[openstack-dev] Proposal to move from Freenode to OFTC

Sean Dague sean at dague.net
Mon Mar 3 23:19:16 UTC 2014

On 03/03/2014 06:07 PM, James E. Blair wrote:
> Hi,
> Freenode has been having a rough time lately due to a series of DDoS
> attacks which have been increasingly disruptive to collaboration.
> Fortunately there's an alternative.
> OFTC <URL:http://www.oftc.net/> is a robust and established alternative
> to Freenode.  It is a smaller network whose mission statement makes it a
> less attractive target.  It's significantly more stable than Freenode
> and has friendly and responsive operators.  The infrastructure team has
> been exploring this area and we think OpenStack should move to using
> This would obviously be a big change, but we think that with the
> following process, we can move fairly smoothly:
> 0) Establish channel and bot registrations on OFTC.  This has already
> been done (for all the channels listed on the wiki and all the bots
> managed via the infrastructure program).  That actually puts us ahead of
> Freenode where we still haven't managed to register all the channels we
> use.
> 1) Create an irc.openstack.org CNAME record that points to
> chat.freenode.net.  Update instructions to suggest users configure their
> clients to use that alias.
> 2) Set a date and time for a cutover, at least several weeks out.  Make
> multiple announcements about the move on mailing lists, blogs, etc.
> 3) Set channel topics in OFTC to remind people that the move has not yet
> occurred.
> Nearer to the cutover date:
> 4) Ask a few people (perhaps some core members of each team) to join
> OFTC a few days early to be there to assist anyone who shows up there
> and is confused.
> 5) On the cutover, change the CNAME and links to web clients in the
> wiki.  The infrastructure team will switch IRC bots (including channel
> logging) at the cutover time as well.  Send reminder announcements.
> 6) Ask those same people from #4 to stick around Freenode for a few
> weeks after the cutover to assist anyone who shows up there and is
> confused.
> 7) Set channel topics in Freenode to remind people that we have moved to
> If there aren't objections to this plan, I think we can propose a motion
> to the TC with a date and move forward with it fairly soon.

A couple of concerns / questions.

#1) do we believe OFTC is fundamentally better equipped to resist a
DDOS, or do we just believe they are a smaller target? The ongoing DDOS
on meetup.com the past 2 weeks is a good indicator that being a smaller
fish only helps for so long.

#2) how bad do we believe nick contention might be in this transition?
We've got 1000+ people that have well known nicks on freenode, that
might hit conflicts on oftc.

#3) while for IRC veterans this is a simple matter of changing a config
in your IRC proxy, we have been training new folks for a long time (and
all through our wiki and documentation) that Freenode is our place. That
might have required some of these folks to get firewall rules for
freenode created. What kind of timeline are you thinking about for the
cutover to hopefully catch all these folks?


Sean Dague
Samsung Research America
sean at dague.net / sean.dague at samsung.com

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