:


cp scripts/autobotchk ..;


./autobotchk <Eggdrop config file>

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

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

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

Mailing List

There are currently a couple of mailing lists about Eggdrop. is the one relevant for posts about Eggdrop 1.8 and up (suggestions, help, etc).

To subscribe to the eggheads mailing list, send email to In the body of the message, put “subscribe eggheads”. You can also go to the following url:


Robey is no longer developing the Eggdrop code, so don’t bother emailing him. If you have a serious problem, email the eggheads mailing list and it will get to the coders.

Please, before posting to this list, see what things are like. When you do post, read over your post for readability, spelling and grammar mistakes. Obviously, we’re all human (or are we?) and we all make mistakes (heck, look at this document! ;).

Open discussion and debate is integral to change and progress. Don’t flame others over mere form (grammar and spelling) or even substantive issues for that matter. Please read and follow the mailing list rules.

The mailing list is not dedicated to those all too common questions we have all seen on other lists. For example:

  • Why does my bot say this: Please edit your config file.
  • How do I telnet my bot?
  • Where do I get Eggdrop for windows??????

Technical questions, your thoughts or suggestions on new features being added to Eggdrop, things that should be removed or fixed, amazing problems that even stump the gurus, etc. are what we want to see here.

Bug reports should be sent to Please read and fill out the doc/BUG-REPORT file.



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 email about it. Thank you!

Obtaining Help

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

  • FreeNode - #eggdrop (official channel), #eggheads (development discussion), #egghelp
  • 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 large amounts of text to the channel.

If there are any other serious Eggdrop related channels that should be added to the above list, please let us know.

Copyright (C) 1997 Robey Pointer Copyright (C) 1999 - 2021 Eggheads Development Team