As I am sure many of you have heard, there has been a considerable exodus from the Freenode IRC network to Libera Chat. If you have not been made of aware of this, I encourage you to check this reference amongst various sources / links at the bottom of this post, as it can do a better justice at explaining the situation than I can.
Both @DataDrake and I have been watching this story develop, awaiting for all facts in interest of further clarity, as well as clear actions that Freenode would no longer be a good home for the Solus community. As the last few days have progressed, this has become crystal clear.
- Policy Changes - Andrew Lee introduced various policy changes for freenode. While some of this was updated to be a draft, some of the removals and changes remain. For example, the previous Freenode policy made it clear that "antisocial behavior" such as abusive language towards political, racial, ethnic, religious, and gender-related groups was not acceptable in any manner. While Solus is a technically focused project and does not have any sort of affiliation with any political, religious, etc. organizations, we do have a clear Community Guidelines that was developed to encourage people from all walks of life to contribute, and is aimed at fostering a friendly environment focused on our goals / principles. Our Community Guidelines, as a result of being more verbose and clear cut as to what sort of language and behavior is not acceptable, is directly incompatible with the new ethos and policies of Freenode, which no longer have these sorts of policies to foster a welcome community.
- Channel Hijacking - Andrew Lee and various existing freenode staff have engaged in hijacking of all channels that happened to mention libera.chat in their channel topics. Ranging from Gentoo to Ubuntu, Wikimedia, Haskell, Allegro, zig, Hexchat, etc. This has been hurtful and incredibly disruptive to those communities and we fully expect it to be disruptive to Solus as well. Staff members and communities leaders across all those projects suddenly had no authority and in some cases were banned from those channels. Exclusion / ban lists were cleared, topics were changed, etc.
- Rather than taking responsibility for their actions, freenode has doubled down and made claims that effectively any channel or community leaving to Libera is doing it under the pursuit of political cause. https://freenode.net/news/for-foss
We now have an established home on Libera.Chat. We have been hesitant to announce this due to the backlash by the Freenode staff on other communities so far, however given the current accelerated actions taken by the Freenode staff, it was our judgement that we should work to service both freenode and Libera, update our defaults and documentation, and make people aware of Solus' availability on Libera. A complete move would not be possible until we have new ISOs out (just mesalib and 5.12 needed, so soon TM), which would provide application updates that have these defaults. I reached out recently to the fine folks at Libera, and they quickly set the project up with founder access (enables myself and Bryan to have proper ownership) for various Solus channels, the Solus project namespace, and team IRC cloak (like you will see Bryan show up now as
~DataDrake@solus/team/DataDrake, which is cool).
I would like to mention that a Matrix bridge is currently in the works by both the Libera and Matrix homeserver staff. If you use a Matrix client to connect to our Freenode channels, please be mindful that it will not function and you will need to use either a cloud-based IRC client (currently we have them permitted, subject to change if abused) or a "traditional" IRC channel. If you use Hexchat, I have already deployed a change to our stable repo that adds Libera to the server list and defaults to our support channel on there. @Girtablulu has done the same for Konversation.
- Hexchat: You will need to ensure you pick Libera.Chat from your server list if you have configured it already.
- Konversation: If you have already started konversation before this transition to join #Solus on IRC you will have now an additional file inside your Home directory which will be used instead of the default file. The file can be found under
$HOME/.config/konversationrc. You can remove this file and on the next start konversation will use the default file to join the first time but be aware you will lose all other settings you did for konversation. The other solution would be opening the file with an Editor (kate on plasma), look for
Server=chat.freenode.net and change it into
Server=irc.libera.chat, you will now join to the libera.chat server as default but be aware, if other channels which you joined on freenode IRC haven't transferred to libera won't be around.
Unfortunately as a result of this move, you will need to set up new accounts on Libera.Chat. We deeply apologize for this inconvenience. You can learn about registration at https://libera.chat/guides/registration
All of our channel names are the same, just on Libera:
#budgie-desktop-dev : Budgie Desktop development channel
#solus : Support
#solus-dev: Development channel
#solus-livestream Livestream chat channel (when we do group hackfests)
Sources / Links: