pastebot - the original clipboard to chat gateway


pastebot -f configfile


Pastebot is an IRC bot and a web server in one program. Users submit short pieces of text to the web server, and the IRC bot announces them in IRC.

A single pastebot instance can provide one or more web servers, each accepting connections on a different virtual host and/or port.

Likewise, a single pastebot may connect to zero or more IRC networks and announce pastes on zero or more channels on each. The pastebot merely acts as a web service in zero-bot mode.


Nearly all of pastebot's options are set in a configuration file. The general syntax for this file follows these rules:

Sections are defined by text that begins in the first column. Section parameters are indented and consist of a parameter name and its value separated by whitespace. This example defines a web_server section named "poenet" that listens on port 8888.

    name  poenet
    port  8888

Each section defines a component type within the pastebot. Each section requires a unique name since there may be more than one instance of a component. The names permit the program to reference specific components without confusion.

Some parameters may contain multiple values, though. Each value is defined on a separate configuration line using the same parameter name. For example, it's useful to configure multiple IRC servers for a bot to choose from. If one server is unavailable, it can try another. Here's how that's done:

    name efnet
    server  6667
    server        6667

Configuration files may contain comments, which are text after a hash mark ("#"). Comments and blank lines are ignored.

  # Configure the paste database.
    expire 86400

That's all.


Pastebot configuration is broken down into three section types: "web_server", "irc", and "pastes". They define the web server, irc network, and paste database that the bot will use.

Configuring a Web Server

The web_server section defines a pastebot's web server. A pastebot may have more than one web server. Each web server is defined in a separate web_server section, and each must have a different name.

A sample:

    irc     freenode_irc
    name    freenode_web
    port    8888
    static  /path/to/static

Defines the interface host or numeric address that this web server will bind to while listening for new connections. It's common for the interface address to be different than the one the outside world sees. Required.


Defines the web server's public address, which is displayed to users in various messages and may be different than the internal address the web service has bound to. Optional. If omitted, the value of "iface" will be used instead.

iname BASE_URL

The "home page" for the pastebot's web server. It's advertised in multiple places, such as the bot's WHOIS information. The BASE_URL should agree with "ifname" and "port". Optional.


Identifies the IRC bot that will announce paste URLs. The IRC_NAME is the name of the bot as specified by the "name" parameter of the "irc" section. Required.

name NAME

Defines the web server's name. Each web server must have its own name so they can be referenced individually. The web server's name is also used in web page titles and IRC announcements. Required.


This is the port the web server listens on. Required.


Optional. Used when the pastebot's web server is behind a proxy. Identifies the proxy so it may be ignored when headers are examined.


Optional. Defines the directory that contains static files that will be provided by the pastebot's built-in web server. Templates, graphics, and style sheets for the various served pages go here. It is essentially the Pastebot server's document root. Each web server is permitted to have its own static directory.

The Pastebot comes with a set of default static files that will be used if "static" is not specified. The files are installed in Bot::Pastebot's architecture-dependent auto directory, which may be found by running the following Perl command:

  perl -MFile::ShareDir=dist_dir -wle 'print dist_dir("Bot-Pastebot")'

If "static" is omitted, the default files will be loaded from that directory.

Configuring an IRC Bot

The irc section defines a pastebot's IRC bot. A pastebot may have zero, one, or more IRC bots. Each bot is defined in a separate irc section, and each must have a different name. A pastebot with no IRC bots is a web-only service.

A sample:

    away          saving humanity from evil paste
    channel       pastebot
    channel       perl
    channel       poe
    cuinfo        owned and operated by rcaputo <>
    cver          pastebot 1.0 <>
    flags         +i
    join_cfg_only 1
    name          freenode_irc
    nick          eatpaste
    nick          pastebot
    quit          how will you live without me?
    server 6667
    server 7000
    uname         pastebot

Pastebots set themselves "away" immediately when they connect to IRC. They run unattended, so there is nobody to answer any messages. This parameter sets the message that will be displayed to anyone examining the bot's WHOIS information.


Sets the bot's CTCP CLIENTINFO response. Optional, but some networks require that clients respond to client information requests.

channel CHANNEL

Required. Defines the channel or channels that the pastebot will automatically join when it connects to this IRC network. A pastebot may join multiple channels, each defined as a separate "channel" entry.


Sets the bot's CTCP USERINFO response. Optional, but some networks require that clients respond to user information requests.


Sets the bot's CTCP VERSION response. Optional, but some networks require that clients respond to version requests.


Optional. When specified, sets the user flags that the pastebot will set once it has connected to the IRC network. Commonly set to "+i" so the bot will be "invisible" outside the channels it's currently on. This helps reduce the amount of harassment the bot receives.

iname IRC_NAME

The pastebot's "IRC name", which is what appears in WHOIS information. By convention, pastebots include their home page URLs here. Be sure the URL's host and port match "ifname" and "port" in the appropriate web_server section. Required.

join_cfg_only BOOLEAN

Optional. Defaults to 0 (false). Normally a pastebot will join any channel it's invited into. When join_cfg_only is true, however, the pastebot will only join channels that have been specified in its configuration file.

localaddr ADDRESS

Optional. The localaddr specifies an ADDRESS that the bot will bind to before making connections. This allows the bot to appear online as coming from a particular virtual host ADDRESS, if its host machine has more than one.

name NAME

Required. This is the IRC bot's internal name. To be useful, it should match the "irc" parameter in one of the web_server sections.


Required. Specifies the bot's nickname on the IRC network. A bot may have multiple nicknames, each specified as a separate configuration line. It will attempt to use them in order, skipping to the next in the list as it determines each is already taken. If every nickname is taken, it will append numeric digets to the names and try again.

The pastebot will periodically try to reclaim one of the original nicknames in its configuration.


This sets the pastebot's quit message should it need to log off for any reason.


Sets the IRC server and port to connect to. Required. The pastebot can connect to one of several servers, each specified on a different "server" line. If one is unavailable, it will rotate to the next.


IRC requires clients to send a short "user name" when establishing a connection. This parameter specifies that name.

Configuring Pastebot's Database

Pastebot must store uploaded text somewhere.

    check   3600
    count   0
    expire  864000
    name    pasty
    store   /home/troc/.pastebot

How often to check for expired pastes. The value is the number of SECONDS between each check. 3600 is an hour, 86400 is a day.

Performing expiration checks too frequently will slow down the bot. Currently these checks are done within the main process, which is cooperatively multitasked. The entire bot pauses while the check occurs.

TODO - Revise the expiration check to work cooperatively, or fork it into a separate process altogether.


Set a limit on the number of pastes a pastebot's database may hold, regardless whether they're too young to expire. This limit will be disabled if MAX_PASTES is zero.

If set, only the MAX_PASTES newest pastes will remain after a periodic expiration check.


Sets the maximum limit for the age of pastes to retain. This limit may be disabled if MAX_AGE_SECONDS is zero. If set, however, pastes that are older than MAX_AGE_SECONDS will be purged during a periodic expiration check.


Sets the absolute path of the base directory in which pastes will be stored. This directory will be created if it doesn't exist. Parent directories will not be created, however.


Pastebot probably has bugs.

Pastebot is a rather old project. It was started in 2002, and it hasn't had as much love as it deserves. Please let us know about any problems you find, either by e-mail or through the project's web site: We're also interested in hearing how you use the Pastebot.


Pastebot is Copyright (C) 2002-2006 by Rocco Caputo. All rights are reserved. Pastebot is free software; you may redistribute and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

Rocco may be reached via <>.